Telemedicine and increasingly digital therapies for chronic autoimmune patients

Telemedicine and increasingly digital therapies for chronic autoimmune patients

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Telemedicine and increasingly digital therapies for chronic autoimmune patients

Chronic autoimmune, rheumatological and dermatological diseases are highly disabling diseases, which require constant management to be kept under control. Unfortunately, patients are not always able to have access to an optimal diagnostic and therapeutic procedure, such as to allow them to achieve a stable improvement in symptoms. This is due to problems of lack of information, lack of resources, gaps in taking care of the patient, difficulties in communicating with the doctor, with consequent obstacles for adherence to therapy. Problems that worsened further in the most critical period of the Covid 19 pandemic, when there was a downsizing of outpatient services and a drastic limitation of access to care.

In this situation it was realized how much digital medicine could be of help, meaning by this term the set of all available solutions of digital services to the patient, telemedicine and digital therapies. With the measures imposed for the containment of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, the idea of ​​a ‘centralized’ model of health care has gone into extreme pain, leading doctors, patients, caregivers, institutions and companies to reflect on the matter.

How could e-health, in a difficult situation like this, intervene in the management of chronic conditions? What needs of the patient with autoimmune, rheumatological and dermatological diseases can be better managed with digital medicine and how is this model of remote management of the pathology experienced by the patient? What must institutions, doctors and the pharmaceutical industry do to make the “digitalization of care” a useful system for an optimal management of the patient and his pathology? These, in a nutshell, were the questions to which authoritative clinicians, representatives of patient associations and institutions were asked to answer during the webinar “Digital Health. Innovation in the treatment of chronic autoimmune rheumatological and dermatological diseases ”, promoted by Ucb Italia.

The meeting saw the participation of Antonella Celano, president of Apmarr (National Association of People with Rheumatological and Rare Diseases), Valeria Corazza, president of Apiafco (Association of Italian Psoriasis Friends of the Corazza Foundation), Silvia Tonolo, president of Anmar (National Association of Rheumatic Diseases) , Emanuela Omodeo Salè, scientific director of Sifo (Italian Society of Hospital Pharmacy), Andrea Conti, representative of the Board of SIDeMaST (Italian Society of Medical, Surgical, Aesthetic Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases), Francesco Cusano, president of Adoi (Association Italian Hospital Dermatologists), Roberto Gerli, president of Sir (Italian Society of Rheumatology), Tonino Aceti, president of SalutEquità, Francesco Gabbrielli, director of the National Center for Telemedicine and New Assistive Technologies of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Iss) and Angela Ianaro, member of the Social Affairs Commission of the Chamber of D eputates and president of the “Science and Health” Intergroup.

The aim of the webinar, in view of the opportunities offered by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Pnrr) and in the light of the lessons derived from the pandemic emergency, was to investigate the needs of patients with rheumatological and dermatological autoimmune diseases, in terms of services and therapeutic solutions, so that through digital medicine they can benefit from a territorial and home healthcare model.

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