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Towards active patient participation in eHealth?

Last Friday, a broad audience gathered in the Pacheco centre to discuss the role of the patient in the management of his or her electronic health record. One conclusion on this conference organised by the FPS health: giving the patient broader access to his personal health data is high on the agenda of all stakeholders. Even though there are challenges (privacy, responsibilities and role of the physician, technical integration, …), use cases from Sweden, Great-Britain, Spain & France all showed the value of sharing information with patients.

In Belgium, several initiatives are paving the way towards a more active patient participation. HealthConnect plays a key role in it. Our consulting practice is a key partner for the Vitalink platform, enabling secure sharing of medical information among the first line actors. But  also direct patient access is foreseen. Our software practice actively works on a medication viewer prototype, giving patients direct access to their medication scheme.

You can track a parcel from the US to your front door, but you cannot follow your own health parameters - Dr. Benny Eklund (Sweden)

Currently, we are far from the full digitalisation and open sharing of health records. Indeed, further progress is required in health literacy, patient control and patient participation.

Across all of these areas, there are still many open challenges in the Belgian landscape:

  • The political organisation of our country in several regions gave birth to several federated or federal initiatives – RSW, COZO, eHealth, Vitalink ... they all play a role in this domain.
  • Privacy is and remains a key concern for all stakeholders – will/can data be used by whom and for which purposes?
  • The legislation about (electronic) medical information sharing is interpreted differently by different stakeholders: patient organisation favor complete (but sometimes delayed) access by the patient, the order of physicians see the physician as the intermediary for effective access.

While these challenges are anything but small, the work done by public organisations and private companies clearly paves the way to a more active role of the patient in managing his/her health!

For more information on how HealthConnect works on better health for patients, feel free to contact us: info@healthconnect.be