eHealth: Interview with Antoine Geissbuhler

Dr. Antoine Geissbuhler, Chief Medical Officer, Department of eHealth and Telemedicine, Geneva Hospitals

Dr. Antoine Geissbuhler

Chief Medical Officer, Department of eHealth and Telemedicine, Geneva Hospitals, member of the Global South eHealth Observatory expert group

GOOD TO KNOW

Renewed violence in the Central African Republic

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, sex crimes in the Central African Republic have increased by around 10%, and intentional assaults on women and children have increased by 69%, according to a UN Police report published in June 2020. Health measures, such as limited access to social services, have worsened the situation of women: they represent 97% of the victims of gender-based violence.

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On the occasion of the release of its annual report, The Pierre Fabre Foundation is publishing a series of interviews with the partners who support it in carrying out local actions.

The crisis has accelerated the pace of eHealth project development

What do we currently know about the potential of ICTs for improving access to healthcare in the Global South?

Digital tools have been introduced to improve health services in developing countries for two decades now, but because there have been so many initiatives, results inevitably vary widely. The challenge today is to learn from our successes and failures by applying a properly scientific approach to learning.
We can only help decisionmakers to make the right choices if we can agree on the basic requirements in terms of project longterm sustainability, public health benefits or the guaranteed digital sovereignty of nation states.

Has the global health crisis impacted this proliferation of initiatives?

The crisis has very significantly accelerated the development eHealth projects, just as it has for all digital tools.
At the same time, it has also revealed the risk of fragmentation and highlighted the need to unite all those involved around developing a common strategy

Is that then your aim in joining the Global South eHealth Observatory expert group?

Absolutely, because it is only by learning from each other that we will avoid repeating our mistakes. Working through the Observatory allows us to join up the efforts of e-health entities with complementary approaches, which could help us to formalise genuinely good practices in digital health.
Our ultimate goal is to promote and encourage innovation without losing our way among a confusion of low-impact initiatives. Which is why I am delighted to be involved in the work of the Observatory.

Other interviews

Providing a high-quality medical service to population groups who would otherwise have nothing at all.

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More and more patients are coming to us for consultation.

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