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Thinking environment of ADD on digital health

Thinking environment of ADD on digital health

By Sidi Mohammed DRISSI MELYANI (*)

Being Aware of the importance of digital technology as the main engine of human and economic development in rapidly emerging countries, Morocco has adopted a strategy aiming to align its economy and competitiveness with tomorrow’s businesses, which are decisively oriented toward digitalization and innovation.

Within this framework, and in order to anchor its ambition in the digital domain, Morocco set up in 2017 a strategic public institution dedicated to digital technology and entitled the Digital Development Agency (ADD). It was created under the Law No. 61-16. The ADD is mainly in charge of implementing, on behalf of the State, Morocco’s digital strategy and promoting the dissemination of digital tools and the development of their use among citizens.

As part of the implementation of its missions, ADD has crafted a general guideline note for digital development by 2025. Adopted by the Head of Government in April 2020, the main objective of this note is to determine the digital path in Morocco for the next five years in a national and international context undergoing profound changes on the subjects of technological and digital transformation.

Its strategic orientations revolve mainly around three dimensions as follows.
1. A digital administration at the service of citizens and businesses.
2. A competitive economy thanks to the performance gains brought by digital technology and through the development of technological sectors.
3. An inclusive society thanks to digital.

As part of the implementation of the third dimension linked to social inclusion, ADD should implement and support initiatives able to put digital technology at the service of citizens, through better access to social services, especially those related to health, and the establishment of simpler services better suited to the needs of beneficiaries.

Indeed, digitization represents a real opportunity for the modernization of the health sector. From personal medical records to mobile health applications, including telemedicine, all of these services are designed to provide patients with comfort by promoting their involvement and commitment in their health care journey.

Digitization of the health sector
The development of e-health will undoubtedly allow our country not only the health coverage of the entire population but also the adoption of innovative solutions that will make it possible to overcome certain problems such as travel difficulties for treatment or offering remote diagnostic solutions in the event of an epidemic or contagious disease. The digitization of the patient journey is an essential step towards the digital transformation of the health sector and its transition to a new era of increasingly globalized technological innovation.

1- Digital patient journey

The main objectives of digitizing the patient journey are numerous. It consists on the one hand, of improving the patient’s experience and quality of life while optimizing the coordination of healthcare professionals, the resources and equipment of the establishments and, on the other hand, simplifying, developing and supporting the patient to benefit from quality health services.

In this context, ADD recommends the establishment of integrated and secure digital platforms at the service of patients allowing access to medical information via a single authentication means and offering services such as:
• Online appointment booking and follow-up;
• Receipt of notifications and alerts for the monitoring to be carried out and chronic diseases;
• Exchanges with healthcare professionals via secure messaging;
• Access to the digital medical file and exchange of documents.

2- Electronic medical record
In addition to the patient journey, the electronic medical record is a real-time recording system centered on the patient, which allows authorized users to have information instantly, in the objective of improving patient safety and the quality and efficiency of medical services provided to patients.

This system, has the specificity of sharing information with other health care providers and approved organizations (laboratories, pharmacies, medical imaging centers, emergency centers, private clinics, etc.), and can contain all the patient’s medical history (diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, vaccination, x-ray images, lab test results, etc.).

The main aim of the electronic medical record is to:
• Reduce paperwork;
• Help physicians coordinate care and protect patient information;
• Reduce unnecessary tests and procedures;
• Provide simple and direct access to health records;
• Deliver real-time and accurate information to the (authorized) people.

In this context, and in accordance with its missions aimed in particular at supporting and assisting the authorities and organizations concerned, as well as public and private operators in the field of digital development, ADD has initiated consultations with the relevant health actors, with a view to study possibilities of cooperation for the implementation of a certain number of projects (electronic medical record, telemedicine, etc.) aimed at improving healthcare services for the benefit of citizens.
Carrying out such projects requires the involvement of all players in the E-Health ecosystem and involves the adoption of a participatory, agile and patient-centric approach in order to offer solutions that meet needs and expectations of citizens (in particular patients), by ensuring compliance with the regulations in force, in particular protection of personal data of the person treated.

(*) : Sidi Mohammed DRISSI MELYANI is Director of the Digital Development Agency (ADD)in Morocco.

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