Smart Patients - Holistic Empowerment of Citizens to Become Experts in Their Own Health

One of the EU Health Strategy’s concrete themes 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.”


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Our project addresses an important topic of non-formal education, i.e. it empowers citizens to acquire health literacy, and to understand that health cannot be maintained only by medical intervention, but depends also on lifestyle as well as on social and environmental factors. The design of the learning materials takes into consideration not only the educationbal level of disadvantaged learners, but it also responds to the current refugees’ crisis in Europe, by providing selected materials in the two most widely used languages of refugees, i.e. Arabic and Pashtun.


Therefore, 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 medicine

• 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 check lists for doctor visits, prescription checklists

• 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


The project will lead to concrete and tangible results that can be applied immediately by the user. It will develop, in all languages of the partnership, products that are essential to living a healthy life:

• Smart Patient Tools that empower citizens preventing disease and detecting health issues at an early stage that are essential to living a healthy life;

• Smart Patient Online Platform (e.g. that will support the delivery of all online tools of the project. It will also support a forum that will make use of the Skype real time translation;

• Mobile Smart Patient Applications: The apps will support the delivery of all online tools of the project and will be used as a virtual information and learning environment as well as a means of disseminating the project.



Project leaflet


Online learning platform

Multiplier event

On 25th of May 2018, Qualed organized a multiplier event in Zilina, Slovakia, on the topic of Smart Patients – holistic empowerment of citizens to become experts in their own health. The event was focused on raising the awareness among active seniors. The aim was to address the topic from the perspective of mental health and connect it with the overall health care and to introduce to them the Smart Patients platform and mobile application. The multiplier event took place at JAS in Zilina – Bytcica. On the event, there participated 29 seniors from the Unity of active seniors (JAS). They expressed big interest in this topic, discussed the importence of mental health and we were grateful for the oportunity to present the project topics to such attentive audience.

Partners of the project

  • University of Rijeka, Department of Psychiatry and Psychological Medicine, Rijeka (HR)
  • National University of Ireland, Galway (IE)
  • The organisation „Was hab ich?“ gemeinnützige GmbH, Dresden (DE)
  • Escola Superior de Saúde, Instituto Politéctnico do Porto (PT)
  • INTEGRA Institut za razvoj clovekovih potentialov - Institute for Development ofHuman Potentials, Velenje (SI)
  • Wissenschaftsinitiative Niederösterreich (WIN), Würnitz, Niederösterreich (AT)
  • Akadimaiko Diadiktyo, Panepistimioupoli Athina, Attiki (GR)
  • QUALED, Kvalifikácia a vzdelávanie - Qualification and Education, Žilina (SK)