Digitally Integrated Care Task Force
Integrated care is a high priority on the health policy agenda of European countries. Nowadays, it is hard to imagine integrating care without the contribution of digital information and communication technologies. The exponential growth of emerging digital technologies foreseen over the next twenty years involves tremendous opportunities to tackle most of the current gaps in integrated care.
Harnessing the full potential of such digital technologies can, however, be challenging.
One example innovation with a big echo in healthcare are instant messaging services (e.g. WhatsApp). Today, many patients find it easier to contact their doctor on WhatsApp, despite serious concerns about privacy. Likewise, doctors consult each other using the same approach.
In the healthcare sector, this represents an urgent need for communication tools that reproduce the seamless experience of instant chats. These tools need to document the changes in the medical record, meet privacy requirements, and ensure the continuity of care. These options are starting to become available, although they are not in widespread routine use.
EHTEL has identified this gap as a need for innovation that impacts integrated care. The Task Force will – besides other topics – focus on potential uses of chat-based technologies, which can improve the state-of-the-art in the integration of care.
The EHTEL Digitally Integrated Care Task Force aims to:
- Explore digital features for integrated care from a practical health policy and management perspective.
- Identify current world-class technology-enabled integrated care experiences informed by EHTEL members.
- Merge future developments and current state-of-the-art practices in a unique document, “Roadmap for the future of digital integrated care”.
The Task Force plans to work on various innovations in integrated care. Its next step is to collect members’ various experiences of digitally-supported integrated care.
The Task Force includes volunteer members of the Board of Directors and experts from EHTEL’s membership base.