Digitalizing health: safety concerns and the Coaches’ answer. The doctors in our pockets.

Some advertisements claim that digital solutions will “put the doctor in your pockets”. This is indeed, the era of the digital transformation, in which technology puts diverse types of services in the hands of internet users – now half of the world population, to give a hint on the size of the matter – regardless of how far from the provider they are, and how complex and delicate the service is. The digital fever became so spread that some have become concerned with elements such as regulations, data protection and quality of services offered through digital tools. And a particular spot in this discourse, is taken by health and the so-called eHealth and mHealth services.
Confronted with the huge and growing number of digital medical apps appearing on the scene, the discourse over their quality, efficiency and safety, is spreading, and national and local authorities around Europe are appointing committees to check and classify medical apps, so to provide users with records of those that give good clinical evidence and services (e.g. the Agency of Sanitary Quality of Andalucía, ES, and the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency). But this control system encounters a few obstacles to efficiency. It is not clear based on what elements these authorities choose the apps they will check. It seems that those giving just general advices, do not need any certification, yet they might be giving advices impacting on delicate medical scenarios. Furthermore, this system of check-up and life-style improvement offers no comparison between how doctors would have made diagnosis and recommendations, and how the app did. Therefore, risks of errors remain high, and in the absence of cross-checking.
The Council of Coaches comes as a revolution in the digital transformation, since it will act on this very point: it will actually put the doctors in our pockets. The council will indeed, make the user experience “specific” not only because based on individual clinical information, but also since it will provide the user with professionals specialised in diverse areas, backing the digital tool, providing specialised interpretations of measurements and advices, and a possibility for cross-checking – given that the Coaches might not agree on a matter.
The goal is to help users be no more left alone with pieces of electronics and software; doctors have back their say in the interpretation of data and in the doctor-patient dialogue, so precious to diagnosis and healing; and digital health grow to a more organic and efficient level.

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