“Without computer, the medical revolution is impossible”

20 12 2011

Tromsø, sometimes called the ‘ door of the Arctic ’, is a small town, of around 66.000 inhabitants, in the North of Norway. It is also one of the main focal points of development of telemedicine and medical informatics or ‘ e ’, which is why Luis Fernández Luque, Huelva birth and career software engineer, He decided to settle in this icy but suggestive population.

Was Germany, in a course of Erasmus in 2004, to the 21 years, When it came into contact with e-health, specialty in which has been involved since then. “I have seven years and I do not regret the least“, ensures. “The e-health sector is huge. In fact, in the U.S. moves nearly the same as the information and communication technologies (ICT)”, explains.

Nor will it has heavy have to emigrate to the cold lands of the North, where science, According to this Spanish, enjoy a privileged place in society: “Wages here are some 3.000 euros net per month for PhD students”. Once the thesis has been submitted, the number rises to between 4.000 and 5.000 EUR, Although Fernández Luque already got his contract shortly before completing this stage.

That is something Spain can not compete. “When I left, a bricklayer with the same experience earned much more than I”. A situation that, If it has changed since then, It has been against the bricklayer, never in favour of the researcher. Even so, This expert recalls that “Spain has a lot of experience in e-health: ago almost 20 years the Blue Helmets in the country were treated by specialists at a distance”. In fact, his intention is to return, Although it was aware that this would be a “reduce two or three times my salary and move from fixed to fellow”.

But it is not just a matter of money, also of “resources to make quality projects”, Adds. In Norway, says, “There are fewer hierarchies and everyone has the freedom to apply for grants and projects. Have left me here as a doctoral student fellows participate in many more things that would normally be vetoed”.

The reason for the great development of e-health in the North of Norway is obvious, If one thinks of the harsh climate and the sparsely populated Arctic regions. “It can not be otherwise”, Luque Fernández says. “If attack you a polar bear in the remote Svalbard Islands - to 2.000 kilometres from Tromsø- specialists in the hospital from here guide professionals there. In regions heydays, telemedicine saves lives and saves money“, concludes.

Luque Fernández - who has gone through the universities of Seville, Politécnica de Valencia, of Applied Sciences Stralsund (Germany), Minnesota and Harvard Medical- highlights, like many of his fellow researchers who have left abroad, the need to internationalize and acquire scientific experiments in different environments. In this sense, recognizes that the Norwegian to other countries aid “they are usually very well funded”.

Mobility aids

“There are many facilities to increase mobility, scholarships to go outside that duplicate you the salary, sabbatical years, leaves of absence…”, lists. One final thing: “Aid doubled if you are travelling with the family“. “Here everyone, even in private companies, You benefit from the welfare State and the family conciliation”, explains. And not only when travelling, but also in day to day: “Here you'll never see a later meeting of the three”, ensures.

As for your specialty, He is convinced that we will still see technological revolutions that will change our lives and the way in which the medicine is exercised. “The Internet and social networks are an excellent tool for education and prevention”, relates. “They are now fashion”, grants”, “but we still see how to apply them effectively to improve the health of citizens”.

“Also there is a huge potential in clinical research, especially for rare diseases. Patients increasingly participate more in all areas, from r & d to prevention”, Adds. “Is more, in the age of genetics, There is more data that must be analyzed to personalized medicine”. A goal for which see that the science of computers - his first passion- is essential: “Without computer, la revolución de la medicina personalizada es imposible”, concludes.

Elmundo.es [en línea] Madrid (Spain): elElmundo.es19 de diciembre de 2011 [REF. 19 in December of 2011] Available on Internet:

http://www.elmundo.es/elmundosalud/2011/12/15/biociencia/1323960958.html