'Estonia Delivers Healthcare with Digital Solutions'
April 2018

‘Estonia Delivers Healthcare with Digital Solutions’

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Ankit Bahl

From creating digital identification to online health record, Estonia has revolutionised healthcare delivery. People don’t need to carry a prescription slip for medicine here as they are issued digital prescriptions, accessible to anyone from anywhere, according to Ankit Bahl, Advisor-Trade and Investment, Embassy of Estonia, reports Mukul Kumar Mishra of Elets News Network (ENN).

During Elets Healthcare and Wellness Summit held in New Delhi recently, Ankit Bahl, Advisor-Trade and Investment, Embassy of Estonia, shared an insightful speech on digital healthcare solutions in Estonia. Sharing an anecdote of digital prescriptions in Estonia, he said, “When I entered one of the pharmacies in Estonia, I saw nobody was showing doctor’s prescription to pharmacists. People were carrying the digital identification. By just carrying the identification, people were getting the drugs.” “I was told that Estonian doctors issue digital prescriptions that are then sent to medical prescription centres. The centres database then give access to all pharmacies across Estonia. You don’t need to go to any particular pharmacy. One can go to any pharmacy.”

Stating that Estonia is a country which believes in harnessing technology for the benefit of people, he said: “Today more than 20 million health documents, case summaries, referrals, vaccinations, dental information, medical images and over 250 million events are stored in Health Information centre which we have developed.”

“Estonia is small yet smart and efficient country. It is a part of EU, which has been a flag bearer of IT solutions since as early as 1990 with key focus sectors being cyber security, Smart City solutions, promoting e lifestyle.”

Talking about innovative practices adopted by the Estonian Government, Bahl said, “We are motivating and promoting a paperless Government. Estnoia being the first country in the world which actually implements internet voting as earliest in 2005. Try to open out almost 3,000 online Government services to the people to actually access the database and access their centres.”

Throwing light on upcoming projects for improving healthcare delivery he said, “We are learning about genome bank and genome centre which has almost collected about 52,000 individual gene pool data.”

“It has been able to deliver personalised medicine where genome and health data collected by the healthcare information system will combine in order to provide a specific diagnosis and specific treatment to the people.”

“This not only creates an efficient network of data collection but also creates a possibility of right diagnosis, prognosis and an appropriate treatment for the people. Today Estonian bio-bank is available to global companies who want to test and do research and development in the area of gene pool development.” Elaborating how digital solutions have facilitated things in Estonia, he said, “Each person in Estonia has his or her own online ehealth history and that can be tracked from anywhere in the world. The national health information system creates a data from different service providers creating a common record for each patient. This gives doctors an easy way to use patients’ electronic record.”

“They can just access all records with one digital identity card like our Aadhaar card. It has all the information either on your smart phone or in the app which you can access the information from,” he further stated.

“With eAmbulance innovation solutions, within a matter of seconds all your digital identification will be available online. Before you even reach hospital, all your information will be sent to the doctors and general practitioners who will be treating you in past.”

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