Por su interés, posteo un comunicado de la Comisión Europea sobre telemedicina:
Telemedicine: Commission adopts plans to help doctors
and patients access healthcare from a distance.
Today, the European Commission adopted a
Communication to support and improve access to telemedicine for EU citizens and
healthcare professionals across Europe. In response to a call for action
from Member States, this initiative aims to increase and broaden telemedicine
services, including diagnosis, treatment and monitoring at a distance
across Europe. Such services will allow, for example, a patient suffering from
a rare retinal disease to be diagnosed in his hometown by a specialist working
at a European Centre of Excellence for eye diseases located thousands of
kilometres away. Patients with chronic heart failure will be able to have their
disease more closely monitored and to enjoy better quality of life while
staying at home. The European Commission proposes 10 actions to address the
related challenges in the years to come.
"Telemedicine can radically improve chronically ill
patients' quality of life and give people access to top medical expertise. It
is our duty to make sure patients and health professionals can benefit from
it" said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and
Media. "At the same time, the provision of remote healthcare services
through ICT can optimise the use of scarce human and financial resources in the
EU Health Commissioner, Androulla Vassilou expressed her
belief that: "Telemedicine tools can indeed deliver improvements both
in quality of care and patient safety as well as increase access to healthcare.
This means both better services for citizens, and more innovative and efficient
health services". The key to success, Commissioner Vassiliou added,
is "the full involvement of citizens, patients and health
In an ageing Europe, where more and more citizens live with
chronic health diseases, telemedicine is an important tool. Despite the
potential benefits that telemedicine can provide, its use is still limited in
most parts of the EU.
For instance, telemedicine allows the monitoring of
important health parameters (such as blood sugar levels or blood pressure) to
be carried out from the patient's home, avoiding troublesome and - particularly
for the sick or elderly - exhausting trips to a doctor or hospital. It can
improve access to specialised treatment in remote areas where access to
healthcare is difficult. It can also contribute to shortening waiting lists,
for example in radiology, when reading and interpretation of medical images,
such as radiographs (X-rays) or Computed Tomography (CT) scans, can be
performed at a distance.
Furthermore, telemedicine, which is already a multi-billion
global industry, can contribute substantially to the growth of the European
economy. European industry, especially SMEs, can tap the financial and clinical
benefits from this expanding market, provided that barriers to development such
as market fragmentation and legal aspects are addressed.
The actions proposed by the Commission are:
– 1. To increase confidence and acceptance
of telemedicine services among users. In particular, by encouraging provision
and dissemination of scientific evidence of its effectiveness and cost
– 2. To bring legal clarity on existing EU
legislation regarding telemedicine services and encourage Member States to
improve provision of telemedicine services.
– 3. To solve technical problems such as
the lack of adequate community-wide broadband infrastructure and
interoperability of telemedicine devices.
This Communication defines the necessary steps to be taken
by Member States, the European Commission and stakeholders including healthcare
providers and the industry.
The telemedicine communication is based on an extensive
consultation phase during 2007 and 2008 which involved Member States, health
professionals, patients associations and industry representatives. It received
strong support from all parties. Details of the consultation exercise as well
as other Commission activities and studies to support research and deployment
of telemedicine can be found on the relevant section of the Europa
and through the
European Public Health Portal (http://ec.europa.eu/health-eu/care_for_me/e-health/index_en.htm).
The Communication on Telemedicine adopted today is available