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Patient empowerment through digitalization

He has been’s anchorman from the very beginning, 14 years ago. Morten Elbæk Petersen, CEO of the Danish eHealth portal, talks about the success story behind Europe’s largest patient portal, patient empowerment and his passion for preventive healthcare and democracy.

The initiative to establish the eHealth portal,, was taken by the Association of County Councils in Denmark, the Ministry of Interior and Health and others in 2001. The purpose of the portal was to bring together relevant information from all parts of the health service, offer a shared platform of communication, empower patients by offering maximum insight and transparency in the healthcare sector and to offer healthcare providers easy access to clinical information about their patients’ medical histories. The Danish eHealth portal pioneers open access to medical records, and is in this regard unique worldwide. Today it is the largest patient portal in Europe. Twenty per cent of the Danish population uses this portal every month and the portal acquires so many new users so regularly that they break records on a monthly basis.

There are several factors involved in the portal’s success story, says CEO Morten Elbæk Petersen. One of them is the digital transition.

“There has been a long tradition of digitalization in Denmark over the past twenty years. This is founded on national strategies and was one part of that. Therefore on a national scale there have been some elements to lean on, such as the digital signature provided by the government as a secure and free way to log in to the portal. That has been an important building block.”

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