Telehealth is at an early stage of development in Spain and provision consists mainly of pilot projects. There has, however, been some mainstreaming in a number of regions.
In Catalonia, some hospitals have developed hospital-in-the-home services. There is also some telemonitoring available through health centres in Castile and LĂ©on, Extremadura and Castile-La Mancha. These are public services.
In Spain, telephone consultations are available via the Regional Health Councils. They are publicly funded and free of charge. These services have only recently been developed and it is expected that provision will continue to expand. Online consultations are available, however they are more focused on providing information and medical appointments than on achieving a diagnosis.
The AVANZA 2006-2011 Plan sets out an online health work-plan that includes telehealth, consisting of actions to improve the quality of life of patients, to reduce costs, to develop tele-consultation and diagnosis in under-resourced areas and to connect primary and specialist care. The AVANZA Plan is co-ordinated in each Autonomous Region in accordance with their own Regional Strategy for the development of these services. The Regional Health Ministries of the different Autonomous Communities implement different programmes, mainly information and prevention focused.