Experts from across Europe gathered in Brussels on 16–17 June, 2015 to discuss developments in personalised medicine and ehealth at the fifth ERS Presidential Summit.
Dominique Hamerlijnck, a patient representative from the Lung Foundation Netherlands (Longfonds) and the European Patient Ambassador, having completed EPAP, was invited to talk about e-health apps, empowerment and self-efficacy. In the last 2 years she has helped to evaluate many e-health apps with a patient review system developed by the patient group at the Longfonds. In everyday life, Dominique is a change manager.
Dominique talked about how e-health apps can support patients in learning behaviour that enables them to make living with a chronic disease like asthma easier. It is not about changing patients, but about adding new behaviour to help them cope with the challenges of having a chronic disease. Empowerment and self-efficacy play an important role in this process.
Dominique concluded that while the principle of empowering patients through apps is a good one, the apps currently available fall short of delivering this aim. She believes that apps should be developed by multidisciplinary teams involving all stakeholders, including patients from the start, to offer the customised support required by all parties.