The accelerated technological development that we are experiencing is transforming everything we do as a society. New technologies are considered as a great tool to evolve, improve and make more efficient the services and products that, from various sectors, are provided to the population.
This digital transformation is being inserted in many areas of society and health is no exception.For some time now, in Costa Rica this topic has been discussed, on which many are the doubts that come to mind; the main one, perhaps, is whether the country is really prepared for this new level.
And yes, from my perception and experience, it is. But, despite the actions already implemented, we still have a lot to do, for the good of the patient, public health and the development of the country.
What it is
When we talk about digital health, we talk about the use of information and communication technologies to make services and patient care more efficient.A digitized health system provides many benefits; among them, I can mention: the automation of processes, improvement in care and prevention of major diseases and efficient management of waiting lists; by the way, a stone in the shoe for our health system, but that is another topic to talk about widely.
Digital health also allows immediate patient care and even virtual monitoring; access to innovative treatments and the use of the digital file anywhere in the country or medical center.
In Costa Rica
Costa Rica has an enormous capacity for innovation to enter the world of digital health. But it is true that there is still a long way to go and perhaps one of the biggest challenges we are facing right now is the literacy or education of professionals in digital health.
And on this point, particularly, we are lagging behind. It is clear that, to achieve the implementation of digital solutions in this field, highly trained personnel are required who are aware of how digital health works.For this reason, this topic should now be included in the academic programs of the universities that train professionals in the life sciences.
Technology has advanced so much that it has become a great ally for the health professions. For this reason, it is time for universities to incorporate it into their curricula, because, for years, we have taught about traditional medicine, but now is the time to do it with digital medicine.
Adapting academic programs to this new reality is a duty of universities. Of course, if your interest is really to train professionals of the future. Otherwise, it is likely that the days of these educational centers are numbered.
At the rate that this technological development is advancing, we must all move forward, because staying behind translates into a series of damages for the country and social security. We cannot forget that a society with more access to health is a less sick society and, therefore, more productive.
Costa Rica has a privileged health system, which we can further enhance if we continue promoting the digital transformation within this sector, and incorporating this topic into the academic programs of the universities, to train new health professionals, with the skills and competencies that the market requires.