Transforming Healthcare in Canary Islands

In the Canary Islands, one of the EU’s outermost territories, digital innovation is thriving. The archipelago, located over 1,000 kilometers away from mainland Spain, is implementing a digital health strategy to cater to its 2.2 million residents and 12 million annual tourists.

Interoperable EU-ePrescriptions have already been implemented since July 2022, enabling Portuguese citizens to obtain medications from Canary Islands pharmacies. This interoperability has extended to Croatia and Poland.

Now, the regional government has begun implementing additional components of its digital health strategy, supported by a 29.3 million euro budget. The aim is to optimize healthcare practices through efficient data management, streamlined patient communication, improved appointment scheduling, and digitalization of diagnostic tests in primary and hospital care settings.

Patient Engagement from the Start

The Ministry of Health and the Canarian Health Service (SCS) focus on practical applications with tangible benefits. This includes intelligent patient demand management through targeted notifications and preventive programs. 

The SCS runs the Canal con el Ciudadano working group, emphasizing intelligent demand management through segmented notifications and developing digital services through a Patients’ School, particularly for chronic conditions. Integration of medical records, streamlined information exchange, and optimized diagnostic capabilities further enhance healthcare efficiency.

Improving Medical Records and Enhancing Care

Efforts are being made to improve digital medical records in two key areas: facilitating communication and integration between healthcare levels and socio-healthcare centers to ensure optimal care for vulnerable individuals, and enhancing the management of individuals under epidemiological surveillance.

Projects are underway to digitize diagnostic tests, allowing for easy sharing between primary and hospital care and with users. This initiative aims to improve diagnostics, reduce waiting times, and prevent duplicate tests.

Additional measures include developing a prioritization method for urgent appointments within the scheduling system, establishing a technical support office for pharmacy to enhance coordination in the pharmaceutical field, and incorporating continuous glucose monitoring systems into the Electronic Prescription system for improved care of patients with type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.