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Introduction to the “Proximity” issue of Forward

Antonio Addis

Department of Epidemiology, Lazio Regional Health Service, Rome 1 Local Health Authority

By July 2021February 13th, 2023No Comments
Photo by Lorenzo De Simone

In this new Forward issue you will come across some of the themes we began to delve into in the articles that discussed the medicine of the future and how it would position itself in terms of time and spaces. We took advantage of what is now the distinctive approach of our workgroup: to imagine future healthcare interventions mixing different point of views so that the scenarios obtained are neither too removed from patients nor unnecessarily close to them.

In this regard, in order to define a context that might be “close” to the medicine of the future we did not just focus on the innovations that enable easier and faster provision of healthcare services from a distance. We realised that making an effort to reason from the point of view of those receiving the care and choosing to listen to their health needs is also really essential. The bread and butter of proximity medicine cannot be resolved simply via “tele-something” technicalities or else the creation of networks and procedures for healthcare interventions risks providing support only on paper. The starting point must always be to listen, regardless of the desire to facilitate access to healthcare. In practice we cannot just rely on new technologies in order to reduce the distances for those who need a medicine approach that is closer to and more ready to meet users’ most distant and different needs.

Once again the words of Forward launch a challenge with up to date and very current content. It will be interesting to see whether in the near future “proximity” will just be a new keyword filling the titles of many conferences or whether it will actually mark the beginning of a new season for a type of medicine that opens up to a new perspective.