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Health Technologies of Brazil

Posted Oct 18 2011 2:50pm

Brazil is a nation that is quite focused on improving its health technology facilities. Despite the fact that many of the people around the world only recognize Brazil for its contribution to soccer or its wonderful coffee or even the impressive Amazon forests; Brazil is definitely a hub for medical tourism

Though it cannot match the innovations and economic pricing of Asian countries like India and Thailand, yet many Western and Middle Eastern citizens do find Brazil to be a wonderfully practical solution to many of their medical, surgical and cosmetic needs. Brazil has a quite a few popular hospitals in the private sector and its geographical location makes it all the more alluring and expedient for English and Spanish speaking citizens of the world.

Funding for Health Technology Research in Brazil:

Brazil receives funding for research and development in the health sector through 3 different sources. The major source indisputably is formed by the government (federal government). The government sources the funds via taxes and forwards it to the R & D sectors. The next source of funds for research and development in the health sector is from the private sector companies. The last source is via out of pocket sources.

Scope of National Heath Care System in Brazil:

The National Health care System in Brazil has a huge number of patients to treat and deal with. The medical conditions that are being treated are also diverse, ranging from basic immunization procedures to complex cardiac transplants. Statistics reveal the numbers to be quite huge and over 1.2 million of patients are provided with in-patient care each month. The OPD patients cross a 100 million every month.

Pressing Need for Systematic Compilation of Health Records:

Considering how huge the numbers of patients that used the National Health care System in Brazil was; the need for a systematic compilation of the health and other medical records of these patients was contemplated over. Continued efforts and planning gave rise to the National Health Card Project (NHCP) in 1999. NHCP then created the Brazilian Unique Healthcare System (SUS– Sistema Único de Saúde).

Scope of Brazilian Unique Healthcare System:

  • The Brazilian Unique Healthcare System venture was commenced as a pilot to corroborate the various apparatuses that would be required and involved hardware and software, infrastructure, principles, and instructions prior to putting the system into action on a nation wide level.

  • The pilot covered 44 cities in 11 states, and covered almost 7.56% of the entire national population of 180 million.

  • The succeeding phase will in all probability attend to more than 500 cities, covering more or less 100 million patients.

Technology used in implementation of this Project:

  • Extensive use of technology was the need of the hour in order to bring such a huge project together and within a short time while preserving the efficacy and practical usability.

  • XML, Java and HTTP were the 3 technologies that were used on a wide ranging basis.

Benefits of using these technologies for the NHCP project:

Use of technology led to a number of benefits that ensured the success of the NHCP.

  • Addition of new information

  • providing leeway for any alterations in the specifications

  • Enhancing the functions

  • Providing facility for incorporation of new messages were all made smooth and trouble free by the use of these 3 technologies.

Security and Privacy of the Stored Health Information:

  • The proper maintenance of security and privacy of the information stored was another major issue in implementation of NHCP.

  • To ensure this, the health card professionals were provided with a valid health professional card.

  • This card was required to be swiped at the electronic terminal before implementing any changes to the system.

  • The registration of the health professional was required to be completed at the server level and a unique password was provided for each professional who was registered in such a way.

  • The health professional would have to swipe the card and also enter this password provided to him or her before implementing any changes to the patient information.

Current Position of the NHCP:

The various efforts put in to the pilot infrastructure has made it become completely active, since the spring of 2003 and now covers the following parameters:

  • 8 million patient ID health cards
  • 50,000 professional ID cards
  • 3200 point-of care-clients
  • 2 federal servers
  • 27 state servers
  • 13 concentrator servers
  • 44 municipal servers
  • The initial 7.56 % of the population that had been covered has now progressed to almost 45% of the entire population of Brazil.


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