HTN International: exploring digital health in Canada, South Africa, Switzerland, Portugal and more

What is happening in health tech across the globe?

Back in November, we launched HTN International, a website dedicated to health tech on a global scale. We share news, research, insights, interviews and more, with a view to keeping you updated on the health tech space – and ensuring that ideas and inspiration reach you regardless of location.

Deep dive into Canada…

In our recently-launched deep dive series, we firstly took a look at the digital health landscape in Canada.

Mark Holland, Canadian Minister of Health and Ya’ara Saks, Associate Minister of Health and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, recently commented on the promise of digital health and also highlighted a number of challenges, such as difficulties with connecting electronic systems and the fact that only around one third of Canadians are currently able to access some of their health information online.

We take a look at some of the initiatives and news from across Canada, including electronic health records from Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan; explore a report on virtual care from the Canadian Institute for Health Information; and look into Health Canada’s Departmental Plan for 2023-24, which shares a number of priorities in health including “putting digital health and virtual care at the heart” of collaboration with partners.

Click here to read more about what’s happening in digital health in Canada.

… and South Africa

The next edition of our deep dive series looks to South Africa, putting the spotlight on priorities, progress and research into telemedicine and electronic records.

So what is happening in South Africa?

Focus has been placed on implementing a health patient registration system in public health facilities, and rolling out the MomConnect maternal health initiative – an initiative from the South African National Department of Health which looks to support maternal health via mobile phone based technologies.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has called the launch of the Electronic Vaccination Data System a “significant milestone” in advancing towards universal health coverage, adding that it is the first time a “major public health campaign will be supported by one digital system for all South Africans”.

Read on here.

Interviews from Switzerland, Portugal, Poland and more

When we visited Web Summit in Lisbon in November, we chatted to a range of health tech professionals about their solutions, ambitions and the needs they seek to meet in their countries.

John Klepper is the co-founder and CEO of PIPRA (Pre-Interventional Preventive Risk Assessment), a Zurich-based medtech company that has developed an AI-based surgical tool to assess a patients’ risk of suffering from postoperative delirium. John shared more about delirium, PIPRA’s mission and the journey so far here.

Dr Hugo Madeira is a dentist and head of surgery at Hugo Madeira dentistry clinic in Lisbon; he shared how his clinic is utilising digital and tech to improve patient care and enhance treatment. Click here to read our interview with Hugo.

We also met up with Wiktor Żołnowski, founder of Polish start-up Health Folder: an app collating medical documentation to support patients in keeping on top of their healthcare journey. Wiktor shared how his own cancer diagnosis led to him identifying a need in the cancer care pathway, and how Health Folder seeks to meet this need. Read more here.

You can find our full list of interviews so far here – we’ve got more to come, so keep an eye out.

Strategies: Austria, Germany, Australia, and beyond

We’re exploring a range of strategies from different countries and continents over on HTNI.

From Austria, we’ve covered the ‘Artificial Intelligence Mission Austria 2030‘, a strategy examining AI in the healthcare system and looking at potential fields of application including health promotion, prevention, prognosis, diagnosis, treatment and aftercare, as well as “systematic tasks such as public health and pandemic management”.

From Germany, we looked into the German Federal Ministry of Health’s ‘Digital Together’ digitalisation strategy for health and care, which sets out aims, fields of action, transformation approach and a regulatory framework.

From Australia, we explored the ‘Digital Health Blueprint 2023-2033‘ from The Department of Health and Aged Care in Australia, which includes a 10-year roadmap of digital health technologies and an action plan which is set to be updated continuously to reflect changes in the digital health landscape.

Looking ahead

We’ve got plenty of plans for HTNI, including a virtual international health tech event in April, insightful interviews set to be published, and an awards programme set to celebrate health tech suppliers, projects, innovators and start-ups making a difference in this space.

Explore the site here.