When Dr Javier Marco checks his patients he often uses a computer with a videoconferencing link. Many of his elderly patients live in remote villages in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees and no longer travel to where he works. “They’re very satisfied. There is less inconvenience and the quality of care is better,” he says.
Dr Marco is one of several specialists in Spain, Italy and Denmark who began using a telecounselling service last year developed by HEALTH OPTIMUM, a groundbreaking project funded under the European Commission’s eTEN programme that is helping to kick start the deployment of telemedicine across Europe.
Coupled with a telelaboratory service that allows patient test samples to be analysed remotely, the internet-based HEALTH OPTIMUM solutions are having a profound impact on healthcare in the regions where they were tested and where they are continuing to be used. Doctors are saving time, public healthcare systems are saving money, and patients are receiving better coordinated and better quality care.
Tara Morris | alfa
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