Integrating Telehealth for Strengthening Health Systems in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Perspective from Peru

Walter H. Curioso, Lelis G. Coronel-Chucos, Milagro Henríquez-Suarez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the government to rapidly modify its legal framework to adopt telemedicine and promote the implementation of telehealth services to meet the healthcare needs of patients in Peru. In this paper, we aim to review the main changes to the regulatory framework and describe selected initiatives to promote the telehealth framework that emerged in Peru during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we discuss the challenges to integrate telehealth services for strengthening health systems in Peru. The Peruvian telehealth regulatory framework began in 2005, and in subsequent years, laws and regulations were established that sought to progressively implement a national telehealth network. However, mainly local initiatives were deployed. In this sense, significant challenges remain to be addressed, such as infrastructure in healthcare centers, including high-speed Internet connectivity; infostructure of health-information systems, including interoperability with electronic medical records; monitoring and evaluation of the national agenda for the health sector in 2020–2025; expanding the healthcare workforce in terms of digital health; and developing the capacities of healthcare users on health literacy, including digital aspects. In addition, there is enormous potential for telemedicine as a key strategy to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and to improve access to rural and hard-to-reach areas and populations. There is thus an urgent need to effectively implement an integrated national telehealth system to address sociocultural issues and strengthen the competencies of human resources in telehealth and digital health in Peru.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number5980
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number11
DOIs
StateIndexed - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Keywords

  • Peru
  • digital health
  • health-information systems
  • healthcare centers
  • open data
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine

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