President, The European Institute for Innovation through Health Data
Professor of Health Informatics, UCL and Visiting Professor, University of Gant
One of the strongest drivers for Learning Health Systems in Europe right now is the urgency to strengthen health systems resilience through accelerated digital health transformation. This is a direct reaction to the struggles all of our health systems had during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Up to now digital health innovation has occurred in a rather piecemeal way, often through pilots that fail to scale up or be sustained. There is a real gap in the understanding of how digital health solutions, especially patient empowerment for disease self-management through smart technical solutions, can be appropriately targeted to the right patients, influence care pathways in an efficient and safe way, become culturally embraced by clinical teams and accountably adopted by healthcare provider organizations. There are several initiatives and opportunities in progress in Europe to accelerate the adoption of digital health technologies and to support the dissemination of good practices, which will be discussed during this talk.
In parallel, equally urgent, is the recognition that health data must be better used to support learning at scale, for example to be better prepared to gather intelligence rapidly as a lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to accelerate research that can deliver innovative treatments, devices and algorithms. Many European countries have embarked upon establishing a national or regional health data infrastructure and ecosystem that enables the reuse of data for research. Most exciting of all, the European Commission has announced a multibillion program to establish a European Health Data Space (EHDS). An important success factor for this will be public trust, and therefore getting the governance model right for wide scale data reuse is critical. This talk will explain the approaches being taken across Europe to scale up the ability to analyze large volumes of health data, including its governance, and how the EHDS is anticipated to catalyze a step change in that scale of learning from health data.