Making the digital shift towards health and resilience
The 2020 edition of the Thought Leader EHTEL Symposium will explore the speed-up of digital health services and their contributions to healthy and resilient communities. Resilience is key.
In line with the coronavirus pandemic, a focus on citizens’ values associated with public goods and services has gained ground. Health is seen by many people now as a commons. Digital technologies are the ideal ally for people to maintain a physical distance, keep up with economic activity, and implement Europe’s Green Deal.
Innovative digital health solutions have been tried out for two decades or more. Altogether, however, progress has remained slow because of key resistance factors. Many barriers to progress have now been somewhat alleviated as a result of responses to the COVID−19 outbreak.
New voices call for massive changes, digital advances, and more flexible social and health solutions which should increase societal resilience. The public is now much more aware of the importance of data, whether for epidemiological and health protection reasons. So, resilience means also that data and knowledge must be shared and exploited much quicker than before.
There is now a new window of opportunity to take advantage of the existing tailwinds and scale-up digital health services which support this new societal call. This is not anymore about promoting telemedicine or digital support for healthy ageing. The challenge today is about creating the conditions for at-scale solutions which contribute to increasing resilience in the health/social domains as well as in the economy. Key to these solutions is addressing people’s needs, and emphasizing distribution, socially equity, and flexibility.