01 December 2021

The European Patients’ Forum (EPF) held its annual congress from 26-29 October, which welcomed more than 450 participants online, including representatives from patient organisations, healthcare professionals, public health NGOs, EU and national institutions, as well as pharmaceutical companies.

During the congress, speakers and attendees explored the digitalisation of healthcare and its impact on patients. On the first day, EFA attended a session dedicated to learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic on the importance of a patient-centred digitalisation. EFA also participated in sessions that created lively conversations with questions around the possible risks related to data sharing, together with the importance of compliance with data protection legislation for research-used data. 

The second day of the congress dived deep into the topic of trust and patients‘ rights when sharing health data, with a special focus on granting access to digital solutions for all patients. Participants also explored the role digitalisation has in empowering patients and improving their interactions with healthcare providers.

Patients were at the centre of the third day of the congress to highlight the importance of their involvement to co-design digital tools dedicated to their healthcare. Patient involvement from the beginning of the development of any innovation is crucial to ensure that the tool address unmet needs.

During the last day, speakers and attendees shared insights into digital literacy for patients and healthcare providers to empower patients and improve access to and the quality of healthcare. The potential of the European Health Data Space was also brought into light as well as how patients can shape it.

This edition of EPF congress aligns with the activities that EFA is undertaking in the digital sector. You will find all the main aspects of digitalisation discussed during the congress and the importance of a patient-centred digitalisation, the challenges and the opportunities for patients in the upcoming EFA DIGIT Report.