La promesa de la salud digital

BASILEA – Desde que trabajara como una joven doctora en Angola hace unos 20 años, África ha cambiado notablemente, y para mejor. En ningún área ha sido el cambio tan evidente como en el modo en que el continente ha adoptado la tecnología móvil. La gente de África (y, de hecho, en los países e ingresos bajos a medios) está aprovechando las oportunidades que les ofrece esa tecnología, haciendo uso de los teléfonos móviles para hacer pagos, emitir certificados de nacimiento y obtener acceso a los servicios de salud, entre muchas otras cosas.

El beneficio de las tecnologías móviles radica en el acceso. En la era digital es mucho más fácil superar barreras como la distancia geográfica y los bajos recursos, que por largo tiempo han impedido a miles de millones de personas recibir los servicios que precisan. Y, en efecto, existen incontables maneras en que la tecnología se puede utilizar para mejorar el acceso y la prestación de los servicios de salud.

Por supuesto, no se trata de información nueva, y cada vez más iniciativas de salud basadas en la tecnología han cobrado forma en los últimos años. Pero solo unos cuantos han alcanzado una buena escala y logrado una sostenibilidad de largo plazo; la mayoría de los proyectos no han logrado pasar de la fase piloto. El resultado es un panorama altamente fragmentado de soluciones digitales que, en algunos casos, puede significar una presión adicional a los sistemas sanitarios actuales.

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