Algorithms for the people |

Greece has made remarkable progress in terms of digital transition, mainly thanks to the efforts of the Minister of Digital Governance, Kyriakos Pierrakakis. As a result, citizens have been spared much of the cumbersome and tedious bureaucracy in their dealings with the state as required documents have been moved online. However, the Greek public sector is still far from European standards.

This is reflected in the European Union’s 2021 ranking for digital governance, which places Greece in 25th place, just ahead of Bulgaria and Romania. Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Malta, Spain, Luxembourg, Estonia and Austria topped the rankings.

This does not mean that the digital transformation of the Greek state apparatus is taking place at a slow pace. After all, we can now carry a copy of our ID, driving license and Covid vaccination certificate in our smartphone. Greece’s low ranking just shows that our European peers who have been higher on the list for decades continue to move up. After all, most European countries are rapidly digitizing other aspects of daily life where Greece still lags behind.

Like the medical sector, for example. An expert told me recently that 500,000 people in the south of England have signed up for a pilot program that seeks to use new technologies to improve remote monitoring of health conditions. Patients wear a sensor that tracks most basic bodily functions day and night, giving doctors up-to-the-second information about their condition. Round-the-clock monitoring means doctors can intervene before anything major happens. Therefore, they can prevent a large percentage of heart attacks, strokes and other serious consequences. Thanks to medical algorithms, people feel more confident, while hospitals have reduced costs by around 30%.

Sharon D. Cole