New empirica #SmartHealthSystems study benchmarking 17 countries on their digital health strategies published

Digital innovations in healthcare systems can prove crucial to improving healthcare provision. To understand where, how and why the digital transformation of healthcare is succeeding allows developing and adapting digitalization strategies that ensure citizens, patients and society to receive optimized healthcare.

Commissioned by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, empirica conducted an extensive international comparison of healthcare systems with a particular focus on digital transformation and benchmarked the digital strategies of health systems in 17 countries. The report in German was presented by empirica and the Bertelsmann Stiftung in November 2018, the English version was recently launched in Brussels.
As part of the study and its international benchmarking, a novel standalone Digital Health Index was developed, evaluating the state of digitalization achieved in fourteen EU members (Estonia, Denmark, Spain, England, Sweden, Portugal, Netherlands, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany and Poland) and Israel, Canada and Australia. This index is comprised of 34 indicators relating to policy and strategy, technical readiness, and the digital maturity and extent to which integrated healthcare data exchange is actually taking place.

A second part on Success Criteria examines in greater detail five of the 17 surveyed countries: Denmark, France, Israel, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. empirica conducted interviews and on-site visits in each country in order to acquire a deeper understanding of the success factors and barriers to digitalization efforts. This second study empirically analysed in closer detail the political actions and structures in each country as well as their framework conditions. We identified key factors of success as well as barriers to advancing the digital transformation of a given healthcare system.

Our findings and conclusions drawn are intended to facilitate the formulation of improved digitalization strategies while advancing and accelerating implementation solutions.

The complete report in English and German and the full results of the study are available at

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The study was part of an extensive international comparison of health care systems with the focus on “digitisation”. The overall objective was to collect and evaluate data on the status, level of use and key success criteria for effective digitisation strategies.
Digital Health