The coronavirus pandemic has exposed a large number of digital deficits, in particular in healthcare and administration. Digitalisation cannot (yet) develop its potential to boost the efficiency of the healthcare system as there is no overarching strategy or coordination of activities. For example, the general public has been waiting in vain for years for electronic patient records to be introduced. The pandemic has shown that a need exists among the population and that digital offers are more in demand than ever. That is why CSS is committed both to working with others and launching its own innovative offerings in the field of digital health as a means of ensuring that digitalisation in the healthcare sector is given the impetus it needs and that clients can benefit from it. CSS views digitalisation as an instrument for optimising quality and efficiency in the healthcare system. Two of the main aims of digital health are to strengthen self-responsibility and improve networking among the actors in the healthcare system.
Together with its partners, CSS has launched the digital health platform WELL, which offers interactive access to healthcare to everyone living in Switzerland and is open to all stakeholders (service providers, insurance companies, pharmacies, etc.). The health platform provides the basis for nationwide, digitally supported, integrated care.
Within projects such as “myStep”, insured persons can take responsibility for their own health. With the aid of mobile devices, chronically ill patients are able to monitor their illness, stay mobile and get in touch with healthcare professionals at any time thanks to telecommunications. Service providers will be networked through electronic health records in future. For their part, patients will give the necessary approvals to allow the exchange of data and in so doing benefit from personalised medicine based on the (anonymised) analysis of their data. Insured persons will not be the only ones to notice greater transparency thanks to digitalisation: the data analyses conducted by the institutions will also enhance transparency in terms of the services provided. This could promote quality and curb costs. Digitalisation also enables better coverage of client needs. Thus, for example, CSS offers its clients personalised medical advice through myGuide, which is available 24/7.
However, digitalisation can only progress if there is a good and efficient data system. This calls for the right framework – one which guarantees the security of data without threatening the principle of solidarity within mandatory healthcare insurance. Personal health data, for example, has great potential when it comes to delivering healthcare. Better coordination of medical treatment thanks to the use of personal health data leads to higher quality and therefore also to lower costs. Outside Switzerland, health data is handled by what are known as 'trust centres'. They link and manage personal health data and make it available in a safe environment while also ensuring high quality. This enables patients, research institutes and service providers to view high-quality, structured and up-to-date health data.
The aim must be to create an ecosystem by means of technology and regulation that allows trusted use of data and preserves patients' data sovereignty. In addition to proper regulation, the mainly requirements for a digital ecosystem are technical infrastructures, applications and high-quality data.