Improving digital health literacy in Europe

Citizens' digital health literacy means the skills to search and understand online information about health issues. To make the users confident and independent are essential elements for successful eHealth deployment.

Today, citizens often do not have the necessary skills to find, understand and appraise online health information and apply their knowledge to make health decisions. Digitally health literate citizens are empowered to play a more active role in their health self-management, resulting in improved prevention, adherence to a healthier lifestyle and better health outcomes.

I am excited about this project, says Roberto Zuffada, Funkas project manager for European projects. With my background in eHealth I have a long experience in the field and now we can combine it with Funkas deep knowledge in accessibility. It is a perfect match!

Funka's mission towards accessibility and inclusiveness makes almost all sectors interesting, since accessibility has an impact on the whole life and the whole individual.

Most ICT has an interface, and that is where our expertise comes in, says Susanna Laurin, CEO at Funka. When you are ill, in pain or scared, which is often the case when you need information about helath, your cognitive skills can be affected. This means that health information is often perceived as difficult to find, understand and use.

The IC-Health project will provide support for the improvement of digital health literacy in Europe by designing, testing and validating information. The focus is to create a set of online courses in different languages (English, French, Italian, Danish, German, Dutch, Spanish and Swedish) for different population cohorts including children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women, elderly and persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

IC-Health specific objectives are to:

  • increase awareness among EU citizens of the opportunities of eHealth tools
  • establish Communities of Practice on digital health literacy
  • shape, facilitate coordinate and organize the co-creation of Massive Open Online Courses – each one addressing one specific population cohort and being available in seven EU languages 
  • test the online courses and assessing their impact on their health literacy, digital health literacy and on their health self-management
  • and advance the understanding of digital health literacy and of how it can be used to improve health outcomes.

Funka will be in charge of the operation in Sweden identifying the national cohort of patients and deploying the online courses while securing the appropriate accessibility standards in the design and deployment phases.


Funded by: Horizon 2020
Consortium: Canary Islands Government (project leader), Université Catholique de Louvain, University of Udine, University of La Laguna, University of Ulster, Tallin University, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Scanbalt, Meyer Children’s Hospital, Consulta Europa Projects and Innovation, Health Education England, Comitato Collaborazione Medica, European Health Management Association and Funka.
Period: October 2016 – October 2018
Budget: 2 MEURO

Project update

  • Increased knowledge about e-health

    The EU funded research project IC-Health is finished. Courses aiming to raise awarenes and competence when it comes to e-health in different target groups have been created together with users.