Telehealth in Brazil: the experience of those who use it

Following up on our series on telemedicine, we set out to learn more about the Brazilian experiences, as well as the opinions of professionals working in the area. Neurologist Jefferson Fernandes, professor at Fundação Getúlio Vargas-RJ, IBCMED-SP and FIAP, and dental surgeon Ana Estela Haddad, associate professor at the School of Dentistry of the University of São Paulo (USP) and director at the Brazilian Association for Telemedicine and Telehealth, spoke with Portal Health Connections about the role of telemedicine in primary health care and the Brazilian public health system.

In Porto Alegre, we discovered the TelessaúdeRS-UFRGS, a research center created in 2007, linked to the postgraduate program in Epidemiology of the School of Medicine of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). At the Santa Cecília Basic Health Unit, Marcelo Rodrigues Gonçalves, physician and deputy coordinator of the TelessaúdeRS, spoke about the history and structure of the project, which is organized in three fronts: remote education, diagnosis and appointments. Physician João Collin, president of the Rio Grande do Sul Family and Community Medicine Association (AGMFC), spoke about his career as a health professional and user of the program and how it influences his practice.

Two TelessaúdeRS users also shared their experiences. Marcia Binatti, a metallurgist, resident of the city of Viamão and carrier of ankylosing spondylitis, spoke about Regula SUS, the remote selection process carried out within TelessaúdeRS, and how her treatment was benefited by it. Alexandre Micelli, a welder and resident of Porto Alegre, user of Teleoftalmo, also a program within TelessaúdeRS, gave details about his appointments with eye specialists and the type of technology used in his case.

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