Conversation with Fedor Vidal, expert in digital technology for the health sector.

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Where is the R&D on the digitization of the health system?

Digital health has gradually become a reality in the Dominican Republic, being necessary to integrate new technologies and optimize the processes of the different actors involved in the sector.

What we see in the country is just the tip of the iceberg; it’s a turning point where all players in the healthcare system understand that they have to change to survive the new way of treating themselves. For this, it must be understood that to make it a reality; we must develop collaborative work and public-private alliances and determine which international standards we must adopt and adapt. In addition, we must set up technical and clinical working groups to generate validated protocols and achieve integration between the various players in the sector.

The pandemic has shown the need to optimize our response capacity and make clinical processes more efficient. The only way to achieve this is to use technology solutions aligned with clinical-grade processes.

How necessary is digitization and what are the benefits?

The health sector is undergoing an intense process of transformation and change; it must reinvent itself by digitizing its operations. No industry is more interdependent on its stakeholders than healthcare, and its success depends on a fast, accurate and contextual flow of information.

Digital transformation in the health sector is a process that benefits other sectors whose main basis of economic investment is the development of population health and disease behavior.

The health and technology binomial has become the most useful and important complement in the sector due to the amount of information that can be obtained with the big data generated in this field.

Digitization has had a positive impact on all industries and, in the case of the healthcare sector, the benefits are evident in several strategic areas; increased efficiency of administrative processes, better access to quality care, democratization of information, speed of decision-making, clinical decision support, drug interaction to avoid adverse events, digital protocols and clinical practices, interoperability between actors and the interconnection of actors that make up the health system.

How to achieve interoperability in the health sector?

In order to make interoperability possible, several aspects must be taken into consideration: the system must be digitized, without digitization there is no operability, and one must use systems which have interoperability models and which have country level public sector approval.

The most correct way to connect systems is to use international standards created more than eight decades ago and which have given very good results.

Interoperability, in addition to connecting laboratory analyses, clinical studies and medical records between specialists, also connects pharmacies to the sending of electronic prescriptions by doctors. It also allows referrals between doctors and sends electronic records to other countries to validate and analyze diagnoses. Interoperability is perhaps the most important element in achieving unified clinical records and has a direct impact on the nation’s healthcare costs.

What steps are needed to integrate digital health into the national agenda and create a more efficient healthcare ecosystem?

Likewise, a collective governmental and private commitment is required at the collective level to have precise data on the level of digitization and the installed capacity, among other factors, reasons that have motivated us to organize the second edition of the Latin American Congress on the digital health.

In the 2021-2024 Action Plan of the 2030 Digital Agenda, the following projects have been articulated and defined in the field of e-health: Creating the conditions of connectivity, infrastructure and regulation to enable telemedicine and teleconsultation and national and international consultation.

Activate mechanisms for registration, updating and interoperability between the different actors of the national health system. Integrate public sector hospital assurance, single health record, medical tracking and performance measurement systems.

Establish structures to interconnect all blood banks nationwide to ensure the availability of blood and blood products to the entire population.

What are the main challenges to succeed in the digital transformation of the Dominican health system?

One of the main challenges in achieving the complete digitization of the health system in the country is that the different players or players in the system have a certain alignment and interest between them to achieve the goal. Other factors are the digital divide, lack of digital education and connectivity issues.

The Dominican Republic has made progress in both private and public health care offerings, but it has significant limitations in terms of managing uniform and reliable statistics, remote access to its technological platforms, appropriate use of patient-generated insights throughout the value of healthcare. chain and, therefore, decision-making based on quality information.

The adoption of international standards related to codification and clinical documentation and interoperability are the two major challenges for our country. Education about digitization and its impact is another challenge.
What was Arium Digital Health’s strategy for designing its services and products?

Our mission is to create a digital health ecosystem that seeks to interconnect all key players in the health sector, aiming to improve the quality of life of the population through effective and safe solutions through cutting-edge technology.
We provide services and digital tools with the aim of transforming the management of existing processes in the healthcare sector; through interconnected systems; at the same time, we facilitate the interaction between the different market players and provide technological solutions for its efficiency.

Fedor Vidal, CEO of Arium Digital Health.

Vidal served as Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Johns Hopkins Medicine International, leading the hospital’s technology strategy worldwide. During his leadership, he managed countless projects related to patient acquisition, population management, and the implementation of quality programs such as the Joint Commission.

The 2017 CIO 100 Award Winner is an annual award that recognizes the top 100 organizations in the world for using technology as a tool to create value.

Fedor graduated in Business Administration from UNIBE and holds an Executive MBA from the University of Quebec in Montreal; in addition, he holds several certifications: Certified Healthcare CIO (CHCIO), Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS), Certified Professional in Health Information Technology (CPHIT), as well as continuing education at universities such as Harvard, Chicago Booth and Kellogg’s School of Business.

A Dominican of great international trajectory who today brings his knowledge to the country.

Arium Salud Digital’s mission is to provide a digital health ecosystem that interconnects with all the key players in the sector, with the aim of improving the quality of life of the population through effective and safe solutions through a advanced technology.

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