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Reducing health inequities by ‘Doing eHealth Right’

26 September 2022
On 26 September, the AUMC, together with the Athena Institute and other partners, kicks off the project ‘Doing eHealth Right’. This 1 million euro project aims to increase the health potential of people with a low socioeconomic position in order to reduce health inequalities.

Health disparities due to digital exclusion
People in low socioeconomic positions generally lead less healthy and shorter lives than people in higher socioeconomic positions. The potential of digital technologies (eHealth) to reduce such health disparities is substantial. However, due to growing digital inequalities people in low socioeconomic positions are least likely to benefit from eHealth innovations as currently practiced. Funded by the Dutch Research Agenda (NWA), this project will address that problem and strives for a holistic understanding of health-related digital inequalities. From there, crucial changes in the dominant culture, structure and practice of the eHealth system can be made.

Transforming eHealth
All facets of the eHealth system need to be drastically reformed in order for people in low socioeconomic positions to benefit from eHealth. The current structure of policies, procedures and infrastructures is not at all tailored to this group. Nor are the way knowledge is acquired and the determinants that rate the successfulness of an innovation. Moreover, services and alternative solutions should be co-created together with all stakeholders, including the target groups, instead of being developed by tech designers in isolation.

Following a participatory, transdisciplinary approach, this project will involve health professionals, tech developers, researchers and patients throughout all socioeconomic positions. Together they will collaborate for the next 4 years and examine which improvements should be made, in what manner, and to which parts of the eHealth system.

Led by: Christine Dedding and Nicole Goedhart
Athena partners: Teun Zuiderent-JerakTjerk Jan Schuitmaker-Warnaar and Jessica Coetzer