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29 September 2021
Asthma , COPD
INFORM, - Patient Evidence

EFA was invited to present at this year’s European Lung Foundation’s (ELF) Patient Organisation Networking Day, focusing on “Digital health: the role of patients and their healthcare teams in the future of healthcare.”

Among several great presenters was EFA’s Programme Manager, Valeria Ramiconi, to show the early findings from EFA’s DIGIT project. The DIGIT project explores the perspectives of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients on the digital transformation of healthcare, most notably with the introduction and use of e-health and m-health services.

E-health refers to how information and communication technologies are used to support health and health-related fields (e-prescriptions). M-health falls under e-health and refers to the use of mobile and wireless technologies for health.

After surveying nearly 1,000 patients, EFA found that:

  • The use of general digital tools is high among participants, especially among asthma patients
  • The use of e-health and m-health is low compared to general digital tools
  • The pandemic increased the use of digital tools including e/m-health
  • Patients feel a general openness towards digital health services despite their low use

The drivers and barriers towards digital service use and data sharing are of high importance. Meanwhile, the prospect of better disease management and improved conditions, treatments and research outcomes were key drivers for asthma and COPD patients to increase use of digital tools. EFA has identified that one of the main barriers for patients to use digital solutions in healthcare is the lack of awareness and difficulties in accessing certain tools. Patients reported fearing loss of human contact with healthcare providers, and concerns about the misuse of data as key barriers against patients’ use.

EFA was pleased to share these early findings with participants to help increase understanding of the benefits and challenges of digital healthcare solutions, facilitate discussions on the role of patients and patient organisations in the digital transformation, and most importantly, centre the lived experience of asthma and COPD patients.

Find a recording of the full presentation here and the full presentation from ERS Congress.

Stay tuned for the full report coming soon!