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Digital Disruption in Italy

Digitalization, a hot topic throughout the healthcare and life sciences industry, is having a major effect in Italy through more personalized home care for patients, allowing the government to cut costs, and enabling greater public access to innovative medical technologies.

Many private sector stakeholders see mobile health and telemedicine technologies as a great tool to cut costs through promoting community and homecare solutions and reducing patient visits to medical facilities. Phillips Italy CEO Stefano Folli highlights one study from the UK and Netherlands where “they have successfully reduced the percentage of readmissions for patients with certain chronic diseases by roughly 70 percent,” by enabling “doctors to check on patients remotely with data collected in the home, relayed via mobile health technologies to their physician at the hospital who could then give feedback.” Yet, according to ResMed’s commercial director Nadia Cortesi, thus far “telemedicine, a key differentiator in tender processes, is not yet used widely in Italy due to the expense.” She explains that while “hospitals and patients are very interested in getting access to telemedicine, and conceptually people know it will likely reduce costs holistically in the long run,” unfortunately “payers are not very open to making the necessary investments today.” Indeed, KPMG partner Alberto de Negri concurs that “institutions are often reluctant or anyways slow to take innovation as an opportunity to change the way diseases are treated,” however he also argues that life science companies can do more to “adjust their “global” value propositions to the local situations and to become an actor in national/regional discussion about the improvement of the whole “value chain” of the treatment of diseases.”



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