Florian Marcus, analyst at e-Estonia briefing centre
Estonia started implementing the first eHealth services such as the electronic patient record in the mid-2000s. This meant that patients could see everything the doctor had written down during a visit and doctors could get a comprehensive overview of ongoing treatments and the patient’s current state of health. This system then quickly developed into a more sophisticated tool.
One of the most useful tools is the digital prescription that is tied to the personal code and useable with an Estonian ID-card. According to Tohver, the ePrescription “is a no-brainer”, particularly because it does not require the patient to be digitally literate. All they have to do is go to their preferred pharmacy and present their ID-card. Doctors also benefit from this system, as a prescription can be renewed remotely within 10-15 seconds. Furthermore, the system automatically makes doctors aware of drug interaction issues that could render the prescribed drug ineffective or even counter-productive.