logo Collaborating for Digital Health and Care in Europe

<   back

Hybrid Care: Mainstreaming Virtual Care with New Models of Care #Imagining2029

Hybrid care can be described as a merging or bringing together of both physical encounters (e.g., appointments or health visits) and virtual encounters - between health and care professionals and patients. Today, there is no single, standardised definition of what hybrid care is.


Illustrative case studies of health and care systems and services that have moved promptly, and safely, towards a hybrid care model include Israel, Portugal and Scotland. These three countries show just how much national and regional health and care systems are involved concretely in making the move towards mainstreaming virtual healthcare encounters. Here is an example of a hybrid patient journey from Portugal.​

Micaela PPT


Going virtual raises various important questions regarding hybrid care relating to: Is ‘virtual’ the only way of functioning? Can ‘virtual’ continue to function at the same pace and scale in 2021 and beyond? How can the important physical elements of healthcare encounters be retained and even enhanced? How can the two approaches be appropriately “blended”? Do they work best at appropriate times and phases of diseases? Can learnings in the field of mental health be used in other fields of health and care (e.g., multiple chronic conditions)?

Work in this field at the start of 2021 will draw on several already-organised 2020 Symposium sessions on hybrid care.


The workstream objectives will be to:

  • Focus on three dimensions of hybrid care (i.e., challenges that are clinical, organisational, and technical).
  • Orientate the work towards two ‘use cases’ (eMental Health and multi-morbidities). Enrich this orientation through several case studies.
  • Draw on EHTEL members’ expertise in the applied areas of work surrounding hybrid care. In this way, be practical, operational, and applied.

Work Programme

  • 20 May 2021: Hybrid Care: Mainstreaming Virtual Care with New Models of Care Virtual Workshop- This webinar was part of the Imagining 2029 work programme building on a series of webinars and workshops that are focused on accelerating digital transformation while acknowledging the opportunities and challenges raised by the current COVID-19 crisis.
  • 28 May 2021: Spotlight Telemedicine -  An online workshop that recaps on 2020 Symposium work and focuses on ‘virtual encounters’, eMental Health, and case studies involving the challenges of multi-morbid conditions especially in the context of the ‘era of COVID’. The example interventions were provided by an interesting mix of EHTEL members coming from countries and regions in Denmark, Greece, Israel, Portugal, Romania, and Scotland.
  • A further webinar is currently being planned.