Maroto assures that the PERTE of Health will arrive in months while the sector demands more funds

The third day of II Symposium of the Health Observatory -organized by EL ESPAÑOL and Invertia- has closed with a double promise: that the PERTE of ‘Vanguard Health’ It will arrive soon and there will be public funds for the initiative to recover the production of essential drugs.

A project proposed by the pharmaceutical industry employers, Pharmaindustry, last January and that the Government will support with the objective that Spain has “a strategic reserve of these resources in situations of health crisis“. This has been assured in his speech by the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, Reyes Maroto.

It remains to be seen how much the injection of public capital that this initiative will receive, promoted by the pharmaceutical industry. At the moment, what is known is the amount of private investment: more than 1,700 million euros.

Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.

Esteban Palazuelos / Jesús Umbría

Although the good news has arrived for the pharmaceutical industry, the truth is that there will also be investments to renovate the technology park of Spanish hospitals – almost 800 million euros-. However, for the first swords of the sector it is not enough.

“We need more money.” That’s how forceful it has been María Vila, CEO of Medtronic Ibérica. And it is that the transformation of the health system does not happen only to renew health technology.

You need “a medium and long term strategy”. And that means designing “a specific public purchase plan for health” such as “purchasing by life cycle”, in the opinion of David García Calleja, CEO of Bayer Radiology Spain.

And something else: the commitment to digitization, something that the sector has warned that “we have not seen in European funds”, he added Dionisio Martínez, Managing Director of Dräger in Spain and Portugal.

Digital transformation

Transformation. Digitization. These are the words that have sounded the most on the third day of the Health Observatory. Together and separately.

Hence the participation of Carme Artigas, Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence, to analyze digital transformation. A process for which European funds will be key and which will be the engine of recovery. “Digital health is a great vertical that will be able to pull the economy of this country,” he said.

Carme Artigas, Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence.

Carme Artigas, Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence.

Esteban Palazuelos / Jesús Umbría

There is still much to do in terms of digitization, but – returning to the words of the Secretary of State for Digitization – there has been remarkable progress. And it has been driven by the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

An example is the telemedicine. Before the health crisis, this word was not in the vocabulary of almost any patient. And neither in that of the professionals. During the harshest months of the pandemic, it became a necessity. And now it is one more tool.

As microscopes are no longer used in hospitals, devices appear that measure vital signs or oxygen saturation. From mobile phones to watches. And this is only the beginning of what telemedicine will become.

There is no doubt that the Covid-19 It has forced a change in the relationship between patients and the health system. A transformation that must be taken advantage of and go further. To reach the next level.

For example, converting the medical history into an intelligent element that helps in decision-making, as has been demonstrated Antonio Martos, Global Director of Health at Minsait, an Indra company.

Precisely about the interoperable medical history they have spoken Pedro Rico, CEO of Vithas; Marta Villanueva, General Director of IDIS, and Natalia Roldan, President of the Association of Dependency Services Companies. The path to this interoperability has barriers and they are regulatory. For this reason, the social health agents have called on the Government to generate a regulation that harmonizes a future single digital medical record.

All these advances are accompanied by the generation of data. Its use will allow to find the most appropriate clinical treatment for the patient. Something that experts say “is already here”, but will require regulation. In fact, they do not rule out that regulatory agencies such as the FDA do with health algorithms the same as with drugs or vaccines and initiate regulatory processes that evaluate their effectiveness and efficiency.

However, throughout this process of digital transformation of the healthcare system, there are inequities between the public and private sectors. César Téllez, Director of Business Development at Sham, has indicated that “the private sector has been more active in digitization” and “is one step ahead”.

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