The digital transformation of our society brings about new opportunities for the healthcare sector to become more effective, sustainable and accessible. Digital solutions and data utilisation can help improve people’s health and address some of the challenges facing healthcare in Europe.
Barriers to the digitalisation of healthcare, however, exist and require adequate attention. In this Policy Brief, timely published ahead of the Communication from the Commission on the digital transformation of health and care in the context of the Digital Single Market, Simona Guagliardo discusses the benefits of and barriers to the deployment of digital solutions in health and calls for the EU to develop a comprehensive approach that takes into account data protection and security, ICT infrastructure development and public support. EU’s next steps should address the management of the vast amount of personal health data and the related privacy concerns, the still existing gaps in ICT infrastructure development across and within countries, and the digital health literacy of the population as well as the overall trust towards digital solutions. The ultimate aim should be to harness the potential of digitalisation in order to ensure more cost-effective and resilient healthcare systems while securing equal access and improving people’s health.