The profound upheavals and challenges being ushered in by the process of digital transformation have inspired us to take action. Digital platforms are changing our lives and have the capacity to amplify concentrations of power and foster the emergence of data monopolies in healthcare.
Through the use of digital media, we are confronted with unprecedented quantities of information. Algorithmic systems and information bubbles within social networks cultivate an environment conducive to misinformation and distrust. At the same time, research shows that a growing share of the population has considerable difficulty finding appropriate information and evaluating it in terms of its quality and reliability.

Tech Giants in Healthcare

Digital platforms are fundamentally reshaping the rules and regulatory conditions of our healthcare system. We find ourselves at the initial stages of a profound transformation: The platform economy, with its disruptive business models, is poised to mold the healthcare systems of the future, disregarding established power dynamics. Will patient flows be managed by global companies in the future? The contributions in this section explain how platform economies work and how digital platforms could bundle data streams to become powerful gatekeepers.

What is platform power?

Platforms. We all use them every day. Instagram, eBay, Uber, Wolt, Airbnb … Platforms are useful because they organize communication, coordination and transactions, and thus make all kinds of tasks easier. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we also often feel uncomfortable with our dependence upon them.

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The transformative nature of digital ecosystems

Offering numerous benefits to everyone involved, the collaborative nature of digital ecosystems and platform economies has led to significant transformations in various domains of life. This overview highlights the appealing aspects of digital ecosystems and their platforms and explores ways to harness their innovative potential.  

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On the terminology of digital ecosystems and platforms

The terms “platform” and “digital ecosystem” are frequently used in various contexts, but their precise meanings can be unclear. What distinguishes a digital ecosystem and how does it relate to the concept of a platform? The following definitions are intended to shed light on these terms. Brands like Amazon, Airbnb or Uber are notable examples of companies that have established extensive digital ecosystems that have a profound impact on the lives of many people.

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Disinformation and Conspiracy Myths

In matters concerning health, disinformation can cause significant harm and even put lives at risk. The neologism “infodemia” illustrates how false or misleading information can spread rapidly and have negative effects on public health. The ability to critically evaluate health information is therefore more important than ever. However, for many people, questioning medical information, verifying sources, and applying newfound knowledge can be challenging.


Creating resilience against desinformation

Those who want to inform themselves about health topics often feel lost in the jungle of information. According to surveys, many people do not have the necessary health literacy to distinguish fake news from trustworthy information.

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Health literacy and infodemics

Making healthy decisions requires access to accurate information. Health literacy involves a range of skills that enable us to effectively navigate this information in our daily lives. In an era where information is abundant, and digital platforms offer seemingly unlimited access to knowledge, many people find it challenging to sift through the overwhelming volume of information they are confronted with.

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Platform Strategy for National Health Systems

Faced with the growing influence of digital platforms, national healthcare systems can either rely entirely on legislation to regulate the platform market or they can proactively offer their own solutions in parallel.  So far, the platform market has been dominated by global tech companies, but public and civil society actors also have the potential to establish digital platforms able to generate welfare effects.  A national platform strategy can define the standards and interfaces that facilitate seamless collaboration among various actors, establish values-driven guiding principles for digital innovations and create substantial benefits for patients.

Trusted Health Ecosystems: Our project approach

The digital age is impacting our lives in ways we’ve never experienced before, and it’s doing so at an accelerating pace. This rapid change, coupled with the disruptive effects it brings, places considerable demands on society in terms of adaptability. Digital platforms are at the forefront of this change, as they supply the essential infrastructure and services driving this transformation. Through their platforms, digital ecosystems have fundamentally altered entire sectors of the economy.

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