[HIMSS and the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health co-hosted the 3rd annual Digital Health Advisory Group for Europe (DHAGE) High-Level Meeting. DHAGE is a thought leadership platform for key decision-makers in Europe to identify synergies and nurture collaborations on digital health policies. The outcome of the high-level meeting is documented in the following report that focuses on collaborative actions, policy recommendations and suggestions for joint strategic initiatives.]
The pandemic has put a spotlight on the pre-existing health disparities around the world and highlighted digital inclusion as the key ingredient for building the resilience of our society. While digital inclusion and literacy are not specific to healthcare, their role surfaced as one of the most important to ensure continued access to information and healthcare during the pandemic.
In order to get the most out of digital health investments, the international community must share common goals in addressing the barriers to digital inclusion: lack of digital skills, connectivity, and the accessibility and user-friendliness of health services. This complex problem requires holistic, cross-administrative development, follow-up of new tools and approaches, and their evaluation.
Successful health policy requires that all aspects of equitable access are addressed, including gender, age, sexual orientation, different cultures and neural and intellectual diversity. Wider human rights issues are addressed as we promote digital inclusion in healthcare, to ensure that no one is left behind.
Members of the DHAGE believe that there is the need for continued dialogue on health equity. We must ask ourselves how we are going to sustain the conversation, move towards action and meet our own expectations to provide high quality digital healthcare to all patients. We should not be complacent with digitalisation benefiting only resourceful or digitally literate patients.
The workshop covered digital inclusion and resilience in three closely interlinked roundtable discussions:
The views and opinions expressed in this content or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.