Reports

Self-care and eHealth literacy – Key components in the transition to sustainable health systems?

29 March 2017


This CHES Policy Dialogue sought to outline the pros and cons of self-care and the role of eHealth literacy. New health technologies hold immense promise for healthcare, and both prevention and management of chronic diseases can benefit from an increased ability of patients to care for themselves. As a result, self-care could help to make health systems more sustainable. However, an enduring ‘digital divide’ determined by factors such as age, gender, geographical location or socioeconomic status, means that, in addition to unequal access to digital technologies, highly divergent levels of online literacy persist in Europe. Differences in patients’ resources and skills must therefore be taken into account by policymakers. Against this background, this Policy Dialogue addressed the state of play on and challenges in promoting self-care across the EU, including the benefits, the tools at the EU’s disposal for increasing eHealth literacy, as well as potential solutions and risks related to an increase in self-care.

Speakers included: Hans Martens, Chair of CHES and Senior Advisor at the European Policy Centre, Birgitta Sacrédeus, Member of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and Chairperson of the CoR Interregional Group on Health and Wellbeing, Jim Dratwa, Head of Office at the European Group on Ethics (EGE) in Science and New Technologies in the European Commission, Hubertus Cranz, Director-General of the Association of the European Self-Medication Industry, Kristin Semancik, Research and Policy Officer at the European Institute of Women’s Health