Its goal is to guarantee the equality, quality and sustainability of healthcare services, both from the perspective of the public and the health system. In order to achieve these objectives, the underlying pillars of the model are the individual as the core element and the intensive use of data, and applies these through the configuration of dynamic care pathways. It takes into account both health aspects and the determinants of the individual (social, economic, competencies, environment, etc.), and the available care resources, in order to define care pathways adapted to the needs and which enable a combination of face-to-face and non-face-to-face care.
The model covers all areas of health intervention included in the healthcare value chain: health promotion and prevention, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of the disease.
In this context, all countries with advanced economies are incorporating non-face-to-face care strategies and services into healthcare delivery models. In 2018, the telemedicine and eHealth market was estimated to be worth 38.3 billion dollars, with an estimated annual growth rate of 19.2%, leading to an estimated global value of 130 billion dollars in 2025 according to the Telemedicine Market Share Report | Global 2019-2025 Industry Data.
In Catalonia, the foundations for the implementation of Digital Health were laid with the initial design of the Non-Face-to-Face Care Model (2013-2016). Subsequently, initiatives related to non-face-to-face care at the systemic level were included in the Health Plan (2016-2020) and the Catalan Ministry of Health’s Information Systems Master Plan.
At the level of territorial implementation, the providers of the Integrated Public Use Healthcare System of Catalonia (SISCAT) have promoted specific digital solutions, with different levels of deployment, including three initiatives which are notable mainly for their long trajectory and territorial scalability:
At the international level, multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission offer recommendations in their strategic plans to provide health systems with guidelines for responding to the challenges of the sector. For example, the WHO urges its member states to establish a set of practices related to digital health. The presentation of these practices acknowledges the potential of technology for supporting health systems in achieving sustainability goals, the possibilities they offer to generate changes in care models, and the need to ensure that they actually result in an improvement.
As reflected in the document “Comparative analysis of models of non-face-to-face care in the field of health”, most of the countries analysed are designing health strategies which are very focused on digitalization and new public relationship models, outlined in digital health plans.
This situation has highlighted the importance of a quality, public and universal health system, which is possible thanks to both the effort and dedication of its professionals and the resources and infrastructure necessary for the provision of services to the population. In this context, non-face-to-face care is presented as an essential tool to guarantee healthcare for citizens.
Healthcare systems around the world have come under unprecedented pressure and demand. In a very short period of time, processes have been redefined, resources reorganized and different areas and fields of care strengthened.
The objective of the non-face-to-face care strategy is to define a common framework for the implementation of innovative digital tools in the health sector, mainly aimed at achieving the following objectives:
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