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Thirty digital innovators gathered together on Thursday 10th December 2020 at an online workshop to explore how to use Blueprint personas.
The 12 Blueprint personas have been developed by a large group of people in the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA), including EHTEL members.

Now the personas’ time has come! The innovative development community that surrounds them is expanding; the 12 are becoming ever more numerous; and they are being explored and expanded in a much wider set of fields.

Helping stakeholders scale-up digital health solutions

Led by empirica, Germany and supported by EHTEL, Belgium, the 10th December 2020 workshop featured the work of three people involved in exploring exciting and stimulating persona uses. It especially concentrated on how the persona of the 50-year old Greek plumber, Nikos, can help communities explore digital health solutions.
George Dafoulas of e-Trikala, DCCG-Cities Net, and now EHTEL, explained how important it is to catch signs of the development of diseases at an early stage and foresee the socio-economic impact that conditions can have over a life-course. He showed how important it is to assess the cost-effectiveness of digital health solutions. He especially argued how vital it becomes to bring together health care and social care. This is why the MAFEIP tool can also be really useful.
Lena Otto of Dresden’s Technical University, an EHTEL member, emphasised the importance of digital innovators to get involved in community-building: working with stakeholders and experts who are ready to build solutions together. Her focus was on an entirely new persona called Ella, who is knowledgeable about expanding community readiness and maturity for telemedicine.
Willeke van Staalduinen of AFEdemy detailed how personas, like Nikos and Maria, can be really helpful. They can assist local and regional facilitators to understand in a hands-on way the needs and desires of people with chronic conditions. They also help to understand the needs of people’s carers, volunteer helpers, and family members.

Individual, regional, and national digital health scaling-up concerns

Breaking out into two discussion groups, workshop attendees discussed three levels of digital health concerns: individual, regional, and national:
  • The potential needs of Nikos as an individual
    Niko’s health needs included self-management of his condition(s) with its many aspects e.g., nutrition; exercise; communication with family and friends. The possible digital health solutions proposed were often app-based and founded on gamification; they involved wearables; glucometers; and video consultations. A number of social and technological challenges were highlighted, such as cyber-security.
  • Regional or national level concerns
    The group also explored the needs for: linkages with electronic health records and social care data as well as (national or state) reimbursement of mobile apps/platforms.

Using Blueprint personas practically

The workshop added considerably to the richness of the development of the Blueprint personas. It showed how you can use personas practically, whether you are a health technology assessment expert, a digital innovator, or an entrepreneur/small business person.
The workshop provided useful synergy with a second workshop focused on the MAFEIP tool held on Friday 11th December 2020.
Look out soon for a permanent repository of the Blueprint persona set of assets!

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