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01 December 2021
Asthma , COPD
INFORM, - Patient Evidence

In the current digital revolution, digital tools are increasingly popular methods to improve healthcare access as well as the relationship between patients and healthcare providers. To understand its impact on respiratory healthcare, EFA has launched a projectto collect datafrom asthma and COPD patients about their digital journey in healthcare and assess their experiences and needs.

The DIGIT survey sample

Over the summer period,EFasurveyed 975 asthma and COPD patients from 5 European countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Ireland, Norway and Spain) to understand how digitalisation has impacted their access to healthcare, the diagnosis, treatment and management of their conditions. 

Preliminary survey findings

While the use of digital tools among participants is high, nevertheless we identified several barriers for patients from having full access and use of digital solutions for their healthcare. On the one hand, lack of awareness and the fact of not being offered digital tools, as well as low digital literacy among patients, are some ofthe obstacles that patients encounter in their digital journey. On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the digitalisation process and pushed a large number of patients to start using digital solutions for their healthcare. This has encouraged respiratory patients tobecome increasingly “digital” and more open to digital solutions. Among the most appreciated aspects of turning digital is the efficiency that digital tools offer.

Upcoming DIGIT report

Key findings from the survey will be analysed and illustrated in the EFA DIGIT report which is under preparation and will be launched in the beginning of 2022. With the support of our Members whocontributed to the draft of the report through several consultations, the report will also include recommendations and a call to action for all stakeholders, including policymakers, healthcare professionals, digital healthdevelopers and patientsto advocate for better access to digital healthcare. 

EFA Members and all respiratory patients will be able to use the report and its recommendations as a powerful tool to raise awareness on their needs and views on digitalisation. 

In parallel, EFA will also issue a Charter for Digital Asthma and COPD Care to identify the key principles for developing, running and using digital tools for asthma and COPD from the patients’ perspective.

You can find more information on DIGIT and EFA activities on digitalisation on our website.