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The present and current development of Telemedicine in Chile

Dr. Steffen Härtel, a specialist in Digital Health, explains the challenges and advances that exist in the Andean country in Telehealth.

Chile has several projects in Digital Health promoted by universities such as the Telemedicine Unit of the University of Concepción, as well as programs promoted by the Ministry of Health such as the Digital Hospital.

In addition, in December of last year the article "Guidelines for the development of Telemedicine and Telehealth in Chile" was published, mandated by the Ministry of Health and prepared by the University of Development, the University of Concepción and UC Davis in Chile.

Steffen Härtel, specialist in Health Informatics, is the director of the Center for Medical Informatics and Telemedicine at the University of Chile (CIMT), and also chairman of the committee of academics of the National Center for Health Information Systems (CENS), gave his opinion on this.

He mentions that the health system has chosen to educate future generations of health professionals according to the digital system and the skills they must have to respond to new Digital Health tools.

As for his area of work, the CIMT, Dr. Härtel recognizes that there are several projects in Chile where they can see the progress that telemedicine has had in recent years. One of these projects is the telepathologies project, which allows to monitor biopsy samples remotely, and new projects such as digital spermogram teleanalysis that seeks to bring support couples with infertility problems.

Regarding the increasing use of telemedicine by the health emergency, in Chile this system has been implemented through the Digital Hospital that has been operating for several years and is managed by the Ministry of Health, in addition to remotely caring for patients with symptoms to channel them to a medical center.

Following the emergency situation in COVID-19, progress has been made in this process of adopting telemedicine, Dr. Härtel says that "we are seeing how to build radiology systems with radiology support to help identify patients with respiratory problems quickly."

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  • — Science Brief: Omicron (B.1.1.529) Variant/CDC updates
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