The impact of telemedicine on the national health system


The paradigm shift in health systems therefore entails a different focus in the levels of care and health pathways of the health market, which sees the transition from the centrality of the hospital for intensive care, to the territory and continuity of care at the citizen’s home ; thus placing the emphasis on the aspect of prevention and pre-acute monitoring.

This process, which in Italy has experienced a certain delay compared to other Western European countries, requires a Healthcare team committed to creating increasingly holistic and personalized solutions.

This process favors systems for monitoring vital parameters, prevention and patient well-being; to be carried out with methods suitable for combining quality aspects with economic ones.

The economic burden deriving from the functioning of health systems now risks being unsustainable, it absorbs on average 10.3% of the national GDP of the European Union and in Italy about 9.1%. [4] A figure destined to increase with the growing increase in chronic diseases which represent 75% of expenditure, also due to the constant aging of the population.

There is an expectation of an increase in the population over the age of 65 from 21% of the elderly today, up to 34% in 2051. The dependency ratio of the elderly (over 65 years) to the care of young people (up to 64 years) is destined to grow by more than 1/3 (today there are 3 young people for each elderly person, in 2051 there will be 1.9 young people per elderly person).

On the side of the commitments made with the Italian Digital Agenda for eHealth service, an increase in public funding in Healthcare from 2 to 7.8 billion euros should be expected between now and 2020, to reach an estimated total commitment of 9.5 billion in 2020. to 10.2 billion euros. Part of these funds should be used in particular to develop Telemedicine services. [5]

If we analyze the growth of the demand for home care services (and therefore of the public and private reference market) we can see that they are practically the same as those examined by exposing the “growth of telemedicine services”.

Considering the commitment of the Regions in the recovery plan from the health deficit, the essential objective of e-health can only be that of contributing to the profound restructuring of the health system, its rationalization and optimization, improving overall efficiency and reducing costs at the same time. management.

A study by the Medical Assistance and Welfare Body (ENPAM) calculated (in 2012) a saving of three billion euros per year for the use of digital instruments thanks to the de-hospitalization of chronic patients made possible by technologies supporting medicine on the territory and home care;

1.37 billion for time savings in medical and nursing activities thanks to the introduction of the electronic medical record; 860 million thanks to the dematerialization of reports and images; 860 million thanks to the reduction in hospitalizations due to avoidable errors through computerized drug management systems;

370 million euros would be obtained thanks to the delivery of reports via the web; 160 million with online booking of services; 150 million through the rationalization of data centers in the area and the progressive use of virtualization techniques, and finally another 20 million for the reduction of medical records printing costs. [6]

Even at the international level, telemedicine is considered the best possible solution to address the needs of healthcare in terms of efficiency, attention to the person and cost containment (see in particular the European Parliament Resolution 2006/2275 of 23 May 2007 and the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament dated 4/11/2008 / Com 2008/689).


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