The European Institute for Health Data (i~HD), together with six other partners, launched the Digital Health Uptake (DHU) project, bringing together a group of research organisations, businesses as well as intergovernmental and multistakeholder associations at EU, national and regional level. Funded by the European Commission under the Digital Europe Programme, DHU aims to facilitate the alignment of policies, strategies, instruments and activities to advance the uptake of digital health solutions and services in Europe.

On 14 – 15 November, the DHU consortium organised a kick-off meeting in Brussels to discuss the implementation of the project. In line with the focus of the Digital Europe Programme on increasing the use of digital technologies in Europe, the DHU project concentrates on the applications of these technologies in health and care. In specific, the project will monitor and analyse the uptake and use of digital solutions across Europe, mapping the needs and addressing key barriers faced by both demand and supply sides. By increasing knowledge and monitoring capacities, the 2-year project will facilitate exchanges and cooperation, thereby fostering scaling up, mutual learning and transfer of innovative practices within and across borders.

Consolidating the landscape of digital health solutions and fostering cross-border scaling up

Digital tools have become crucial to the operation of Europe’s health and care systems. The shift to digital health and care transformation has sped up across Europe, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet many gaps remain, stressing the need for hybrid approaches that bring together both the virtual and physical. DHU aims to bridge this gap by coordinating health stakeholders to integrate digital solutions along the continuum of health and care.

To provide an up-to-date overview of digital health solutions and services in Europe, DHU will set up a Radar to collect, analyse and continuously monitor the potential of technological innovation and the uptake of digital health solutions. The consortium will analyse the collected resources to consolidate existing knowledge and synthesise it into easy-to-understand and accessible information, promoting innovative solutions and good practices as well as addressing emerging topics. In addition, DHU will foster further knowledge exchange among health authorities and involved stakeholders, leading to new partnerships and collaboration.

Supporting actual adoption and scaling up of digital health solutions and practices

The DHU consortium brings together seven project partners with rich experience in the digital transformation of health and care, representing over 1,300 member organisations with a substantial outreach to over 80,000 organisations and experts. In addition, the project will be supported by a pool of associated experts who will support initiatives and activities related to the uptake of digital health and care solutions and practices.

Within its scope, DHU will offer comprehensive support to accelerating the sustainable adoption, use and scaling up of digital solutions. Concrete services will include twinning activities between organisations, regions and countries; the provision of technical assistance and training to use scaling-up tools; and the expansion of the digital health ecosystem. DHU will also play an essential role in building capacity and skills for all stakeholders – from patients to healthcare professionals, to health managers, innovators, and policy makers – to enhance their ability to be an active and informed part of an inclusive and trust-based digital transformation of health and care.

Digital Health Uptake (DHU) is identifying successful health system transformations across Europe that have been underpinned by innovative use of digital health solutions and supporting their uptake at national level. It will construct a digital health radar that shows where successful innovations are located, and will grow a catalogue of good practices, approaches, resources and expertise that can be discovered and accessed by others wishing to replicate those innovations and health system transformations. i~HD is leading the work on synthesising the learning and areas of expertise from these successful digital health settings, organising the content for the radar and the catalogue. It will grow stakeholder clustered communities to share resources and experiences, provide peer support to in-progress innovations and help to champion wider success in the uptake of digital health innovations.

Joining the DHU consortium, DIGITALEUROPE leads the work package on communication, dissemination and outreach. We aim to create widespread awareness among the target groups about the project and how it can support them in their uptake of digital health solutions, inform and engage them at different stages of the project to maximise the impact and uptake of the results. Representing digitally transforming industries in Europe, including numerous top leaders in digital innovation and medical technology, DIGITALEUROPE will also contribute to building the DHU Radar and stakeholder collaboration networks.

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Consortium Partners

Empirica | DIGITALEUROPE | European Institute for Innovation Through Health Data | European Health Telematics Association | ECHAlliance | EIPonAHA Reference Sites Collaborative Network | F6S Network