Article with AGE Platform Europe about the need to adopt an ethical approach to health technologies and AI and the challenges of including older persons
Strategic Alignment and Breadth of Ambition
Stakeholder participation and leadership
Digital solutions are often seen as ‘ready-made’ solutions to many of the diverse challenges facing health and social care systems across the world and there is a lack of acknowledgement or consideration of the complexity of implementing digital health solutions. In order to understand and meet the needs of key stakeholders (citizens, patients, caregivers, care practitioners, managers, decision-makers and policy-makers), they must become central agents of the entire innovation cycle: design – development – implementation – evaluation of digital health innovations. Identifying the potential benefits of digital health technologies and how they can be realised through stakeholder participation is much more likely to lead to successful deployment and implementation as well as improve improving care quality and ways of working. Therefore, stakeholders have to become active participants; even drivers and stewards of the change management process. Engaging citizens, patients and family caregivers in shared decision-making and participatory governance will lead to greater levels of empowerment and personalised care service delivery. A successful digital transformation in health and care is requires collaboration through system-wide, intersectoral leadership approaches that are effective in working with stakeholders from different professional groups, organisations and sectors. Leadership support and multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral capacity building activities should be one of the first key focus areas of a participatory governance model. This DHE building block presents good practices and approaches for stakeholder participation and leadership.
Shared values and vision
Equal access to health and care services and addressing the social determinants of health are high-level goals of modern societies. This involves taking a holistic cross-government approach to including health and wellbeing in all policies. Inclusive and resilient health and care systems should be centred on local populations and enabling people, including the care team members, to experience health and care as ‘one team’ in ‘one system’. Harnessing the power of multisectoral, interdisciplinary, collective actions begin by co-creating shared values, societal goals, and vision amongst all stakeholders along the whole health and care continuum.
While there has been rapid progress in the development of digital solutions for the health and care sectors, the uptake of these digital health and care technologies remains slow although it should be noted that during the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a much greater focus on the role of digital in facilitating access to health and care services and self-management. The situation in 2021 is now very different and many more people have gained first-hand experience of using digital technologies and can recognise their potential. This means that the key activity of using co-design methodologies in identifying the care delivery shortcomings, their wider impact on the health and care system and designing and developing technologies and the associated new ways of working/ care pathways is likely to be much more meaningful for those involved and accelerate their adaption and adoption.