The evolution of AER’s Digital Network
Sitting within AER’s Committee 2 for Social Policy & Public Health, AER’s eHealth Network was created in 2006 with the purpose of:
- raising awareness of the need to deploy eHealth in Europe and to get the topic high on the European agenda
- supporting the development of interregional projects on eHealth
- facilitating mutual learning on eHealth policies and practice to support the deployment of eHealth across wider Europe.
The Network, chaired by Agneta Granström, Region Norbotten (SE), delivered many activities over the following years, including:
- Discussions on leadership for the deployment of health innovation, e.g. conference in Covasna, 2011 (where the need for leadership was identified as a priority); Workshop in Donegal, 2014
- Artic Light eHealth Conferences in Norrbotten, Sweden
- Supporting AER regions to get involved at European level, starting with the European Year on Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA) in 2012, the EIP on AHA and the Silver Economy
- informed the discussions in the Committees on other topics such as public sector innovation, design, user experience, governance in the context of the digital transformation.
- eHealth projects developed with AER regions: SmartCare, Engaged, MOCHA and now SCIROCCO Exchange.
- Contribution to consultations and dialogue with the European Commission’s DG SANTE and DG CNECT.
Following a review of the eHealth Network and its activities in 2019, AER members agreed to change the name of the Network from eHealth Network to Digital Health Network to reflect the evolution of the ehealth agenda in Europe. Members also agreed to focus the Network’s activities on supporting regions with the digital transformation of health and care.
Objectives of the Network
The Digital Health Network aims to provide a platform for AER regions to share their experiences, knowledge and resources that support the effective deployment of digital health solutions within their regional healthcare systems. The digital transformation of health and care requires further action in these areas:
- citizen’s secure access to and sharing of health data across borders;
- better data to advance research, disease prevention and personalised health and care;
- digital tools for citizen empowerment and person-centred care.
The exchange of knowledge is crucial to support the implementation and sustainable transformation of digitally enabled health and care services. The Digital Health Network will:
- Provide knowledge exchange opportunities for AER regions working to implement digital health.
- Promote relevant policies to advance the implementation of digital health for all citizens.
- Share good practices in the use of digital health in response to key health and care challenges for regions.
- Recognise the diversity of regions and identify key lessons from their different approaches to digital health.
- Develop our shared understanding of how digital health can support increased citizen participation in and self-management of their own health and wellbeing.
Identify key events, in which members of the Digital Health Network will participate, to promote and raise awareness of the Network’s activities.
Network Activities in 2019
10 September 2019
Breakfast Seminar on Innovation in healthcare design, Brussels.
Region Värmland (SE), the Scottish Government (UK) and AER organised a breakfast seminar on the topic of innovation in healthcare design. The goals of the seminar were to:
- Highlight the European Union perspective on digital and healthcare innovation
- Showcase the approaches to design and digital innovation in healthcare adopted by Scotland and Sweden
- Discuss and share lessons learned in other regions
The presentations from the event can be found on the Breakfast seminar webpage
26 October 2019
Digital Health Network meeting, Autumn Plenaries, Slovenia
The Digital Health Network met during the Autumn Plenary and identified the following priorities for future activities:
- mapping of status of digital health maturity in AER regions
- mapping of integrated care in Europe via the Scirocco Exchange project
- develop a project with the Committee on Economy and Regional Development on digital health in rural areas
19 – 21 November 2019 – Smart City Expo World Congress, Barcelona
AER organised a mutual learning event about ‘Digital Transformation in Healthcare: Regional Perspective for Integrated Care’. Through this session, attendees explored the regional perspective of integrated care systems and the related challenges and benefits, high-level speakers showcased the latest solutions from West Slovenia, Catalonia and Scotland. The Scirocco Exchange Project, a pillar project for AER, was presented by Scotland
Presentations are available on the event
Network Activities for 2020-21
The proposed activities being planned for the Network in 2020 – 2021 are outlined in the roadmap below. These activities will be a blend of online and in-person events and will be planned and coordinated with the full participation and support from AER regions.
Proposed knowledge exchange topics for 2020-21:
- Digital health tools in the response to COVID-19: lessons learned from AER regions and plans for the future
- digital health tools to support recovery and rehabilitation: focus on physical rehabilitation
- digital health tools to support recovery: focus on mental health and well being
- Regions experience in citizen participation approaches to deliver sustainable digital health services
- Capacity building to support the implementation of digital health