Digital technologies have sparked a variety of innovative apps and e-health tools that allow for more efficient screening, monitoring or even treatment of patients. However, millions of Dutch citizens are lacking digital literacy (NL Digibeter, 2018). How can we make sure that all citizens are able to profit from these technologies? At the second VSNU Digital Society conference on November 26th, the research lines Health & Well-being and Citizenship & Democracy organize the workshop “Digital literacy in health care: a user-centered perspective to the implementation of e-health applications” to address this issue. 

In the (Dutch-spoken) workshop, participants take the point-of-view of a digitally low literate patient who wants to quit smoking due to pregnancy. Starting from the moment that the caregiver introduces the technology, the workshop follows the journey of the patient until the successful completion of the treatment. The e-health apps Samen met Eva (presented by Willeke van Dijk and developed at the VU Amsterdam in collaboration with Trimbos institute), and Stopcoach are used as a case study.

By taking such a user-centered perspective, we identify the potential hurdles that digitally low literate patients might experience when trying to adopt a new e-health application in their everyday life. Based upon the experiences of expertise center Pharos, that aims to reduce health differences amongst citizens, we discusses how such barriers may be lowered or even prevented, for instance through a more inclusive design of e-health technologies.

Interested in following the workshop? It is still possible to sign up! You can register for the Digital Literacy in Health Care workshop in the first workshop round and the rest of the conference via this link.