Information and communication technologies draw together all the different techniques used to handle and transmit information and data.
These techniques find their sources in areas in full technological expansion: IT, the Internet and telecommunications. ICT is a real industrial sector and technologies are seen in the world of healthcare and especially in the telemedicine field.
Telemedicine was recently defined in the French Public Health Code (Art. 6316-1) as remote medical practice using information and communication technologies. It puts patients or healthcare professionals in touch with one or more healthcare professionals. It helps to establish a diagnosis, carry out the monitoring and surveillance of a patient at risk, request specialist advice, prescribe products or perform medical procedures.
These actions are made possible thanks to ICT for health of which « medical devices that communicate » form an integral part. These network-connected medical devices are notably included in remote surveillance and diagnosis systems. The major medical fields in which telemedicine is developing are radiology, cardiology, respiratory failure, diabetology and dialysis.
Some products (mainly software for diagnosis and/or therapeutic purposes) have recently seen their status change and have become medical devices (Directive 93/42 amended by Directive 2007/47). Snitem therefore brings together the manufacturers making and deploying these systems for treatment and diagnosis, qualified as healthcare ICT.