Miguel Cabrer is the founder of Medical Exchange MEDTING global portal for the exchange of medical cases and images. We had the great pleasure of interviewing Miguel, one of the speakers at the eHealth 360° Summit 2016, held on 14-16 of June in Budapest, Hungary. His direct experience with application of eHealth is really hard to match, and from our communication, we can conclude that he is quite enthusiastic about his work as well. Miguel gave us some detailed and specific answers, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Could you introduce the scope of your work and tell us what kind of expertise you will bring to the eHealth 360° Summit?
Formerly, I was the CIO of the first digital hospital in Europe, Son Llatzer, which opened in 2001. During those exciting 7 years we implemented the available technology to build a global, integrated and accessible full digital and automated EMR all across the hospital. After that experience we created and founded a cloud based clinical collaboration platform called Medting with a new and disruptive vision: “to facilitate the collaboration and communication of physicians around patient cases” global, international and secure. After some years expanding the vision we become part of a global leading second opinion company Best Doctors and there we have been able to provide a global, international and secure environment to facilitate the exchange and collaboration of clinical cases. Impact on quality and cost reduction has been interesting but the most exciting has been to experience that global and international collaboration between physicians is not only possible but also improves quality. The September report of the Institute of Medicine Improving diagnosis in Medicine concludes that “Just as the diagnostic process is a collaborative activity, improving diagnosis will require collaboration and a widespread commitment to change among health care professionals, health care organizations, patients and their families, researchers, and policy makers.”
For me that exactly means 360º, where patient is in the center and health system, hospitals, insurance companies, providers, employers, caregivers and physicians are around the patient trying to deliver a proper diagnosis and treatment. And technology is key when teams are spread and expertise is also in different regions or countries. There is a tremendous gap in health systems which is COMMUNICATION. Care teams, physicians, health institutions are working on improving internal information systems integration but the healthcare system and processes are fragmented.
In the last 8 years we have been focused on facilitating virtual scenarios for clinical exchange and collaboration: tumor boards committees, social and palliative care coordination, asynchronous exchange of images (telemedicine), stroke networks, knowledge repositories, Africa-Europe collaboration networks, international expertise networks (blood and marrow, Parkinson). We continue facilitating our technology to those organizations willing to improve workflows and automate processes.
Improving Communication, collaboration, exchange and knowledge has been the primary focus and passion of my activity in the last years. That is the experience that I would like to transmit to the attendees in the conference.
What do you see as the biggest challenge that eHealth is currently facing?
I see that there is a tremendous gap between the technology and the health systems. Technology is improving and ready to support multiple scenarios and solutions from Big Data to home devices connectivity. But the health system is not mature for that change. Other industries like travel or banking have tremendously improved in the last years due a clear benefit and demand from the users.
Fragmentation of health systems and multiple vendors and solutions bring more complexity but the problem will become bigger and bigger since there are more startups and companies brining smart solutions to concrete problems. Some of them will consolidate and be part of the health delivery process. Integration standard like HL7 and DICOM are needed but more open culture to share will be needed. There are new debates about the health protectionism and the capability of the citizen to manage and control his / her own Medical Record. The book Unpatients from Leonard J. Kish & Eric J. Topol is an interesting one about the empowerment of the patient and the topic and why patients should own their medical data.
So for me the biggest challenge of eHealth is to really transform healthcare and provide solutions that are disruptive and allow patient to take control over his/her medical processes being able to control the medical data, share it with other professionals and transfer it between systems. Global and Secure.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future of eHealth?
My dream is that the patient really takes control of the medical data as we have it in other industries. We can book a hotel or buy a plane ticket anywhere in the world and we can do it from everywhere with our mobile phone. Search, evaluate and pay is standardized and we, as users, control the process. We, as patients, don’t have this mentality yet, we rely on our health system but there are some scenarios where we would like to use other doctor for a second opinion, book for a doctor in other country or share our medical info while we are travelling. This is transformation and eHealth is going to be key, hopefully we will see those changes happening in the near future.
Registrations for eHealth 360° Summit 2016 are open! Find out more.