Can Latin America Improve Access to Digital Health Care?
The Pan American Health Organization announced Jan. 12 that it has developed a digital platform to bring telehealth services to people in remote areas of Latin America and the Caribbean. The “All-in-One Telehealth” platform, which has been piloted in Trinidad and Tobago, aims to enhance continuity of care for people with noncommunicable diseases, said a top official at the agency. How much of a need is there for telehealth services in Latin America and the Caribbean, and how well would such services address the population’s needs? How much has telehealth grown in the region during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what are its prospects for future growth? What obstacles are standing in the way of the development of telehealth services in the region?
Rolf Erik Hönger, area head for Latin America at Roche Pharma: “Unquestionably, one of the pandemic’s positive externalities was the acceleration of the digital transformation of health systems worldwide, including in Latin America. The Americas Health Foundation’s report ‘The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Cancer Care in Latin America and the Caribbean’, which we supported, says the access ‘is unequal in the region, and there are problems with access to quality services. The report adds that at least half of insurers worldwide offer telemedicine services and that Latin America and the Caribbean has 46 percent participation, putting it within the average. Telemedicine has a multiplier effect: helping developing countries to grow their economies, increasing access to health services, improving the experience for patients and caregivers, and lowering…”Read More
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