Digital tools to build sustainable health.

Bogi Eliasen

Director of Health, Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies

We humans are witnessing how health systems are not only not progressing, but crumbling. Half of the planet's inhabitants have no real access to health and the system only acts when people are really sick, which tells us that 30% of the disease burden is avoidable. In this context, digital functions and data are part of the solution to improve the health of more people through a combination of better and timely health interventions, combined with prevention based on the appropriate use of information. However, we must not forget that to create a better future for all, we must work with high-risk groups, focus on early detection and intervention, and take a holistic approach to clinical interventions. This is not just about surgical procedures or medications; it also involves addressing behaviors such as physical activity, nutrition, social connections, and mental health. We must care for people in a dignified way that helps them not only to recover, but to move towards a better life. Health is an investment. In order to transform health systems, it is necessary to focus on the importance of investing in digital solutions that will improve access and quality of services. Among the advantages and benefits they could offer, we highlight a few. The first is that the digital functions will allow the citizen to perform controls and tests from home through the advanced development of telehealth. This, among other things, empowers the patient in the use of their data, manages to bring the service to rural or difficult-to-access areas, and deepens the contact between the physician and people with high-care and cost-intensive diseases. Second, it will help us optimize patient outcomes through prevention, early detection, and early and accurate intervention. And third, it will allow us to reach timely treatments for different diseases. In this way, we ensure solutions with high impacts and lower costs. Contrary to the current trend, where solutions end up being more expensive and with lower impacts because we intervene too late when diseases are already present or advanced. We already have the technology; now all that is needed is a "real will" to make decisions. We need a long-term perspective and collaboration across disciplines and countries. If you think your organization/ company can help, contact us through our website