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Looking ahead to game-changing technologies in health and care

2020 provides the chance to reflect on a year’s work but also on work spread over an entire decade. It's also an opportunity to look ahead to the important challenges which face Europe as it moves forward on the health and care front to 2029.

Looking back to EHTEL’s launch in 1999: How much did we foresee the current impact of disruptive, digital transformation and change? To what extent did we foresee health care and social care coming together? How did we see people’s ability to self-manage their health and care conditions? How much did we see beyond the use of databases and electronic health records. While we certainly aimed for multi-stakeholder activities and relations, how rich was the resulting ecosystem?
Let's revisit together 20 years of EHTEL's activities. Let's see how has EHTEL evolved over time by watching the EHTEL 20th Anniversary Video.
Many technologies are about to influence how health and care are organised and perceived. This is the important challenge of EHTEL’s third decade. The digital dimension has grown into a significant game-changer in health and care. Looking ahead to 2029, the new role of data in health and care must not be underestimated.
There are several key themes for reflection throughout EHTEL’s 20th anniversary year with its focus on “Imagine 2029: Our data, our health, our care”, such as AI.
AI is a very significant factor in digital development and one of the top technology trends. Advances will be enabled by people’s own data and wise decision-making on how to generate, use, and manage it. It is clearly really important (1) for people to be AI literate and (2) for the contexts in which they use AI to be AI-friendly environments.
Work with EHTEL on how to have good data to have good AI, and which services that are upcoming. Begin to tell the difference between big data, machine learning, mature language processing, and how they will all affect you and when.
Associated with AI are some other exciting and challenging topics. Examples include:
  • Fair data economy: New forms of economy are being built on data. For Europeans, it is really important that any such a data economy should be fair; for end-users, for service providers, and for data providers. Health and care are very important areas in which fair data can operate.

  • Data donation/data sharing: Knowing more about our own personal health and care can help us as individuals and as families. Yet also sharing that data – under the right circumstances – can help improve the health of our communities, and health and care systems at large – through public health and population health, and through good quality research. Currently, we think about donating our blood and our organs; now it’s time to consider donating our data. The digital world will surely improve the ways in which this can be done.  


2019-2020 provides a set of major milestones on the EHTEL agenda. Content will be produced throughout an ongoing co-creation process over the next two years.

Already in 2019, there were fascinating outcomes that emerged from EHTEL’s May 2019 study visit to Bari, Italy and its ELO working group as well as EHTEL's Anniversary Symposium on 3-4 December 2019 in Barcelona.


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