Digital healthcare viewed from the perspective of a Person living with Diabetes – Bastian Hauck shares his opinion in a MedTech Europe Webinar

03 November 2020

MedTech Europe organised a webinar on October 20 – ‘Digitally Enabled Diabetes Care in Action in Europe’.

This was part of a series of webinars organised by MedTech Europe to discuss the findings of a recently published paper – ‘A Vision for Digitally Enabled Diabetes Care in Europe’.

Bastian Hauck, Director, IDF Europe, was a member of the panel, alongside Prof. Tadej Batellino, Dr. Brian Keenon, and Dr. Ansgar Resch.

Many advances have been made recently in implementing digital health solutions as healthcare systems have been forced to adapt to the COVID-19 situation. As Bastian aptly pointed out, people in Germany had been lobbying for the introduction of e-prescriptions for years, but only in recent months has this become a reality. While this has proven that digital health can play a vital role within healthcare systems, there are fears that healthcare systems may revert back to the way they were before, after the pandemic has subsided. The webinar addressed how to keep up the momentum towards more digital solutions into the future and how to ensure that digital health can work for everyone.

Prof. Tadej Battelino, a Slovenian-based paediatrician, agreed that digitalisation can be a great supplement to current healthcare systems and practices. He also highlighted the need for an EU-wide health data space and also for healthcare workers, diabetologists included, to be open to digital transformation. Dr. Brian Kennon, a consultant diabetologist in Scotland discussed the extensive diabetes database in place in Scotland and the lessons other European countries can learn from this. He stressed the need for wide stakeholder involvement and agile policy plans.

Dr. Ansgar Resch was the representative of MedTech Europe at the virtual event. He pointed out that diabetes is a condition that is very suitable for the use of digital health solutions. The transformation is already here; we just need to take advantage of it. Utilising digital tools to focus on creating an outcomes-based system that has more time for its patients should be the key priorities of digitalisation.

Digital health has the power to revolutionise diabetes care, but it must work for everyone. Digitalisation is not always wanted, suitable or accessible for everyone in every situation and the system must recognise this and put steps in place to protect the needs of these people. Then we can work together towards a system of integrated care that builds on the needs of the individual.