IC-Health – Improving digital health literacy in Europe

Programme: Horizon 2020
Project Status: COMPLETED (2015 – 2018)

What aims and scope

To provide support for the improvement of digital health literacy in Europe by designing 35 open-access online courses (MOOCs) in seven different national languages for varying populations including children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, elderly and people affected or susceptible to type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

How it became possible 

To achieve the goals, the project undertook the following actions:

  • Increase awareness among EU citizens of the opportunities of eHealth tools
  • Establish Communities of Practice on digital health literacy
  • Shape, facilitate and coordinate and organise the co-creation of overall 35 MOOCs – each one addressing one specific population cohort and being available in eight EU languages (English, French, Italian, Danish, German, Swedish, Dutch and Spanish) by at least 780 EU citizens
  • Test the MOOCs and assess their impact on health literacy, digital health literacy and health self-management
  • Advance the understanding of digital health literacy and its role in improving health outcomes

The project then evaluated the impact of improved digital health literacy on groups with very diverse features in terms of social and cultural background, and digital literacy and health literacy levels.

Insights gained from working with these groups allowed for wider-scale action recommendations to be formulated.

The identified population cohorts, along with health professionals, academics and other practitioners, were organised into Communities of Practice (CoP) to support the co-creation of the MOOCs content and structure. Once the courses were designed, CoP members and other users tested the MOOCs for assessment and refining. 

Where EHMA delivered

As lead partner for communications and dissemination activities, EHMA promoted the project to inform and involve potential users and stakeholder groups. EHMA also supported research activities held in Belgium. 


EU logoThis project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727474. This page and the publications contained herein only reflect the author’s views. The European Union is not liable for any use that might be made of the information contained in this page and publications.


You can share the ​​35 co-created MOOCs in seven different national languages for varying populations including children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, elderly and people affected or susceptible to type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
MOOCs can be found here: IC-Health Moocs: Log in to the site (ichealth-moocs.eu)


What our Members say

I have been active in EHMA since the first years of the '90s and I have seen its evolution from a small association of members interested in sharing knowledge on health management practices to the current status of reference and advisory key player for EU, health systems and organisations, stakeholders associations, industry and universities. EHMA is now a unique knowledge hub, policy advisor, community of practice and network of best in class organisations involved in health policy and management. A place where health managers can build their competences, policy-makers and stakeholder associations envision how to implement and sustain change through health management, industry leaders understand how to engage more effectively with health organisations and systems. The right place to nurture and grow health management capabilities and capacity for every stakeholder of health systems.

Prof. Federico Lega, University of Milan, Italy

Health management has a crucial function in shaping public health and health system challenges. The Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria had success in collaborating with EHMA on EU-funded projects that has resourced us to create new health management competencies for the future workforce. In addition to all classical definitions, health management is a science dealing with individuals, groups, and society at large. It is an art contributing to the beauty of our lives and an interactive communication process at all levels of institutions and human energy. I have also had the pleasure to chair the South Eastern European Special Interest Group which gives members a space to discuss and tools to address how health systems are managed in our regions.

Prof. Todorka Kostadinova, Medical University of Varna, Bulgaria

I enjoy the high level of interaction and engagement in EHMA’s activities, in particular during the annual conference where the panel discussions are rich and well prepared. As a hospital manager and professor of health management, EHMA motivates and inspires me to be creative. You go back home feeling energised from seeing old friends and making new connections, as well as being convinced of serving as EHMA’s ambassador. It’s a strong feeling of interdisciplinary engagement, but it also feels like being part of family-like community.

Prof. Sandra C. Buttigieg, University of Malta, Malta

EHMA is a pre-eminent organisation for everyone working in planning, managing and delivering health services across Europe. As a long standing member of EHMA I have always been impressed by the vibrant community of managers, researchers and academics it has created and by the many opportunities for sharing knowledge and funding opportunities it has brought to its members. Its international scope is impressive and its impact is often felt in management and research across European and national health systems.

Prof. Axel Kaehne, Edge Hill University, UK

Health workforce has become more essential in operating, managing and maintaining health systems lately, particularly in crisis and emergency situations. European healthcare professions and the workforce need to be high on the agenda of managers and decision makers. The Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University in Hungary is a longstanding EHMA member, because it connects us with collaborators and experts, with whom we can have complex debates, from whom we can learn and at the end find solutions in various challenging fields of healthcare management.

Dr Eszter Kovács, Health Services Management Training Centre, Semmelweis University, Hungary

As a hospital administrator and health management professor, I see on a daily basis that the healthcare challenges require talented and skilled managers to transform it. the EHMA membership has been beneficial to bring healthcare management research and education to the demanding healthcare services world, promoting healthcare management competencies and knowledge creation.

Dr Alexandre Lourenco, APAH - Association of Portuguese Hospital Managers, Portugal

Many healthcare systems in Europe and beyond are facing similar challenges which require innovative and creative solutions. EHMA’s annual conference, webinars, Programme Directors’ group and other activities and resources provide incredible opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing experiences. A distinct feature of EHMA is the diversity of members with representation from many countries, sectors and different communities of practice – academic, policy-makers, practitioners, managers, leaders and students. The annual conference is a highlight in the calendar year, offering a friendly, fun and learningful environment for emerging and established members to engage, collaborate and meet up with old and new friends. I am proud to be a member of the EHMA Board.

Prof. Ann Mahon, University of Manchester, UK

Society evolution, pandemics and ageing modify health needs. So, health policies and services are to change dramatically. EHMA, through webinars, workshops and annual conference provides an excellent insight to a professional changing world, favouring closeness to management innovation and the protagonists of these changes. As a primary care services’ manager, participating in EHMA activities is really worth it and allows to involve oneself in the innovation processes.

Dr Antoni Peris Grao, Consorci Castelldefels Agents de Salut (CASAP), Spain