A digital health platform has so many opportunities to actually bring health to people.
Why is digital health literacy becoming increasingly important?
Health literacy is two-sided. On one hand we talk about the health literacy of the public, of people. The other side is about the health literacy responsiveness of systems. So how do we design systems to be health literacy friendly? And when we talk about digital health literacy, we are challenged. Because we see that there are so many barriers for people to find information on social media, on websites and so forth. Many public websites are not designed very user friendly. And it means that people can get lost. It’s important that we recognize that healthcare systems have a say in how we design systems and the way we can help people to gain digital health literacy.
How can health literacy be promoted?
Healthcare systems play an important role in increasing health literacy of people. It’s important to create a leadership, ownership, management buy-in to implement health literacy as a strategic approach in organisations. Healthcare systems are also important in terms of setting guidelines and standards for use of data, for example. So it’s important to create a good framework for privacy and data security.
How can we create a health literate future?
I believe the future is health literate. I believe we all have a responsibility to design healthcare systems that are conducive and empower people to take care of their health and well-being. It’s a responsibility of all of us, whether you work in the healthcare sector or beyond the healthcare sector. So it means for the healthcare staff, but also those outside, so meaning teachers, coaches, decision makers, policy makers, journalists: We all have a responsibility and we can all make that difference of making the future health literate.
Dr. Kristine Sørensen, President of the International Health Literacy Association, advocates for more people to gain better digital health literacy. To achieve this, she believes that health systems have a responsibility to become more user-friendly. In this video, the health literacy expert outlines the framework for health systems that aim to empower people to take responsibility for their health and well-being.