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Saturday, September 12 2020

  • 11:22am

    Goal of this paper

    Tele-Medicine (Tele-Med) also called Tele-Health, needs a formulation of a vision and workplan.

    This document tries to reflect on the issues, and make some suggestions.



    And then there was Corona / COVID-19: improvisations like ‘eHealth over Skype’ (or WhatsApp, Zoom, or . . . ) may have served in the emergency situation with people subject to lockdown or other restrictive measures, but cannot be considered a longer-term solution, if already a solution in the first place.


    Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for real Tele-Med:

    • The inability of patients, medical personnel and caregivers to meet physically under lock-down
    • To protect patients and medical personnel and caregivers against the risks of infecting each other
    • To keep ‘light’ and non-COVID-19 patients away from overloaded hospitals and contamination risks
    • To avoid unnecessary consumption of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), that may be scarce


    In addition, there are well-known advantages of  Tele-Med:

    • Faster response and more frequent consultations, contributing to a higher quality of treatment
    • Reduced costs for society (although Tele-Med itself may be adding costs rather than save on costs)


    However, the increased costs for the health sector itself have been for long a factor that has weighted negatively on the development and wide-scale application of Tele-Med. Furthermore, industry has not enough aimed for standardization of equipment for use in Tele-Med.

    Tele-Med has been developing in areas with low population density and hence transport complications, such as distances and adverse weather conditions, e.g. Norway, Sweden, Scotland, etc.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has, however, shown more generally to local authorities and ‘smart cities’ the need to develop Tele-Med solutions for daily use, and not only for epidemic / pandemic, natural and not so natural disaster situations, and transport complications.


     What is required

    As a minimum, what is needed is an application

    • providing extended video conferencing and imaging capabilities and
    • giving access to local equipment at the side of the user /patient (hereafter User), and
    • giving sufficient access and control to the health care provider (hereafter Provider)


    In more detail:

    • A federating application providing Communication and Remote Access to Devices (CRAD-APP),
      • With secure access to the patient health record (EHR), and
      • Controlling a secure person-to...
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Tuesday, August 25 2020

  • 2:24pm


    There are many dimensions of the “Digital Rights” problem.

    Firstly, it is the general accessibility of the Internet, which allow to avoid the threat of being digitally excluded (networks, quality of networks - 5G, rural-urban divide, various territorial divisions).

    Secondly, it is the threat of being excluded because of the age (generations), gender (still very often phenomenon), skills and competences (digital literacy in the broad sense as a  needed solution).

    Thirdly, it is a problem of the equal level playing field of the functioning of all laws and legal systems - offline and online. For instance: anti-discrimination law tools and anti-discrimination law tools in the digital world: algorithms, biases, asymmetry of information - how to tackle those challenges, how to fight with the hate-speech phenomena.

    Fourthly, key to understand: how to translate all our rights (key for the “just society”) to the digital community, our rights as - citizens, consumers, humans, users of all kind of services, eg.patients in medical e-services (fundamental: who is the owner of the data...).

    It was a topic of the first exchange of views in the Fireside chat with excellent participants from Brussels, Tartu, Warsaw.

    We discussed many aspects of the ownership of the data and the awareness of the Big Data significance and problem of privacy protection in the society. The expression of “fair” data use was one of the key words in our debate. But it was clear, that there are many challenges: data accessibility, management of consents,  the culture of data sharing model, solutions based on legal frame or on habits and codes of conducts. The crucial is - to make the shift from the area of out of rules and law solutions to the legal framework for data management in general  and new models of collaboration focused on data partnership and sharing.

    There were two interesting references to the topic in books: Julie. E. Cohen, Between Truth and Power. The Legal Constructions of Informational Capitalism, Oxford University Press,2019 and  Nicolas P. Suzor, Lawless. The Secret Rules That Govern Our Digital Lives, Cambridge University Press, 2019.

    We want to continue our discussion under the Fireside chat format on Digital Rights, now focusing on the problem of the Assymetry of Information. 

    The more data we are using, the more quality of data management means.

    People are playing many roles as consumers, workers, creators, prosumers, citizens - in all those positions they have the legally and culturally expressed and described rights. It is obvious, that people should be properly informed not only about their rights, but also have adequate access to key information about the principles governing the data usage - eg.the significance of the “explainability” rule.

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