The Get-Together of the Estonian Health Community: the Patient’s Role in Managing their Health is Increasing

The second Estonian Health Get-Together took place at the end of August, to discuss different visions for doctors in year 2040. At the same time, current-day solutions were sought to help Estonian medicine to be even better in the future.

„The objective of the Get-Together as well as of the Cluster is to bring different health-related stakeholders together and to shake them out of their routine “bubble“ so they would come up with novel and better solutions through joint discussions. Hopefully the collaborative ideas will also be implemented in real life,“ explained Külle Tärnov, the Manager of the Connected Health Cluster.

The stakeholders – healthcare providers, students, entrepreneurs, and the public sector acknowledged at the Get-Together that the knowledge, skills but also responsibilities are changing, not only for doctors or patients, but for individuals in general.

Medical professionals pointed out that to achieve better health the electronic health records should be developed further. Doctors need a user-friendly interface that would ease their work. They also noted that it is necessary to implement digital referrals and decision supports systems, that work together with the electronic health records. The increasing role of artificial intelligence was emphasised, stating that AI will become a helpful partner to the doctors.

Different ideas about the availability of health data were proposed. It was common understanding that health information collected by the patient should be accessible by the medical proffessionals. On the other hand, several companies, including start-ups have suggested solutions for health improvement, but currently they have no access to the digital health records.

Tärnov says that the patient’s role in managing their health is increasing, „Different technologies provide the patient information about their health, and give suggestions to improve their health behaviour or manage risks. One proposal from the participants was that an individual who attends regular health check-ups should receive benefits from their health insurance provider.“ Another initiative suggested at the Get-Together was to establish an interest group called the Association of Health Subjects. „The members of the Association will themselves collect their health data from all possible sources and share it voluntarily with pilot projects for novel health services. This approach helps us overcome the complications posed by data protection and bureaucracy, and enables innovative enterprises design new health information services,“ explained Erkki Leego, the Managing Partner of Leego Hansson, an IT management and consulting company.

Another aspect highlighted at the Get-Together was that healthy lifestyle and exercise should be integrated into the educational system.

The Get-Together of the Estonian Health Community vol 2 was held in Saku, Estonia on the 25th August 2017. The event was organised by the Connected Health Cluster and SportEST Cluster.

Active Life Cluster SportEST is is a cross-sector organisation connecting partners working in areas directly or indirectly related to increasing vitality of individuals and versatility of the living environment  by promoting health for active life.

Estonian Connected Health Cluster led by Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol is a community of Estonian health-related stakeholder, whose aim is to jointly develop and implement novel health products and services.

Estonian Connected Health Cluster is a proud member of ECHAlliance and ScanBalt.