For the Centre for Educational Technology, January brought along a kick-off of another exciting research and development project: IC-health. The official starting meeting of the project took place from 23-24 January in the sunshine of Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

“Improving digital health literacy in Europe — IC-Health” or just “IC-Health” for short is a two-year Horizon 2020 project which aims to increase citizens’ awareness about eHealth tools, establish communities of practice around digital health literacy and empower the citizens to take a more active role in managing their health. As one of the main outcomes of the project, 35 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in seven European languages will be created in a co-design process involving communities of practice in a number of European countries. The MOOCs will later be made available on as large number of various MOOC platforms as possible.

The Coordinator of the 14-member project consortium is the General Directorate for Public Health of Canary Islands Government. The rest of the consortium is a diverse mix of universities, SMEs, public institutions and non-profits from Spain, Italy, UK, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and Estonia.

The role of the Centre for Educational Technology in the project is to provide expertise on digital literacy and co-design and to lead the development, testing, fine-tuning and monitoring the usage of MOOCs. In this respect we can draw on our experience from earlier European projects such as EMMA and Learning Layers.

While eHealth initiatives may abound in start-up world and on the state-level, we find that IC-Health is filling an important gap - empowering ordinary citizens to use right online resources in a right way to gain control in managing their health.