Topic of the Month: The Future of Health Care
This August, we will dealt with the topic of Digitalization and the Future of Health Care, kindly supported by IBM Deutschland.
Health care has dominated the agenda in American politics over the past weeks. After seven years of opposition to the Affordable Care Act and President Trump's election promise to overturn President Obama's signature health care reform, Republicans failed to repeal Obamacare in a number of efforts.
On Friday, July 28, 2017 the Senate voted against the Republicans' latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act in a close vote of 49-51, with Republican Senators John McCain (AZ), Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) joining Democrats in voting against the repeal.
This decision leaves the future of the American health care system open. After what seemed to be a deadlocked divide, both Republicans and Democrats have now joined in a bipartisan effort to work across aisles and jointly fix the shortcomings of the current system.
While the debate around the future of health care has been highly politicized, we would like to look beyond the discussions on Capitol Hill and examine the future of health, as the digitalization of health and medicine promise to change health care as we know it.
As the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 3 to "ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all" strives toward the goal of universal health coverage, e-health plays a crucial role in achieving this goal. The World Health Assembly acknowledges in resolution WHA58.28 (2005) that "eHealth is the cost-effective and secure use of [information and communication technologies] ICT in support of health and health-related fields, including health-care services, health surveillance, health literature, and health education, knowledge and research."
When it comes to health care systems, e-health plays a vital role in improving access to health care and information, the monitoring of health care, and storing and sharing patient records. Digital health care solutions range from primary care to a range of health care gadgets for the individual consumer. What are the challenges and possibilities associated with the digitalization of health care? How will e-health and e-medicine impact the future of health care on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond?
Throughout the past weeks, we focused on these and numerous other questions dealing with the overall topic "The Future of Health Care". We published articles directly on Atlantic-Community.org and shared further information via our Social Media channels on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this discussion!
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