DHAGE’s report on inclusion and exclusion in digital health is published
DHAGE is a thought leadership platform for key decision-makers in Europe to identify synergies and nurture collaborations on digital health policies. The 3rd annual workshop of DHAGE took place on 3rd September 2021. The workshop focused on inclusion and exclusion in digital health and care. A report on the meeting and its outcomes is now published.
The 2021 High-Level Meeting of the Group focused on ‘European cooperation solutions to promote digital inclusion and increase the resilience of society’. Digital exclusion and poor health literacy are not new problems but holistic approaches to tackling the issues are still scarce.
Key elements to digital inclusion typically include users´ competencies, access to internet and devices, motivation, as well as confidence to use, understand, and engage with technologies, and language understanding.
Research about digital inclusion reveal the need for strengthened inclusion strategies, cooperation across society, and actions towards making digital health solutions accessible for all. The workshop underlined that inequalities in access to digital health exist in every health system.
The successful health policy requires that all aspects of equitable access are addressed, including gender, age, different cultures, neural and intellectual diversity.
The Workshop ended with five calls for international organizations and governments to act:
- Ensure digital inclusion by design of health and social services and mandate health care service providers to demand more inclusive, understandable, accessible, and easy-to-use services.
- Tackle digital exclusion by bringing together social, health and technical communities and base digital services on life events and needs of citizens rather than organisations.
- Upskill and empower the health workforce with the competencies and skills needed for the use of digital health technologies and for promoting their use and assessment.
- Develop a Global Interoperability Maturity Model, including a reference to digital inclusion.
- As part of bettering the knowledge base, international organisations should set up an initiative to gather experience, develop and test both policies and practical action.
The Digital Health Advisory Group for Europe (DHAGE) is a thought leadership platform for key decision-makers in Europe to identify synergies and nurture collaborations on digital health policies. The group was created by HIMSS and the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The DHAGE tackles issues facing healthcare in European countries and beyond. The Group is now shifting its efforts to create long-term solutions for the recovery and ongoing resilience of our health systems post the pandemic.
Sarita Friman, Ministerial Advisor, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 349, [email protected]
Jukka Lähesmaa, Consulting Officer, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 139, [email protected]