This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Niedja Fernanda Nobre dos Santos, a student of the fourth period of
Medicine of the State University of Rio Grande do Norte-UERN. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.
We live in an historic and unprecedented era in terms of both the speed and complexity of information and technological development. The demand for information technologies in the health sector is growing. With regard to the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, these technologies together with the role of medical sciences are shown to be indispensable for the care and treatment of diseases¹.
The term telemedicine means the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve health outcomes, increasing access to medical care and information². Due to the widespread use of the Internet through mobile devices, a health subdivision, currently known and widespread, has emerged as Mobile Health (mHealth). Although there is no established definition, mHealth can be understood as the provision of medical and / or public health services that use mobile device technologies, such as cell phones, sensors and other equipment directly connected to the user¹.
Mobile devices have become allies in health education, as they can improve and optimize communication between users and health professionals, reducing distances and bringing reliable information to the population, which promotes the quality of autonomy in a very relevant way, self-care and safe monitoring of health-disease processes ¹. In this new scenario, the practice of Telemedicine promotes several advantages, as it can contribute to the reduction of health expenses, minimization of medical errors, prevention of unnecessary hospitalizations and expansion of the possibilities for interaction between patients and health professionals³.
In this sense, researchers from the State University of Rio Grande do Norte (UERN) in partnership with other institutions have used these technologies to develop a new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that consists of creating an N95 mask with Chitosan nanoparticles that aims potentiate the filtration and induction of biocidal effect against the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) since chitosan of low molar weight is able to penetrate cells and bind to microbial DNA, inhibiting transcription and translation5. Another action with UERN, University of Brasília (UnB) and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) partnerships that has been carried out is the LAVE + system, which consists of prevention and hand care monitoring technology focused on the hygiene process from the hands of health professionals based on the professional’s routine in order to avoid possible infections4.
Therefore, the new reality of the use of mHealth creates conditions for a scenario that encourages changes in health education, in the safety of diagnoses, in the quality of care and also in greater patient autonomy, in addition to greater interaction between professionals from different locations. and reinforce the role of telemedicine in the context during the pandemic and after it as a vector to transform hospital culture, after all, everyone can now have access to health in the palm of their hand.
1- CHAVES, A. S. C et al. USE OF APPLICATIONS FOR MOBILE DEVICES IN THE HEALTH EDUCATION PROCESS: REFLECTIONS OF CONTEMPORANEITY. Humanities and Innovation Magazine, v. 5, n. 6, Aug. 2018.
2- OLIVIERA, D. G. et al. Analysis of the implementation of the Telehealth Brazil Program in Pernambuco, Brazil: a case study. Public Health Notebooks, Rio de Janeiro, Vol. 31, n. 11, p. 2379-2389, Nov. 2015.
3- ROCHA, T.A.H et al. Mobile Health: new perspectives for the provision of health services. Epidemiology and Health Services, Brasília, v.25, n. 1, p. 159-170, Jan-Mar 2016
4- UERN researchers develop studies to prevent and combat COVID-19. Available at: <http://portal.uern.br/blog/pesquisadores-da-uern-desenvolvem-estudos-para-prevencao-e-combate-a-covid-19/> Accessed on: 25 Jul. 2020
5- SANTOS, E.M.S. Modification and characterization of chitosan for use as a support in biotechnological processes. 2009,517 f. Dissertation (Doctorate in Engineering and Materials Science – State University of Norte Fluminense, Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Dec. 2009.
About the author
Niedja Fernanda Nobre dos Santos, is a student of the fourth period of
Medicine of the State University of Rio Grande do Norte-UERN. Member of the Financial Committee of the Ernani Rosado-CACER Academic Center of
Medicine. Participant of the Collective Health Study Group. IFMSA Brasil-UERNLC and Monitor of the Discipline Medicina and Art. She believes that the Humanization of Health is the key to improve the quality of life of users of the Brazilian Public Health System.