22 Oct The patient, technologies and ambulatory medicine
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National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF) 2008Due to the increased life expectancy and the related increase of chronic diseases (as opposed to acute disorders when patients are younger), an alternative approach to hospital care has become necessary: a third of the population of France and the US now suffers from chronic diseases. Ambulatory medicine, which is a health care system that keeps the patient at home while offering him the same outstanding quality care that he would receive at the hospital, is such an economically viable approach, responding at the same time to the wishes of patients, to economic requirements and scientific, technological and medical developments. This report describes recent advances of ambulatory medical care, identifies obstacles to overcome and incentives to encourage and makes recommendations for future development with the aim of optimizing the management of healthcare costs, with special emphasis on the role of information technology to master the complex system of information flows between the many stakeholders. It does also identify the potential hurdles and necessary incentives and looks at issues of compliance with existing law and legal adaptation to the new requirements. It also evokes the necessary training of the various actors in order for the system to function adequately. Working-group Leaders: Francis Lévi, Professor of Medical Oncology and NATF Fellow, and Christian Saguez, Former Professor at École Centrale de Paris and NATF Fellow.