The 2020 edition of the Thought Leader EHTEL Symposium will explore the speed-up of digital health services and their contributions to healthy and resilient communities. Resilience is key.
The symposium will be digital and combine remote participation and Brussels-based moderation with panellists.
Six sessions form the basis of the Symposium. They will further develop the Imagining 2029 work programme, providing opportunities for interactive participation and “meet and greet” networking.
Face to face with the coronavirus pandemic, a focus on citizens’ values associated with public goods and services has gained ground. Health is seen by many people now as a commons. Digital technologies are the ideal ally for people to maintain a physical distance, keep up economic activity, and implement Europe’s Green Deal. Hence, there are implications for digital health technologies.
Innovative digital health solutions have been tried out for two decades or more. Altogether, however, progress has remained slow because of key resistance factors. These are linked to mistrust, business models and budgetary constraints, current roles, economies of scale, and an absence of vision and skills – just to name a few. Many of these barriers to progress have been somewhat alleviated as a result of responses to the COVID-19 outbreak.
New voices are now being widely heard: They call for massive changes, digital advances, and more flexible social and health solutions which should increase societal resilience. The public is now much more aware of the importance of data, whether for epidemiological and health protection reasons. So, resilience means also that data and knowledge must be shared and exploited much quicker than before.
There is now a new window of opportunity to take advantage of the existing tailwinds and scale-up digital health services which support this new societal call. This is not anymore about promoting telemedicine or digital support for healthy ageing. Now it is about creating the conditions for at-scale solutions which contribute to increasing resilience in health/social domains as well as in the economy. These solutions will need to address people’s needs, and to be distributed, socially equitable, and flexible.
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