Bringing digital health to the front line
It is essential to align eHealth strategies and services with patients’ needs and perspectives – this is the only way to truly foster patient empowerment and adoption of eHealth. This means identifying patients’ needs and involving them in the design process of any eHealth intervention.
Some interesting examples of patient-led innovations include:
It is necessary to ask how we can cater to a wide range of needs – especially those of people who could potentially benefit most from eHealth interventions, but are more likely to have problems accessing them, e.g. elderly people and marginalised or vulnerable communities. In the face of such diversity of users, solutions must recognise and develop local diversities.
Patient-led innovation is an excellent first step, but to effect real change in our healthcare systems, we need shared standards and structures in place. This will allow end users to easily access and adopt digital health.
Progress can only be achieved through a system-wide approach; otherwise, health services may not keep up with new innovations. As David Maguire, Economic and Data Analyst at the King’s Fund, has pointed out: ‘If interoperability is not embraced [by health services] in the same way it is by the public, then one day you might have to bring your mobile device along to your appointment just to let your doctor borrow your integrated care record.’
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Health Policy Partnership.