2. Patients and digital transformation
Patients and digital transformation
Patients’ expectations from a healthcare system have evolved due to technological and social changes in recent years. Patients expect to be more involved in the decision-making process for their health and well-being. Following this expectation, healthcare organisations and policymakers are moving toward a more patient-centred healthcare system. Active engagement of patients is key to implement this transformation.
The European Patients Forum and Digital Health Europe designed a patient empowerment roadmap that illustrates the steps toward patients’ empowerment (Figure 6).
The roadmap shows that patients’ empowerment is a multi-faceted campaign that involves patients in designing, implementing, evaluating, and improving digital health solutions. Reaching that level of empowerment requires a comprehensive educational programme that covers the following areas:
- Patients need to be educated about upcoming technological and organisational changes. The main objective of the education should enable patients to compare the upcoming changes and the impact on their health and wellbeing.
- Patients should also be trained about the legal framework of digital health and be informed about their rights and built-in safeguard (legal and technological) in the system. This education would increase patients' trust in the novel digital health solutions.
- Patients should also be educated about the administrative aspects of a new digital healthcare structure. Adequate education enables patients to become co-developers in designing and developing new digital health solutions. Patients can form groups representing their interests during the digital health development process. Historically, most patient groups have formed around medical conditions. However, there may be a need to form patient groups around patients’ needs and demands, such as data privacy or cross-border data access .
Figure 6 : Patient empowerment roadmap 
 Digital Health Europe. PATIENT EMPOWERMENT ROADMAP. Accessed June 1, 2022. https://digitalhealtheurope.eu/catalogue/?_sfm_country=EU