The COVID-19 pandemic situation, in which the country and the world find themselves, has determined the need for physical distancing as a way to combat the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
This measure has, however, resulted in significant impacts on the provision of healthcare services, with a significant reduction in non-COVID-19 healthcare activity in the Portuguese National Health Service (Serviço Nacional de Saúde – SNS) over the last year. Chronically ill patients are particularly sensitive to this situation, both because they are part of the groups considered at-risk of more severe illness if infected by SARS-CoV-2 and because their condition requires closer and more specialized monitorization.
COVID-19 has, therefore, made it more imperative than ever to use telehealth as a means to streamline the process of diagnosing, treating and monitoring patients, thus reducing visits to health institutions, maintaining the continuum of care and improving the quality of services provided by the SNS.
From a technological standpoint, the natural evolution of this situation includes increasing the use of various digital channels, starting by optimizing the timely sharing of information between citizens with diseases and the various health agents through more advanced digital interfaces, and new diagnostic and decision support tools for doctors and health professionals. PLANO-A is being developed for this very purpose.
The PLANO-A project aims to develop, implement and evaluate a telehealth technological solution that will monitor and follow COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients through an “advanced digital outpatient system”.
In addition to monitoring COVID-19 patients during their compulsory confinement, this project aims to do the same for those afflicted with a number of illnesses, namely – HF, COPD, Depression and sleep disorders.
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The implementation and dissemination of this platform will: