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Session 4 - Digital health solutions: Getting people on board

Janne Rasmussen of MedCom (Denmark) introduced the notion of engaging people more in the use of digital health solutions. In today’s healthcare systems and services, many beneficial steps forward can be made as a result of citizens and patients expressing their opinions and attitudes.

Michael Johansen of MedCom (Denmark) described how his country is examining how best to communicate laboratory results to Danish patients. He illustrated ways to make these kinds of data both accessible and understandable. The design of the new Danish system changed considerably once patients’ own views were taken on board. Bart de Gans then indicated how a system like the one developed by MedMij (Netherlands) can connect together users and care providers by using a certified label. He also placed an emphasis how important it is to reflect a population’s needs and preferences. Over the past two years (2020-2021), the COVID-19 threat has led to serious disruptions in healthcare provision. Yet, the TEC Cymru (Wales) approach to video consulting, described by Mike Ogonovsky, showed how digital innovations have provided systems and services with new ways to deliver healthcare. Fascinating new viewpoints were uncovered in Wales once patients/citizens – via surveys – were encouraged to express their own opinions on what they want, need, and see as benefits.


✅ ePoll: In terms of what it would take the Symposium attendees to get on board in terms of digital health solutions, among a wider variety of words in a word cloud the single outstanding key word was simplicity.

🗣️ Discussions: Attendees debated the fact that they prefer the terms, data access and control, to data ownership. Part of the general discussion highlighted how standards like SNOMED-CT can be used to simplify data representation for patients. Artificial intelligence (AI) was also seen as playing a role in gaining momentum towards greater simplicity. From a users’ perspective, Jelena Malinina of BEUC (Belgium) underpinned the importance of people knowing their digital rights. Osama Rajkhan of the United Nations commented on how a shift from digital access to digital transformation will be helped by increasing digital health literacy – while not forgetting, of course, data literacy, numeracy, and general digital literacy. Overall, attendees indicated that they are keen to share their own data for a variety of purposes. Not only can the results of data sharing act as a service to citizens themselves, but can also benefit collective well-being and be used to improve the lives of others.

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