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News & Press: News

Digitalization Must Address A Real Need (5 questions to Brian O’Connor, ECHAlliance Chair)

28 August 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Smith
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Too often the deployment of eHealth solutions fails because some

stakeholders live in their own world or/and they think they know everything

ECHAlliance supports international multi-stakeholder connections. Why is cooperation within healthcare ecosystems so important in relation to digital technologies? 

Our experience teaches us that the real benefit of multi-stakeholder Ecosystems is in the relationships. First between people, then the organisations they represent and finally establishing a shared desire to solve problems.

Too often the deployment of solutions is delayed because one stakeholder is unfamiliar with what solutions are available, sometimes because they live in their own world and other times because they think they know everything, which blocks them to new ideas because that would mean admitting that they do not actually know everything.

You watch the development of eHealth around the world. Could you please share with us some of your conclusions: what are the success factors, which factors could support the adoption of digital innovations, and which play an important role?

Whether it is Europe, China, Canada or the USA, similar needs exist, as do similar obstacles. We find that by connecting stakeholders to deal with a specific need, we can help build trust and relationships. By introducing proven solutions that have worked elsewhere, and by connecting the people and the organisations, we have accelerated deployment across continents.

What should be taken into consideration during the process of implementation of eHealth projects on a large scale?

First it must address a real need, as too often large projects are more about a political agenda than a real need of the citizens. Second, it is always good to identify other countries that have executed projects in the same field. For example, several years ago Greece successfully implemented a national e-prescription service, which saved significant amounts of money, created a very efficient service for the citizens and is now gathering data that will again improve the lives of its citizens and open up areas for better treatments and prevention.

We in the ECHAlliance have acted as the Connector in this and other fields, we know that we can all always learn from others' successes and failures, and that we must be open to being educated.

Do you believe in establishing in the future a cross-border electronic health record system or even interoperability among those countries that could enable it?

Recent EU Regulations encourage the cross border transfer of information, and the Estonian EU Presidency will focus on the Digital Health Society, dedicated to ensuring that fine words are turned into real actions for the benefit of all citizens. We in the ECHAlliance are proud to have been appointed a Strategic Partner to the Estonian EU Presidency.

What are your experiences as a "connector platform"? As ECHAlliance connects many different stakeholders with different interests, is some form of balanced cooperation in digital health possible?

Through our International Network of Ecosystems we gather a great deal of intelligence on who is doing what in specific technologies and/or disease categories. Our Global Connector Platform enables us to enhance our human network with our online network.

We have and continue to connect regions, industries and academia as specific and real responses to needs. This "Helicopter" view allows us to see opportunities that others do not, and to share these for the benefit of our members.

The ECHAlliance exists to ensure that great experiences and great solutions from great people are publicised in a methodical and consistent way for the right stakeholders, to ensure that benefits for the citizens and for the economy are achieved.

Article Source:

Article Author: Artur Olesch