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  • Foto del escritorJavier Jileta

Leapfrog public health.

Global initiatives to tackle malaria, polio, and tuberculosis are laudable. However, the potential of technological advancements to leapfrog healthcare in humanity’s most underdeveloped and unserviced populations is now within reach. These advancements enable swift and effective deployment of diagnostic, treatment, and follow-up systems, breaking from traditional frameworks that rely heavily on hardware investment. This shift in perspective, reinterpreting how to address public health beyond health coverage, offers a beacon of hope for the future of public policy.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has starkly revealed the outdated nature of our health systems. Their inability to have instant data throughout the territory is a critical flaw. At best, the data is not integrated, and at worst, the data measurement methodologies are not focused on the appropriate areas. This urgent situation calls for a redefinition of what is to be achieved in terms of health beyond life expectancy and quality of life at its core. It is our responsibility to fight health challenges globally in a different, more effective fashion.

 

In recent decades, large corporations and health-focused foundations have focused on specific health phenomena instead of the overall picture. Results are available where unfathomable treatments are now in use, such as CRISPR technology for malaria control, semaglutide for obesity and diabetes, and vaccine development has grown. Nevertheless, public health systems need help maintaining healthcare strongholds through their heavy infrastructure-reliant services. Contrasting new efforts to tackle specific illnesses to blanket coverage clinic systems provides clues for complementary strategies.

 

Current health systems in Europe and the Americas rely on a centralised clinic system from where public health policy is broadcast. However, new diagnostic technology has readily available solutions that provide health data to monitor, diagnose and treat individuals and communities. Implementing telemedicine through regional distributed systems with low entry costs can change life expectancies and healthcare service coverage like never before. Using data points and extensive Artificial Intelligence can empower nurses to properly use their equipment to provide immediate care to those in need.

 

Whether it is in Africa or the United States, healthcare will change. The cost of the current system is unbearable. The health benefits do not equate with how much cost societies incur. A simple implementation of sorting out the most dire illnesses, beyond merely claiming people “need to change their behaviours”, is a challenge to the medical establishment. Technology provides early detection and treatment options that could be as revolutionary as semaglutide in thwarting obesity. Nowadays, if one were to give semaglutide to any overweight person for them to reach normal weight, both the individual and systemic health costs would plummet. In contrast, people’s overall well-being would brighten.

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