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Imagining 2029

How do you imagine health and care in 2029 in an era of digital transformation?

EHTEL is working towards imagining the future of health and care systems in 2029. The initiative is based on active input from all the members of EHTEL's ecosystem. It also includes plenty of exciting advances from  the European Union-supported projects in which the association participates.


EHTEL imagines a positive, digital future in which all citizens will have better access to their health data, care data, and health, healthcare and care services thanks to digital tools and mobile apps. Health systems as a whole will benefit from a future in which health and care professionals from many different sectors, including the hospital and home, work closely together with citizens – using digital technologies. A more synchronised use of data will also improve the response of governments to health and care challenges, and will benefit the growth of European businesses and industries.

One example of the way this ecosystem can work together is the collaboration implicit in the health and care cluster which originated under the OPEN DEI project.

What is EHTEL doing in 2024?

This year, with its emphasis on facilitating knowledge and developing new knowledge, EHTEL’s Imagining 2029 edition is structured in three tracks. The three tracks are on: Transforming Care DeliveryChange Management, and Interoperability in Practice. They build on earlier work developed by EHTEL.

Each of these Imagining 2029 tracks has a specific orientation and is intended to attract different audiences.

EHTEL will also be present at, and involved in, a number of important events and conferences.

The second in a series is the 2024 Radical Health Festival Helsinki. It includes three sessions with Imagining 2029 themes.

RHFH 2024

Transforming Care Delivery, including the use of AI

This track will focus on work related to:

  • Prevention.
  • Integrated long-term care.
  • The efforts of large-scale pilot projects.
It draws on the work of two EU projects, in particular: COMFORTage and Laurel.

Change Management, including capacity-building

This track has three parts. It is oriented towards:

  • Support for large-scale deployment.
  • Health workforce skills.
  • The work of social robots.
Its work is related to the focus of three EU projectsDigitalHealthUptakeBeWell, and LIFEBOTS Exchange.

Electronic Health Record Interoperability, including the European Health Data Space

This track has two parts. It is oriented towards:

  • The implementation of identity (ID) standards related to medicinal products.
  • An interoperability hub with a focus on public health use of data.
It relates to the initiatives undertaken in two EU projectsUNICOM and xShare.

The big picture is the Common European Data Space

Europe is planning a European Data Space.  Up to nine sectoral data spaces contribute to the space as a whole, including skills: health is a key data space. It is the first space on which Europe is focusing.


Upcoming in 2023 among the health data space initiatives will be technological shifts towards edge computing, cloud  infrastructure and services, high-performance computing, “AI on demand”, and artificial intelligence (AI) testing and experimentation facilities.

Many of EHTEL’s past and present Imagining 2029 activities, including videos, quick reads and factsheetshave already concentrated on the importance of data, data sharing, and the European Health Data Space. EHTEL’s collaborations with important European projects and thought leader organisations have been key to these developments.

Looking forward to 2029 and a digital future for health and care

Two years have already passed since EHTEL started the Imagining 2029 initiative.

2021 showed how technologies are influencing the way health and care are organised and used. The disruption implicit in the 2019-2020 COVID-19 outbreak worsened many  health and care challenges . The disruption forcefully affected the way people live. It changed the daily routines of each and every one of us, disrupting our social and working lives, and offering us opportunities to get more involved in health and social care management and provision, including self-care.

2022 was impacted by yet other societal and economic crises – polycrises. Nevertheless, the Imagining 2029 focus encouraged a more in-depth look at two themes, innovation and transformation. These two complementary themes showed absolute inter-dependence. Among the topics into which EHTEL took a deep-dive were:

  • Innovation: architecture; data sharing; data governance; and, especially, interoperability.
  • Transformation: digital health governance; health data standards; and medication management were all topics that corresponded to the ecosystem’s need for knowledge-sharing.

Throughout 2021 and 2022, EHTEL operated in this new era of digital health and care as a large-scale collaboration. In the years to come, EHTEL will continue to work with its members, helping you to join forces to propose and implement new solutions, make progress, and confront the serious challenges we all face in health and care.

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Based on this future-facing framework, EHTEL is developing a further year’s work programme in 2023 with its members. The first of this events is on “inclusive usability”.



To take a look back in time at EHTEL’s heritage of work on developing future components of digital health, discover the EHTEL 20th Anniversary page.



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