Second WHO Symposium on the Future of Health Systems in a Digital Era in the WHO European Region
Porto, Portugal and online on 5-6 September 2023.
Taking place in Porto, Portugal and online on 5-6 September 2023, the Second WHO Symposium on the Future of Health Systems in a Digital Era in the WHO European Region (1) centred on the integration of digital technologies into healthcare systems and their potential impact on healthcare delivery, accessibility, and quality.
The event addressed practice, policy and regulatory considerations related to the digital transformation of health systems, including in relation to mental health.
In the context of psychology, some themes that emerged included:
Digital Mental Health Services: Discussions around the use of digital platforms and telehealth for providing mental health services.
Data Analytics: Considering the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence in identifying mental health trends, early intervention, and improving outcomes.
Accessibility: There are opportunities to improve access to care, especially in remote or underserved areas. However there are also potential issues around digital literacy.
Privacy and Ethics: Care is needed to ensure the privacy and ethical handling of data in digital systems, and that systems that are built from training data appropriately representative of the needs and individual differences of those they seek to support.
Equality of access, including through digitalisation, is one of EFPA’s 7 mental health advocacy points (2). The intersection of mental health and digitalisation is something EFPA will continue to closely focus on and provide updates on.