logo Collaborating for Digital Health and Care in Europe

<   back
On 2/3 December 2020, almost 300 people from some 40 countries joined an EHTEL two-day Thought Leaders Symposium to brainstorm and create together the digital health and data future.

All the Symposium content is now up online. Please visit the page, access the presentations, and watch the videos of your choice.

In a brief video (12-minute), accompanied by PowerPoints, EHTEL team members, Diane Whitehouse and Tino Marti, sum up the main Symposium outcomes.

This write-up offers you a flavour of the wealth of inspiring ideas that emerged from the Symposium.

05 002


What emerged from the Symposium?

Increasing societal resilience through digitalisation involves creating a delicate balance that also ensures privacy, benefits distribution, transparency, and the creation/formulation of digital public goods.

Travelling hopefully, health data ecosystems can be seen as a garden with lots of potential for value creation. It involves working on a path created together, with the right mindset, towards a fair data maturity cycle. This should help build good technologies, unlock value, and initiate data-sharing.


Improving the quality of health data use and re-use is an urgent matter. Important actions involve improving clinical decision support; applying a federated learning approach; focusing on person-generated data; and combining top-down and bottom-up approaches. These approaches fit well with the aims and aspirations of the EHTEL community.

Many leading initiatives have already been achieved in 2020 to bring together mobile health and diagnostics/therapeutics. Yet there needs to be a call to involvement to ensure further scaling-up.

Given the ongoing pressures posed by COVID-19, “patients are going where the convenience is”. Two important directions are: integrating digital health into the patient pathway and making sure that – in this ‘hybrid’ experience – digital touchpoints are as well embedded as human touchpoints are today. Virtual encounters will be more and more vital.

Blended care and self-management of health is core to the shift towards improving people’s mental health. Moving forward on eMental Health will demand paying attention to critical issues like safety, training and clinical guidance, usability, and support for equity in all areas of digital health. All involve aspects of co-design with patients and professionals.

Central to mental health is also physical health. EHTEL took an innovative step in this direction by introducing into the Symposium agenda a chair yoga set of exercises. (Watch the video).


EHTEL Board member, Giovanni Gorgoni of AReSS, Puglia, in Italy, who is a great supporter of the work of European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing and their Reference Sites, concluded the Symposium with a regional emphasis. Ecosystem action has to be taken not just at the international and national levels, but also through local and community ecosystems.


What’s next?

- Take a look at the videos of the key concerns and where the Symposium identified important challenges:


- Work with us and the whole of the EHTEL community on 2021’s digital health and data agenda in 2021.

- EHTEL would like to collaborate especially with people from diverse regions throughout Europe.


More news out soon on EHTEL’s ongoing work programme towards its Imagining 2029 initiative.

Join our Network

There has never been a more crucial time for health and social care stakeholders to engage with each other to shape and influence emerging models of healthcare...

Read more

Keep in Touch

Follow Us