Period: 9/2016 – 8/2018
Funding: Croatia in the context of Erasmus+ Programm

A concrete theme identified in the EU Health Strategy includes „empowering citizens – putting patients at the heart of the system and encouraging them to be involved in managing their own healthcare needs“. Preventive care should therefore not be left alone to doctors and hospitals, also the individual must be empowered and become a „smart patient“.

A “smart patient” is someone who takes an active role in his or her health; whereby we follow the definiton of the World Health Organisation (WHO) from 1948: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

In the past, everything was simple: Here was the demi-god in white with his knowledge and experience who wants only the best for the patient, and there was the patient who accepts gratefuly all findings and decisions of the doctor in good faith and without resistance, without criticism and as clueless consumer of health services.

Today, more and more patients want to know what exactly is done with them, among which different options for their treatment they can choose, and whether the proposed treatment is most promising. Smart patients are keen to contribute to coping with illness. They understand their own contribution to recovery as a necessary complement, rather than competition with the achievements of medicine. They also want to lead a life that prevents them becoming a patient. They understand that health cannot be maintained only by medical intervention, but depends also on lifestyle as well as on social and environmental factors.

To become a smart patient has to be learned. The corresponding educational process on which our project is based is empowerment. To this end, it requires a holistic approach that includes, as the WHO definition states, aspects not only from medicine, but also from sociology and psychology. The partnership comprises an therefore an interdisciplinary team of medical, social and adult education experts, who will, in a synergistic process, meet the requirements of the target group, i.e. the future smart patients, at their level.

The objectives of this project are:

  • to empower citizens to become expert patents and to develop and self-confidence and patients competence in interaction with
    medical experts
  • is to develop practice oriented support that empowers them preventing disease and detecting health issues at an early stage that
    are essential to living a healthy life
  • understand their own contribution to recovery as a necessary complement, rather than compete with the achievements of
  • to develop internet and mobile application basec tools with recommendations, tipps and guidelines for preventive care, healthy
    nutrition and food, wellbeing (e.g. stress management), lifestyle (e.g. how to care for family members with chronic diseases)
  • to provide a low level threshold glossary (translation resp. explanation of medical terms for readers with lower educational levels)
  • to include refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who have no or only little command of the host country’s language, and would
    not understand the information given to them by doctors, through translations of the materials also into Arabic and Pashtun.