Digital Europe still wondering why Health Technologies are not picked-up!

Digital Europe still wondering why Health Technologies are not picked-up!

Posted on March 26, 2018

While the ‘Digital in Practice Programme’ (DiPP) aims to shed practical light on the rewards and possible pitfalls of transitioning to cloud and associated digital technologies, it became clear the end-user engagement on co-design is more discussed than implemented.

Digital tools should empower patients and boost healthcare, having currently more than 100K unused health apps available. So, where is the return on investment? The human connection needs to stay central and digitalisation should not put burdens on patients, with the ownership of data being central. However, technology and algorithms are creating more space between healthcare professions and patients.

The current socio-economic challenges of health and care systems are clear: access, quality and sustainability. Nowadays, there is a need for a shift from intervention to prevention, from fragmented to integrated care, from service to result with an outcome-oriented approach (value-based care), so moving towards a system based on proactive/ empowered health-aware person. To this purpose, we need the end-user engaging in co-creation, making sure the digital/data revolution supports and facilitates the shift of the healthcare model. So, we are all waiting to see how the health and care priorities in the Digital Single Market Strategy will address secure access, sharing of cross-border health data, personalised medicine, citizens’ empowerment, person-centred and integrated care.

But if we want the digitalisation to succeed, healthcare systems need to transform their measuring system from volume to value. EFN agrees on that! We agree that there should be a greater focus on prevention rather than cure, with currently less than 3% of health budgets going to prevention! Finally, from the DiPP meeting emerged that “the measurement should be done by the patient who needs to be empowered to do it” and, of course, by creating the right business model (read PPP – Public Private Partnership) with a sound ethical model to manage health data. However, a recent analysis of the EU auditors raised concerns about the PPP model as a viable option.

The end-user co-designing capacity will be key to transform systems and to make digitalisation deployable, so that the business model sees a return on investment. If not, we will see an increased percentage of the GDP spent on health and healthcare with no return. End-user engagement and trust are the key components of the success story.