Advocating the dutch approach at the presidential debate at HIMSS Europe

Last week three countries debated on their healthcare strategies at HIMSS Europe in Sitges. This was my speech at the stage:

The Dutch approach

We all are patients, as are our friends, parents or kids. We are all doctors as we share decision making with our caregivers. Sharing decision making demands shared information. Therefore we gave every Dutch citizen the legal right to download and use their own medical data. The Dutch approach focuses on giving everyone the tools to become CEO of their own health and masters of their own health data.

To better prepare for a doctor’s consult. To share data with doctors. Or even to share data with researchers to improve treatments. But a law is not enough. And even technology is not. It is trust in Information exchange that is crucial.

That is where our Dutch national program called “MedicalMe”, or in Dutch “MedMij” comes in. MedicalMe is a patient-led coalition of insurers, healthcare providers, Health-IT- industry and the government and it is governed by our health information council. Together we develop and test a trust framework consisting of a set of standards to enable exchange personal health data with patients. It is of course based on international standards and best practices. Providing industry with a fertile ground to design innovative personal health environments that really help us all to be ceo of our own health.

Using MedMij everyone can safely download their own medical data into their own personal digital vault. Adding their device-generated and other health data, securely sharing their data with healthcare providers. It is not a fantasy, it will go live this summer.

MedMij creates an amazing opportunity for innovation, as the number of Dutch innovators present today shows. It creates a whole new ecosystem of empowered patients requiring innovative services.

In the next three years, every hospital in The Netherlands will have implemented these standards. General practitioners and pharmacies are already adopting these standards too. Many others are joining the movement. I invite you all to do so too. Think big, act small and start today. By visiting the Dutch house at this conference for example. We welcome you to our movement.
I’m proud that we are working together with all the major stakeholders, as an ecosystem. We don’t have a top-down Big Bang strategy to roll out solutions, but we co-create with patients, doctors, nurses and all others involved. Working agile, thinking big, acting small and doing it everyday. Thus creating a movement that can not be stopped. Such a movement requires leadership, lone nuts and early followers. But it can accelerate fast, as “hello my name is” or the pink socks movement shows.

Who has pink socks in this auditorium. Raise your hands please! This movement was started by nick Adkins at HIMSS in 2015. Just three years ago.

This conference hundreds of members of the Dutch ecosystem are present. Patients like Annemiek, CMIO’s like Felix, doctors like Gabrielle, Insurers like Han, and many many others. We meet and inspire each other to strive for next steps. With one thing in mind: to make all of us masters of our own health.

Lessons learned
In 2011, we were building a national system to exchange patient records. Parliament forced government to step back. Luckily enough, maybe. Because now we are working bottom up, involving doctors and patients. More innovative and not only focusing on periods of illness, but also on staying healthy and being the ceo of your own health and your own health data. Data that is not only medical records but also data that we generate ourselves and enable us to make informed choices. We also learned that this requires a movement and not a top down approach. One needs everyone on board to move forward collectively.

Closing statement
Think big, act small and start today. Be the change to make yourself and all the people around you CEO of their own health. The lone nuts are already followed and the technology is there. Let’s make it happen.