Healthcare Innovation Through Digitalisation.

October 7, 2021

The pandemic has highlighted the need for structural reforms in the health system, which will have to be carried out through the application of the most advanced technologies both in terms of services offered to citizens and hospital medical facilities. Digitisation will also help to improve the economic impact of health services by optimising their costs.

The Italian NRRP has earmarked 15.63 billion euros (included in Mission 6/C1-C2), which will be used to strengthen the NHS by adapting services to needs and integrating it as part of the community welfare system. The impact on GDP of Mission 6 has been calculated at 1.3% over the entire period of the NRRP.

The two components have respectively allocated 7 billion euros (C1) to proximity networks, facilities and telemedicine for territorial healthcare, and 8.63 billion euros (C2) for innovation, research and the NHS’s digitalisation.

The criticalities that emerged during the pandemic have emphasized the vulnerability of the health system not only in the management of emergencies but also in the territorial inequalities, and consequently, the urgency of interventions aimed at equalizing the qualitative, technological and organizational standards through reforms and investments that overcome the gaps between regional health systems.

The e-health revolution will bring efficiency and speed of information and will guarantee cybersecurity, which is fundamental in a sector as sensitive as health data.

The Mission 6 C2 plans the creation of a nationwide homogeneous Electronic Health File (Fascicolo Sanitario Elettronico – FSE) containing the medical history of each citizen, which will allow for the simplification and efficiency of the access paths to health information and services; the enactment of a framework law on disability, in line with the “Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030” presented in March 2021 by the European Commission, to avoid social exclusions with particular regard to the non-self-sufficient elderly and the disabled (who in Italy account for around 5% of the population); the creation of 1. 288 Community Homes with multi-specialist facilities by 2026; the reform of local health services, with fundings to transform pharmacies into second-level service providers, lightening the load on hospitals; the reorganisation of the Institutes for Research and Scientific Treatment (Istituti di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico -IRCCS) network to link research, innovation and healthcare; modernising hospital technology and digital facilities; strengthening technological infrastructures and tools for data collection, processing and analysis; enhancing digitalisation in telemedicine and remote healthcare.

The problems in the Covid emergency management faced by the Republic of Cyprus have further highlighted the urgency of a profound revision of health policies.

The Cypriot NRP has foreseen (Axis1) an allocation of €74.1 million (6% of the budget) for Public Health and Civil Protection.

The Component 1.1 provides for 3 reforms and 7 investments to achieve a radical change of the national health system (CIPHIS), through ICT innovation, a platform for control of nosocomial infections and drug consumption, health care and reimbursement based on equity among citizens.

The reforms’ implementation involves targeted investments in new facilities for the Cyprus Blood Establishment; purchase of the latest technological equipment; innovation of the National Health ICT System (CIPHIS); new hospital medical equipment; accreditation of public and private hospitals; modernisation of Cyprus State Hospitals; digitised cross-border healthcare; establishment of a public alert system (through SMS) to support emergency operations, thus improving the efficiency of Civil Protection.

Cyprus’ reforms in the health sector aim to bring its hospitals up to international standards in terms of quality and effectiveness and to ensure an efficient accessibility of data and services. Ehealth allows rapid clinical responses and guarantees equality of services to all citizens, achieving social cohesion.

It is clear that investments in health technology infrastructure is a priority. The Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, aware of the critical issues raised by the pandemic, continues to serve as a platform for dialogue to continue the cooperation in the health sector between the two countries, already developed during the 1st Cypriot-Italian Health Industry Forum held in June 2020, organized in collaboration with the Cyprus Employers & Industrialists Federation (EPO) and the University of Nicosia, under the patronage of the two Embassies.

On this occasion, which was attended by representatives of institutions, bodies, universities and companies in the Italian-Cypriot healthcare sector, were discussed the opportunities to increase exchanges and collaborations in innovation and management of the healthcare industry for reaching international excellence levels, and have been established cooperation agreements, such as the equipments ‘ distribution by Fujifilm Italia S.p.A..

The open dialogue foreshadows other fruitful collaborations in the development of the healthcare sector, logistics and pharmaceutical distribution, with the aim of ensuring increasingly advanced services to Cypriot citizens.

During the 4th Cypriot-Italian Business Forum, held in Rome on 29th September 2021, was also discussed “Innovation in Health Sector”. The Forum, titled “Italian and Cypriot NRRPs: Relaunching the Mediterranean Economy through Cooperation”, was co-organised by the Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, under the auspicies of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry of Cyprus and the Ministry of Ecomonic Development of Italy.

The second edition of the Cypriot-Italian Health Industry Forum will also be held in Nicosia on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. This event will be associated with a specific trade mission of Italian operators in Cyprus.

For further information on the activities of the Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, please write to: segreteria@camcomitacipro.it

Last modified: October 15, 2021

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