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Government invests in technology to enhance health care

Government invests in technology to enhance health care

The Brazilian Ministries of Health and Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication sign collaboration agreement within the Brazilian “Internet of Things Scheme” in order to conceive projects in the healthcare industry

The Federal Government of Brazil’s aim for the coming years is to connect technology in order to solve health problems. For this reason, on Thursday (30th) the Brazilian Ministries of Health and Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication (MCTIC) launched the Chamber of Health 4.0, an environment for discussions between members of public and private institutions to conceive project ideas that may, in the future, help Brazilian health care to become aligned with the digital healthcare strategy for Brazil, which is already being built through the Conecte SUS program.

The announcement was made by the minister of health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, and the minister of MCTIC, Marcos Pontes in Brasília (Federal District), during the signing of the Technical Collaboration Agreement (ACT) to create the Chamber of Health 4.0. This is the fourth chamber for discussions created by the Federal Government of Brazil. The other three addressed topics in the areas of industry, agribusiness and infrastructure (smart cities).

The project is part of the actions provided for in Brazil’s Internet of Things (IoT) Scheme, launched by MCTIC in 2019. The scheme is a technological revolution aimed at connecting everyday devices to the internet. The idea is to implement and develop the Internet of Things in Brazil, based on free competition and data circulation, observing guidelines for information security, privacy, and the protection of personal data.

The minister of health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, recalled that the Ministry had already started a project during the conception of the Chamber of Health 4.0, i.e., the Conecte SUS program. “The Chamber is where the entire sector will dialogue between all public and private institutions for digital solutions for health care”, he pointed out. Mandetta explained that the project will start with five basic data of all Brazilians, which are: consultation in primary care, summary of hospital care, medicines delivered, laboratory tests, and vaccines.

“With these five data we are building a small framework. After doing this, we’ll be connecting countless other patient details that will be necessary to build this huge system; linking our 215,000,000 inhabitants and not leaving anyone behind”, said the minister of health.

HOW IT WILL WORK

Health care is one of the main themes identified in Brazil’s Internet of Things Scheme, creating the Chambers of Industry 4.0, Agro 4.0 and Cities 4.0. The Chamber of Health 4.0 will be coordinated by the Ministry of Health, encouraging the participation of university members, institutes of science and technology, private initiatives, and other relevant players in the scenario of innovation in the context of Brazilian health, with the participation of states and municipalities.

For example, one application of the Internet of Things allows you to remotely monitor patients via wearable devices, such as clothing, watches with sensors, and cell phone applications. In order to quickly identify changes and reduce the incidence of serious illnesses, the data collected can feed, in real time, electronic medical records in hospitals or medical clinics, thereby aiding the decision making process. The Chamber of Health 4.0 has one year to present its work.

“The benefits are innumerable. For example, Telemedicine is a fundamental tool in places where health care is virtually nonexistent. These data can be used for research, analysis of situations, understanding vaccination coverage, and combating diseases. It will be a very important tool. This will be a Chamber that is heavily involved in discussing solutions”, said the Minister of Health.

According to MCTIC minister Marcos Pontes, this time of collaboration between the Ministries must be taken advantage of. “When it comes to health care, we have a large country with places that are difficult to access. Through technology, we can help bring more quality of life to people.” “Technology is practically all around us. Technology grows exponentially, and this has to reflect on people’s quality of life and on reducing inequality. Technology will bring about a revolution in the health area”, concluded Pontes during the speech. 

The technical collaboration agreement between the MS and MCTIC aims to bring about a discussion on the use of these devices to improve the effectiveness of health care through the continuous monitoring of patients and the adoption of IoT solutions, to increase the speed and effectiveness of epidemiological surveillance and possible health risks, and to promote connectivity, aiming for integration of the Unified Health System (SUS).

By Bruno Cassiano from The Brazilian Health Agency, with information provided by MCTIC
Press service – Ministry of Health
+55 (61) 3315-3580 / 2351

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