Digital health literacy
Citizens' digital health literacy is an essential element for successful eHealth deployment. However, citizens often do not have the necessary skills to understand and appraise online health information and apply their knowledge to make health decisions. Digitally health literate citizens are empowered to play a more active role in their health management (improved self-management) and will be better informed about health issues. Digital health literacy can also help improve prevention and adherence to a healthy lifestyle, improve the use of pharmaceutical products enhance the safe and proper use of medicines, strengthen the patient involvement and empowerment, and finally improve health outcomes.
Proposals should provide support for the improvement of digital health literacy of citizens. In particular, proposals should design open access online courses ("MOOCs") for different population cohorts including children and the elderly and other high-risk patient groups, supporting an interactive learning environment. These courses should ensure user-friendliness and involve citizens to co-design, test and implement learning modules that would help them improve their digital health literacy skills. The courses should be designed tailored to users' needs based on a strong understanding and projections of key factors, drivers, barriers and trends of the future that affect digital health literacy, be targeted specifically to citizens with low levels of digital health literacy and take into account and quantifying demographic, social, cultural and gender differences and address critical and/or interactive skills and competencies, as well as support peer learning. The work should also articulate a roadmap roll-out, simulate system level changes and detail the most appropriate policy actions for ongoing enablement.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
- Increased awareness of the opportunities of eHealth tools and enhanced skills on how to use ICT for health-related purposes in order to obtain better health outcomes and safer care;
- A better understanding for citizens of online information on health-related topics and a better understanding of health, disease and their own capacity of intervention, including how to decrease the risks of self-medication and self-treatment;
- Positive impact at the personal level (knowledge, motivation, self-confidence, stronger feelings of control), involvement and empowerment;
- Strengthened evidence base on health outcomes, quality of life, safety of care, care efficiency gains from a more digitally health literate population;
- Improved adherence to a healthy lifestyle, to a preventive approach and to more empowered lifestyle choices.