Telemedicine and the Brazilian reality

Telemedicine

(Henry Ascroft, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Adriane Menezes de Medeiros is a 25-year-old student of medicine at the city of Blumenau, located in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Never in the history of humanity have we been so connected as now. In medicine, it could not be different. The usage of modern information and communication technologies (ICTs) have brought significant changes to the addressing of health problems worldwide, such as replacing medical paper records with Electronic Health Records (EHRs), responsible for reducing healthcare costs in hospitals and for providing data to create an unprecedented storage information in cloud computing. This mechanism, viable only through the internet, uses hardware and software systems to provide new means to safeguard and access the patients’ information quickly and at lower costs1.

Based on the evolution of ICTs, the history of telemedicine begins circa 1960s, with the increment of communication tools, such as videotape recorder and television. Because of these, it became possible to stablish the beginning of non-physical interaction between specialists and patients, to provide material for later studies and prognoses for treatment2.

However, telemedicine goes beyond this. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), telemedicine can be defined as “the offering services related to health care, where the distance is a critical factor”3. This distance can be reduced by stablishing an interaction between health professional and patient with the use of several types of media, including text, audio, images and videocalls.

Although the theory of telemedicine presents high expectations on success, it still encounters the barrier of approaching this reality in medical schools around the world, and it is not different in Brazil. A study shows that, among all the medical schools in Brazil, only 27,9% have potential to implement this approach. This data reveals some important problems faced by the government, due to its initiative of implementing the Brazilian National Telehealth Network Program (“Telessaúde Brasil Redes”; TBR), a program launched by the Brazilian Ministry of Health (MS) which aims to improve the quality of basic care services in the Unified Health System (SUS)4.

Most of these problems relate to the preparation of the student as a future health professional. According to the Ethical Code for Medical Students5, the activities and subjects must be based on the ability to fully prepare the student to professional enrolment, which includes, for now, telemedicine. Enabling the student to approach the patient ethically is crucial, and an individualized, respectful medical appointment is vital. Besides that, most of Brazilian medical students are not prepared to deal with possible ethical pitfalls brought by telemedicine, brought by the new virtual relationship between professional and patient, the breaches of confidential information etc6.

It takes time to identify and correct errors related to new medical procedures. It is still too soon to call it a success or a failure, and time will show the best option for the students and what needs to be adjusted according to the reality of each region. To sum up, even with the traditional health care system or the implementation of telemedicine, the patients’ well-being is the objective which physicians and students alike aim to achieve.

References

1 BANOVA, B. The Impact of Technology on Healthcare. American Institute of Medical Sciences & Education. Nova Jersey, 24 abr. 2018. Disponível em: https://www.aimseducation.edu/blog/the-impact-of-technology-on-healthcare/. Acesso em: 18 maio 2019.

2 Benschoter RA, Eaton MT, Smith P. Use of videotape to provide individual instruction in techniques of psychotherapy. Academic Medicine, 1965, 40(12):1159–1161.

3 Steinman, M. et al. Impact of telemedicine in hospital culture and its consequences on quality of care and safety. Einstein. São Paulo. v. 13, n. 04. Oct./Dec. 2015. Disponível em: http://www.scielo.br/pdf/eins/v13n4/1679-4508-eins-S1679-45082015GS2893.pdf

4 Neto, E, et al, (2017) Telemedicine in Graduate Medical Education:  A vision of the Medical Courses in a Developing Country. J Int Soc Telemed Ehealth. 2017;5(GKR):e34.  Disponível em: https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/JISfTeH/article/view/267/pdf. Acesso em: 19 de maio 2019.

5 CONSELHO FEDERAL DE MEDICINA. Código de ética do estudante de medicina. Brasília: CFM, 2018. Disponível em: http://www.fm.usp.br/biblioteca/conteudo/biblioteca_1622_ceem.pdf. Acesso em: 19 maio 2019.

6 ETHICAL Practice in Telemedicine. American Medical Association. Disponível em: https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/ethics/ethical-practice-telemedicine. Acesso em: 19 maio 2019.

