Digital Healthcare: What Do Patients Think?

Patients Front and Centre in the Process

Covid-19 was a jump-start in many European countries to begin applying digital health care technologies and services more widely. In the midst of a pandemic, the safety and treatment of people with lung disease and other illnesses needed to be ensured through remote healthcare. The European Union aims to eventually digitise and standardise the health data of all the citizens of EU countries to a shared European Health Data Space. But what do European asthma and COPD patients themselves think of health data sharing, and digital health technologies?  

These are some of the questions that EFA (the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations) set out to discover. The results are reported in their newly published DIG_IT report: The Asthma and COPD Patients’ Digital Journey in Europe. The report is aimed at policymakers, healthcare professionals and health technology developers to inform their future actions. EFA emphasises that patients need to be heard and included in every stage of health technology development and decision-making that concern the future of their healthcare. That is also the only way for the improvements to be truly worthwhile and useful for patients.

Asthma and COPD patients have an interest and a positive experience of digital healthcare solutions.

A Demand for Health Technologies

The DIG_IT report unveils several interesting findings about how patients view digital healthcare. That is why we have decided to unpack the results of the report in a series of blog posts. But before we dig any deeper, it is safe to say that from our perspective, the findings are affirmative: asthma and COPD patients have an interest and a positive experience of digital healthcare solutions. As EFA states, digital health has great potential in empowering patients to take control of their own healthcare, and making it easier to do so. 

For the report, EFA interviewed 970 asthma and COPD patients from five different countries: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Norway, and Spain. The countries are at different stages of applying digital technology to healthcare, and this shows in the results. The report also reveals some reasons why a wider implementation of health technology to asthma and COPD treatment still awaits itself — starting from a lack of awareness — and we’ll be covering that too. Make sure to read our next blog post to find out more!

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