the path is marked, let’s get to work!

“E-health in Morocco: realities, challenges and development levers” is the title of the white paper on digital health presented on April 8 in Rabat. This document aims to detect the obstacles and challenges for the promotion of e-health in Morocco and to develop recommendations for decision makers for its future development.

Morocco has an enabling environment for the emergence of digital health. This follows from the white paper “Electronic health in Morocco: realities, challenges and development levers” presented last Friday in Rabat. This work initiated by the Mohammed V University (UM5) of Rabat, in collaboration with the firm Buildfluence, a specialist in strategy and influence intelligence, aims to provide up-to-date and relevant information on the reality of e-health, identify the strengths and weaknesses of the national health system and take advantage of the opportunities and challenges of integrating the available solutions. “The development of digital health clearly represents the safest way to make medicine available to everyone, equitably, without any distinction.

The white paper on e-health in Morocco, as it has been prepared, is of vital interest to our country. In the first place, it allows us to outline in broad strokes the specificities and opportunities of the digital health ecosystem, both at the national, regional and international levels”, underlined the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Khalid Ait Taleb. “The white paper makes it possible to identify the expectations of the main stakeholders, as well as the problems and challenges related to the development of e-health.

Thanks to the recommendations resulting from the different surveys carried out, it is already possible to trace, around the most recent information and communication technologies, the contours of a high value-added services scheme, an innovative, agile and sustainable scheme. ” he added. The Minister also indicated that the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic has made it possible to create several digital, public and private solutions in a short time.
“Some solutions were aimed at controlling the spread of Covid-19 (Wiqaytna), others to ensure citizen access to secure health information (Sehati), others to facilitate vaccination appointments (liqahcorona.ma) or to provide patients teleconsultation platforms (Tbib24)”, he recalled.

For his part, Abdellatif Miraoui, Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation, said that combining health and digital technology is an appropriate solution for the development of the health sector. “This can only be achieved through the implementation of a national eHealth strategy based on priorities such as the development of connected medicine that allows the development of new applications for remote monitoring or interpretation of medical data to help doctors in their diagnostics,” he stressed. . “We must also encourage co-innovation between health professionals, citizens and economic agents by launching calls for projects dedicated to e-health and simplifying administrative procedures for patients and equipping democracy. with the help of ‘a digital platform that facilitates the consultation and participation of users, without forgetting to reinforce the security of health information systems thanks to a specific action plan’, continued Miraoui.
On the sidelines of the event, the participants signed a collaboration agreement for the development of the UM5 e-health innovation center, with the aim of strengthening ties between the University and health professionals and contributing to interdisciplinary dialogue between the different actors in the countryside.

Questions to the CEO of Buildfluence
Azeddine Yassine: “Morocco is on the right track in the implementation of e-Health solutions, but it needs a pragmatic strategy”

Le Matin: What are the main conclusions that can be drawn from the white paper?
Buildfluence was a force of proposal throughout the development of the white paper on e-health in Morocco by establishing a methodology in strategic intelligence project mode. The objective is to go beyond the recommendations to a main deduction that allows declining a pragmatic roadmap.
The paradoxical deduction is that Morocco has the ability to excel in health technologies in particular, but unfortunately does not benefit from a ranking that reflects these performances. This idea is demonstrated thanks to studies and analyzes of internationally renowned institutions.
The “Department of Social and Economic Affairs” (UN-EGDI), affiliated with the United Nations, publishes a biennial study on digital development conducted in 193 countries, provides a comparative assessment of UN member states and provides an overview of the positioning of Morocco from a regional point of view and a global perspective.
It can be seen that the Moroccan human capital index in digital terms, in general, is above the regional average and close to the world average. This study, known as the UN-EGDI index, shows that human capital could be a source of digital innovation in Morocco. In addition, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) indicates in its Global Innovation Index (WIPO-GII) report that Morocco obtains better results in the production of knowledge and technology. The same organization points out that Morocco shows a performance in terms of innovation in relation to GDP well above expectations for its level of development.
Finally, the referencing of Moroccan Healthtech startups improves the classification of Morocco and establishes it as a true Digital Nation on a regional, continental and international scale. Consequently, this will allow an honorable influence of Morocco on an international scale in terms of innovation.

So, do you think that Morocco is on the right track for the generalization of e-health in Morocco?

In fact, we are on the right track to implement eHealth solutions. In addition, certain areas of digital health are integrated into the “Plan SantéÌ 2025” strategy, such as the promotion of telemedicine, the development of e-health and the implementation of the shared medical record (DMP), e-learning in family medicine, data center, etc.
The Moroccan Society of Telemedicine created in 2018 aims to contribute to the development of the practice of telemedicine, through its deployment in favor of populations in disadvantaged and landlocked areas. Its extension phase should reach 123 priority municipalities by 2025. There are also other encouraging initiatives that have been carried out within health facilities such as the University Hospital of Fez and private clinics.
On the other hand, we need a pragmatic strategy for the generalization of e-health. The first element that comes to mind when we talk about digital health is the interoperability system between all the actors in the health ecosystem: doctors, experts, patients, mutuals, insurance companies, etc. Something missing in our health system today.

Are there other obstacles that prevent us from incorporating digital health?

The success of some countries in creating a dynamic of active entrepreneurship and attracting foreign investment began with the reform of the legal and tax framework. Morocco, which has all the factual criteria to advance in the Ranking in terms of innovation, is obliged to make an effort in the regulatory aspect related to the creation of startups and initiate a battery of government measures to promote entrepreneurship.

We found that the number of Moroccan startups specializing in digital health is very small. Furthermore, Moroccan startups, all sectors combined, including Healthtech, do not create investor appeal and do not raise enough funds internationally. This implies a low Ranking for Morocco. Hence the notorious lack of development of digital health in Morocco.
Lastly, there is a general lack of training and awareness of entrepreneurship. The culture of this in Morocco is not quite ingrained in the minds of young Moroccan graduates and even among employees who want to become entrepreneurs.

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