About the author

Adriane Menezes de Medeiros is a 25-year-old student of medicine at the city of Blumenau, located in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Living in Blumenau is her second experience living outside home, which is Campo Grande. Her first experience was in Canada, where she could take one year and a half of an exchanging program while coursing her previous undergraduation course, architecture. Although spending many years in the study of architecture, she has always been passionate about medicine, so she quit the course and started following her dream of becoming a regardful and great physician.

 

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

COP21 Breaking News_07 December: “The world is expecting more from you than half-measures”, UN Secretary General Bank Ki-moon cries out from Paris

The MH17 tragedy to put a tombstone on Ukrainian civil war

European markets itchy with short-term disturbances

ECB is about to lend trillions to banks

How India’s globalized cities will change its future

The US and EU decisively oppose Erdogan’s plans for Turkey and beyond

Ukraine: turning challenges into opportunities


Venezuelan exodus to Ecuador reaches record levels: UN refugee agency steps up aid

Russia to cut gas supplies again: can the EU get back to growth without a solid energy market?

JADE Testimonial #1: Marcello @ Enlargement

Commission challenges Council over EU 2014 budget

Scotland and First Minister Salmond enter the most challenging battlefield for independence: Europe

Eurozone plans return to growth

UN, Egypt help avert another Israel-Palestine war in Gaza that was ‘minutes away’, Security Council hears

Myanmar and UN agriculture agency agree framework to improve nutrition and food security

Electronic or conventional cigarettes – which is safer?

5 surprising ways digital technology is changing childhood

Competing with Apple and leading innovation: Google’s world replies to EU on android charges

Non-performing loans: banks need to mitigate the risk of potential losses

5 amazing schools that will make you wish you were young again

State of the Union 2018: The Hour of European Sovereignty

Libya: Attack on foreign ministry, an attack on all Libyans, stresses UN envoy

Erasmus+ will finance existing UK-EU mobility in the event of no-deal Brexit

5 leadership lessons I learned from doing my own ‘undercover boss’

Pollinating insects: Commission proposes actions to stop their decline

The digital transformation is a skills and education opportunity for all. Companies must use it

Who really cares for the environment?

Capital transaction tax on Ecofin table

Parliament approves EU rules requiring life-saving technologies in vehicles

Migration Crisis: how to open the borders and make way for the uprooted

Eurozone’s north-south growth gap to become structural

On our way to China

China is the first non-EU country to invest in Europe’s €315 billion Plan

Brexit may finally not really happen; The Brits have second thoughts

China revisited by the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

Electronic or conventional cigarettes – which is safer?

Trump to subject the Fed, challenge the ECB and make Wall St. bankers even richer

What the Corn Laws tell us about Brexit Britain

The fat from your next takeaway meal could help clean up global shipping

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is driving Globalization 4.0

The European Sting’s 2018 in most critical review

Why flexible workspaces are the key to winning the talent war

We finally have a life-saving vaccine for Ebola

‘Path to peace’ on Korean Peninsula only possible through diplomacy and full denuclearization: US tells Security Council

Why are wildfires getting worse?

Five ways to increase trust in e-commerce

Trump’s Russophiles under investigation, Europe remains ‘en garde’

Arlington, USA: kick-off of the fifth round of the EU-US boxing match

World Digital Media Awards winners announced at WNMC.19 in Glasgow, in association with The European Sting

We need to deep clean the oceans. Here’s how to pay for it

For Youth Rights: steps forward for better protection.

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to trigger disruption, claim industry leaders

Europe split in confronting the US sanctions on Iran, Washington isolated

Ecocraft: take gaming to another level by greening Minecraft

China hopes EU Commissioner De Gucht drops super anti-dumping tariff on solar panels

Trade barriers: EU removes record number in response to surge in protectionism

North Korean families facing deep ‘hunger crisis’ after worst harvest in 10 years, UN food assessment shows

UN chief welcomes new push by El Salvador’s political parties to begin fresh dialogue

UN chief calls for ‘enlightened self-interest’ from world leaders to save ‘the whole planet’ from climate change

We underestimate the power of data at our peril. This is why

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s