“We have a lot to be proud of, even on an international level, like a fully functional e-prescription, smart support for discovering the co-effects of medicine, e-ambulance and a developing e-consultation service,” Priit Tohver, adviser for e-services and innovation at the Ministry of Social Affairs writes on the Ministry of Social Affairs blog (with the full English translation available on e-Estonia.com).
“Even a digital registration that works across the country is now working and more and more hospitals are connecting to it. Cross-border e-prescription now reaches across the Baltic Sea.”
Future looking bright
But is that it? There is a possibility to support a person through his or her whole life cycle. If a person wishes, it is possible to gather data that describes his or her journey through the medical system, but also the environment, lifestyle, genome and more. Integrating these data, a full picture of a person’s current health situation can be created and actions planned.
If we put the data from different people together, we could learn from our master data which treatments are actually effective, which hospitals give the best care, which problems our people have and even how genes affect diseases and treatments. For example, a person could discover that even though she carries the BRCA gene mutation, the risk of getting breast cancer is lower because her lesser known gene regulators will block the mutation, Tohver suggests, explaining: “We know this based on other women who carry the same genes and didn’t have cancer.”
Cooperation is the key
“It’s already a tangible reality if only we could put the pieces of e-health together as one whole,” he continues. “Future health is not an unattainable dream, however, I could never say that it will be easy to get there. Figuratively, we have the components to build a ship. Unfortunately we and everyone else lacks a ship building master to put the components together so that the ship wouldn’t sink. This is why we’ve created an association with other European Union countries called eHAction – European Union e-health joint action. It has e-health experts from 30 countries and it is focused on mobile health, telemedicine, big data analysis, artificial intelligence and cross-border health services.”