During the truce of Covid-19 we have not sufficiently enhanced the “digital weapons”

Source: The Lancet Digital – Applications of digital technology in COVID-19 pandemic planning and response

After the long emergency we all took a breath and imagined that the worst was over. Unfortunately, this is not the case and we risk paying dearly for this choice.

The attention was focused mainly on the tools that could allow the health care companies to recover the past, visits and diagnostic tests, maintaining whenever possible the social distancing.

This explains the strong push on televisits, whose introduction has been greeted by many with emphasis and satisfaction, overestimating, in my opinion, the real scope of this small medical revolution.

Much less has been done in the field of home care where, apart from a few tenders or projects to activate remote telemonitoring services, the topic of active tele-surveillance has not been fully addressed, starting from the clinical and organizational aspects and the recruitment of human resources.

As far as diagnostics are concerned, new tests have been tried and introduced without, however, taking care of the digitization of the entire process and its integration with the taking care of suspects and Covid-19 patients.
With the increasing number of tests, we read about problems with information systems, delays and errors in the communication of results.

The most important deficiency, however, concerns the epidemiological surveillance systems. There has been much debate about the contact tracing app Immuni, hoping that its dissemination could help to make the contact tracing process more effective and faster. Little has been done, with some exceptions, to implement systems (e.g. CRM) able to define and manage the networks of interpersonal contacts (residence, family, school, work) and thus support the work of prevention departments.

To all this we must add the strong fragmentation of interventions, almost always without a real regional governance, not to mention the national one which is completely absent.

We have lost precious time and we must, once again, work in emergency to fight a war that will be particularly difficult.

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