On August 31st, the Uruguayan Ministry of Health launched the Oncological Electronic Medical History (HCEO) platform, with the aim of creating a national database of these patients to improve the quality of their care. Similar processes are occurring in Argentina and Chile. In all cases, these platforms aim to take advantage of the technological advances to improve healthcare. They propose the creation of new means of healthcare to overcome current geographical restrictions. The HCEO has already begun to be used in Uruguay. On the other hand, Chile continues in the development stage of the “Digital Hospital” platform. For its part, Argentina is debating a bill on the issue in the Senate.
These programs aim to promote a new way of medical care centered in the technological advances of the twenty-first century. These initiatives use interconnected data with computerized supports, which allows patients to access them in any medical center part of the network. They also aim to eliminate the geographical limitations of traditional medical care by enabling remote diagnostic mechanisms. All these will allow a better information interconnection, which will provide doctors with more inputs to carry out their diagnoses, and will result in better quality of healthcare.
The regulations and programs that are advancing in this field in the region have different degrees of development and regulatory origins. In Uruguay, the HCEO emanates from the Ministry of Health, an agency of the Executive Branch, and focuses specifically on cancer patients. In Chile, although the impulse of the program comes from the Executive Branch, it is a broader policy that seeks to create a platform, called “Digital Hospital”, that includes data on patients of all types of diseases. In Argentina, the impulse comes from the Legislative Branch, which is currently discussing, in the Senate´s Health Committee, a bill to create a network connectivity program for public health entities. This bill will continue its debate in the coming weeks.