News
30 March 2021
INFORM, - Patient Evidence, - Research Projects, - Digital Health

The world is undergoing a digital transition that is changing our societies and economies at an unprecedented speed, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digitalisation has an enormous potential to improve health services for people with asthma and COPD in a way that patients are better embraced and to enable guided self-management. It can sharply shift the paradigm from a disease-centred to a patient-centred healthcare.

However, digitalisation also poses great challenges. The regulatory framework for digital healthcare, access to digital tools, and data protection as well as keeping patients informed about their data all require commitment from EU and national policymakers to put measures in place.

Through the DIGIT project we will conduct a survey among 1000 patients in 5 countries to understand the digital needs, perceptions and use by asthma and COPD patients. EFA will use the input to deepen our insight into the asthma and COPD patient digital journey. Our aim is to identify existing gaps in accessing digital solutions and the factors that may create or enlarge the bias (age, socio-economic status, level of education, level of digital literacy). This will help EFA and our members to advocate for reducing the inequity in accessing digital solutions address the specific causes.

EFA has advocated for the voice of patients in digital health for some time. In 2019 EFA published the Active Patients Access Care report. The final recommendations called for asthma and COPD patients to have two-way digital tools to enable patient-doctor follow-up and adherence to treatment. Through an EFA survey, asthma and COPD patients expressed the wish for policy-makers to #ShowLeadership in the digital transformation, by facilitating the process towards digital health in a way that patients are empowered, have control on their health information, and are engaged in their care. We also found out that only 1 in 3 patients with asthma and COPD have a self-management plan while 33% of COPD patients and 20% of asthma patients interviewed have never heard about such a plan.

In 2020 EFA organised the Allergy and Respiratory Patients Digital Conference to focus on the power of digitalisation and innovation to improve health services across Europe.

In 2021, EFA wants to put asthma and COPD patients’ views at the centre of the digitalisation process.

As a result of the survey, we will issue a Charter for digital asthma and COPD care, identifying the key principles to develop, run and use digital tools for asthma and COPD from patient perspective.

Thanks to the insights gained through DIGIT, asthma and COPD patients and patients advocates will have a tool to ask for stronger regulations at the EU and national levels, to increase the patients’ access to digital solutions and their confidence in navigating digital services and sharing their data.

Call for Tender

EFA is looking for an external and impartial agency with solid experience in conducting survey in several European Countries. Full description in the Call for Tender form.

Organisations interested in applying should do it by April 6th 2021.

For more information, please contact EFA Programme Manager Valeria Ramiconi (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Dear Visitor,

for regularly updated information on Covid-19 for allergy and respiratory patients, please consult our Covid-19 resource and information hub.
Stay safe!
The EFA Team