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The role of the platform

E-health is a truly multifaceted area and requires a multidisciplinary perspective and discussion to be made comprehensible. As new e-health techniques and systems are developed and deployed, new areas of concern and obstacles surface, many of which were not foreseen by the developers themselves. The following aspects need to be addressed in order to achieve an optimal implementation of technical solutions and provide a rich understanding of e-health and the effects it can have on society in general and healthcare practice in particular: laws and regulations, digital divides, trust, equality and vulnerability issues, changes in power distribution, patient integrity and safety, technological security, ethics, the work environment of health professionals, health communication, enhanced transparency, and complicated procure-ments. Furthermore, e-health will require and/or allow new forms of organizing and financing healthcare.

The group of researchers from Lund University engaged in the platform have a unique mix of expertise, ranging from practical know-how of developing e-health systems to theoretical understanding of the conditions for and the effects of technical development and implementation. The development of e-health services and products, in part rapid and in part slow and sometimes unpredictable, is often driven by technological innovations. This presents challenges to bridging the gaps between the developers of e-health technologies and systems, the implementers and the users of the technologies, and policymakers. Considering this, a “neutral” arena is required where actors from different areas can engage jointly in discussing and working on technical options, public visions and practical needs.