Citizens’ access to health data can be enabled by national and regional initiatives whose electronic health records (EHRs) are open to use by end-users. However, facilitating access to health data in EHRs is not enough. Citizens need to:
- have access to their health data,
- use it for a compelling purpose (such as health maintenance, self-care, or disease management),
- get active encouragement and collaboration from health and social care providers.
Digital tools for citizen empowerment and person-centred care are key to transforming citizens into managers of their own health promotion and disease prevention. Their uptake depends on the tools being seamlessly embedded in health care processes.
Mobile technologies are now pervasive. Their use rates – at least in certain parts of the globe and in certain generations – are even higher than other connected technologies. Mobile health applications can bridge the gap for people who are experiencing difficulties in accessing their personal health data who do not have the capacity to do this, or who are not yet digitally empowered.
The combination of health data captured by healthcare providers through EHRs and personal data collected by mobile health applications creates a data-rich environment. The re-use of health data can provide much added value to both providers and consumers. Moreover, adding data from other sectors of society – such as care, education, energy, or transportation – can empower multisectoral collaboration. It can help researchers and society to gain new insights into the drivers of better health or the causes of disease deterioration. The graphic below describes this process well.
In 2017, EHTEL launched the Digital Integrated Care Taskforce (DICT) with the aim of exploring and discussing how digital technologies can enable higher levels of integration of healthcare.
In 2020, the DICT is focusing on the virtual cycle of increased access to personal health data and patient-centred care and empowerment. It is doing this through:
- the use of mobile health applications,
- the integration of health data with EHRs, and
- the creation of health data ecosystems where patients can receive new value-added services from third parties.
Its new work programme is called “Building health data ecosystems for integrated care: From data springs to the ocean”.
To achieve the objectives of this 2020 work programme, the DICT is organising a series of participatory webinars and workshops.
The series of activities will draw on a rich association of concepts, priorities, and ongoing European projects. It will link together the three priorities of the DTHC, with the work developed by national and regional institutions and activities in different projects supported by the European Commission (such as DigitalHealthEurope, InteropEHRate, mHealth Hub, Scirocco Exchange, and Open DEI.
The 2020 work programme includes two webinars and one physical workshop.
- Webinar 1: The value of combining personal and professional health data for integrated care
- Webinar 2: Health data ecosystems for integrated care: a new "blue ocean" (an idea based on a 2004 book called ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’ by W. Chan KIM and Renée MAUBORGNE)
- Webinar 3 / Workshop: Cross-sectoral health data ecosystems: business and governance models
- Networking of members and partners: this activity connects EHTEL members and project partners who will benefit from insights and discussions around relevant integrated care topics (citizen access and empowerment, person-centred care, mHealth initiatives and cross-sectoral health data ecosystems).
- Fact sheets: a summary of key messages, discussions and conclusions will be produced after each webinar and distributed to all participants as well as published on EHTEL’s website.
- Final report: the webinars’ output, and discussions held in the workshop, will be consolidated in a final report.