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Scope & Purpose

High tech and high touch – are these competing or even contradictory issues or reconcilable principles for the future of health care and health promotion? The titles of two scientific articles, “Disruptive Innovation – Low Touch” and “Getting High-Tech to Remain High-Touch ”, phrase two extreme perspectives on these issues. However, viewpoints, positions and arguments are continuously challenged by rapid technological and social developments - it is probably not that simple!

There is a lot of discourse on the effects of ongoing digitalization on health care, but to find out which opportunities and challenges result for health promotion in health care, is an even more complex endeavor.

This conference intends to address these questions from a variety of perspectives. Technological development and digitalization are just parts of global megatrends, which affect societies in general, and by that also population health and health care. The first plenary session will start by analyzing  which critical trends impact health care and public health, as well as health promotion in health services.

Digitalization has already changed our everyday lives considerably and will continue to do so. These changes affect society as a whole, but also specific areas such as public health and health care, each in its own way. In the light of these developments, the second plenary session will identify and analyze some of the most relevant opportunities and challenges arising from digitalization for health promotion in the context of health care and public health.

Opportunities and challenges arising from technological development for health care and life style interventions are emerging rapidly. But how does this development impact high touch interaction and communication in health care and health promotion? Taking up this question, the third plenary session will discuss challenges and chances of high tech, e.g. for co-production of health, shared decision making, empowerment and involvement of patients and relatives.

The conference will deal not only with the drivers coming from technology, but also with trends and changes in health care systems and public health itself. Strengthening primary health and public health services has been defined by WHO as issues of high priority. The fourth plenary session will therefore focus on new tasks, roles, co-operations and organizational forms in primary health and public health services.

Finally, in the fifth plenary session, perspectives for investments in health promotion and for universal health (promotion) services coverage will be discussed from the viewpoints of different stakeholders - politics, professionals, patients and industry – considering the trends addressed throughout the conference.