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Health at a Glance: Europe 2018

State of Health in the EU Cycle

image of Health at a Glance: Europe 2018

Health at a Glance: Europe 2018 presents comparative analyses of the health status of EU citizens and the performance of the health systems of the 28 EU Member States, 5 candidate countries and 3 EFTA countries. It is the first step in the State of Health in the EU cycle of knowledge brokering. This publication has two parts. Part I comprises two thematic chapters, the first focusing on the need for concerted efforts to promote better mental health, the second outlining possible strategies for reducing wasteful spending in health. In Part II, the most recent trends in key indicators of health status, risk factors and health spending are presented, together with a discussion of progress in improving the effectiveness, accessibility and resilience of European health systems.

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Individuals using the internet to access health services and health information

Access to the internet among Europeans is rising (85% of EU households had internet access in 2016) and people are increasingly going on line to access information and interact with the provider of different services. Health is no exception. The amount of information regarding health and illness available on line is growing, as are the opportunities of interacting with health care providers electronically, for example to make medical appointments. Digital technologies can improve patient experience and outcomes, and the efficiency of services, but some may generate minimal benefit (at a considerable expense), and protecting individuals’ privacy is a frequent problem and a policy priority (OECD, 2017). While online medical information can be a useful way to help people manage their health, regulation is difficult and many people are not in a position to check the veracity of this type of information.

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