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Applying Digital Health in Cancer and Palliative Care in Europe: Policy Recommendations from an International Expert Workshop (MyPal Project)

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/01/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number2
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)216-223
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date22/09/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Background: Digital health interventions are becoming increasingly important for adults, children, and young people with cancer and palliative care needs, but there is little research to guide policy and practice. Objectives: To identify recommendations for policy development of digital health interventions in cancer and palliative care. Design: Expert elicitation workshop. Setting: European clinical (cancer and palliative care, adult and pediatric), policy, technical, and research experts attended a one-day workshop in London, England, in October 2022, along with MyPal research consortium members. Methods: As part of the European Commission-funded MyPal project, we elicited experts' views on global, national, and institutional policies within structured facilitated groups, and conducted qualitative analysis on these discussions. Results/Implementation: Thirty-two experts from eight countries attended. Key policy drivers and levers in digital health were highlighted. Global level: global technology regulation, definitions, access to information technology, standardizing citizens' rights and data safety, digital infrastructure and implementation guidance, and incorporation of technology into existing health systems. National level: country-specific policy, compatibility of health apps, access to digital infrastructure including vulnerable groups and settings, development of guidelines, and promoting digital literacy. Institutional level: undertaking a needs assessment of service users and clinicians, identifying best practice guidelines, providing education and training for clinicians on digital health and safe digital data sharing, implementing plans to minimize barriers to accessing digital health care, minimizing bureaucracy, and providing technical support. Conclusions: Developers and regulators of digital health interventions may find the identified recommendations useful in guiding policy making and future research initiatives.