EPHA’s response to the European Commission Communication on the Transformation of Health and Care in the Digital Single Market
A new EPHA paper, “Enabling the Digital Transformation of Healthcare”, offers a critical analysis of the European Commission Communication on the Transformation of Health and Care in the Digital Single Market from EPHA’s specific angle that views new technology as an enabler if a public health approach to digitalisation is adopted. While remaining very positive about the transformative potential of digitalisation in the healthcare domain, EPHA advocates for the most inclusive approach possible, to avoid that existing health inequalities are exacerbated in the digital realm.
The paper provides a public health analysis of the Commission’s Communication from a public health perspective, arguing that the inevitable evolution towards health systems in which personal health data is becoming more ubiquitous and essential for providing better care and enable patients to assume a more active role depends on ensuring that end users’ needs are at the very core of dialogues about the design and implementation of new technology. Patient empowerment and supporting healthcare professionals through digital solutions must involve much more than making available the technology itself: new skills must be developed to increase digital health literacy, safeguard privacy and enable the safest possible online exchanges of personal health data. In order to get there, the needs of people must be placed before those of the market.
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