Citizens empowerment through Digitalisation!

Citizens empowerment through Digitalisation!

Posted on July 16, 2019

Have you heard about “citizens/patient empowerment”?  A quick look at internet content shows that it’s now a real and strong trend, surely taken up by EU politicians.  Citizens/Patients want to know more about their health, take control and contribute to the decision-making process. This has an impact on all health and care professionals because their practice is evolving to take patients concerns more into consideration.  For the nursing profession, it is even set out in the EU law, Directive 2013/55/EU, article 31!

Nurses have always been in close contact with citizens/patients, and hence they know a lot about them, as they are on the frontline 24/7, 365 days a year!  With the EFN’s contribution to the European project InteropEHRate, we got in touch with Andaman7, a small start-up that is putting the patient back in the central role.  You can read the founder’s story at http://bit.ly/a7vkblogen to better understand their goals and motivations.

The solution they are proposing allows both the patient and all healthcare actors – including nurses, physiotherapists and others – to “directly” contribute to the health record of the patient (here, it is called a “PHR” for “Personal Health Record”).  That is refreshing!  It shows the importance of nurses in the empowerment of citizens/patients.  The idea is to really have a distributed, collaborative EU EHR.  Read this (somewhat technical) article to learn more: A new paradigm: distributed collaborative EHR.

The start-up insists on the fact that part of their project is social oriented: so the mobile app for citizens/patients, nurses, midwives, doctors, physiotherapists… is free for all individuals.  And contrary to other developments, they do not use your health data: your data are only stored on the smartphone of the user.  So for nurses, this tool can be used both for your own personal use (to manage your own health, the health of your children and/or parents), but it can also be used in working with and empowering citizens/patients to make informed decisions in the nursing care process and as such boost continuity of care in the EU. And in the spirit of co-design and co-creation, Andaman7 is open to discuss with nurses ways to improve the tool for all and especially explore what support to the citizens/patients is needed to deploy the tool: getting your health data from the hospital, from your GP into your PHR could be a nightmare. To avoid this, through the InteropEHRate project, the EFN is contributing to help co-design an EU EHR system that works for all healthcare professionals, as well as for citizens/patients.