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European Health Data Space: Potential new directions

European ideas on the European Health Data Space are maturing. Developed over the previous two years, the concepts are now becoming more congruent. Summer 2021 offered a good time to seek out wider public opinion.


Want to know what EHTEL’s position on the four chief areas around the European Health Data Space were? These four quickie summaries each contain a background rationale and the proposals that EHTEL put forward: 

  1. Access to and exchange of data for healthcare
  2. Access to and exchange of personal data for research
  3. Digital health services and products
  4. Artificial Intelligence in healthcare

We heartily encourage you to offer your support to these actions. This is easy to do. You simply need to click the button on each of the pages above to support them.


If you are interested in these four important topics, on 30 November - 1 December 2021 EHTEL is organising its annual Thought Leader Symposium, with a special focus on citizens' control of health data use. Save the date in your agendas!

Background

This background information can help position for you the latest stages in the development of the European Health Data Space, including the next steps in autumn 2021.  

Europe’s ideas on the European Health Data Space

The European Health Data Space (EHDS) is a European Commission priority action up until 2025. It has a major aim with several goals. Overall, the aim is to make the most of the potential offered by digital health, so as to contribute to Europe becoming and remaining a world digital leader.

In this context, the Commission is keen to promote the use of digital products and services. Another prime objective is to ensure that, in the “space”, individuals have control over their own personal data.

Insight into the “space” indicates that it will consist of several (federated) health data spaces, and not be a single data space. Right now, the European Commission refers to at least two spaces:  

  • EHDS 1: MyHealth@EU – based on the cross-border exchange of data and reliant on the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure (eHDSI) 
  • EHDS 2: Access to data for research and policy-making, known as secondary use of health data – equated with pilot projects that will have targets, and run testbeds and demonstrators. 

EHDS

Europe’s investigation into and consultation on the European Health Data Space

2020-2021 investigation into the European Strategy for Data, that received some 150 replies, helped the European Commission design its public consultation on the data space.

Between May and July 2021, the European Commission held a public consultation to gather people’s responses to the European Health Data Space. The Commission encouraged people to either offer their views on specific questions and/or send in relevant reports or documentation. EHTEL members replied to the consultation as individual associations/companies. EHTEL, the association, responded collectively as a community.  

Expected steps until December 2021

Today, a series of studies are ongoing into legal, regulatory, infrastructure, and other aspects of the space. In autumn 2021, the European Data Protection Supervisor will be consulted. Together, it is planned that the combined feedback will help formulate an assessment of the potential impact of the data space.

Ultimately, the Commission plans to put forward a proposal for legislation in the near future.

EHTEL’s own agenda up until December 2021

EHTEL remains keenly interested in the European Health Data Space, since it has already worked on the space for the past 18 months. Under its “Imagining 2029” work programme, EHTEL has been focusing on these topics in 2020-2021, through a series of webinars. The association will continue to do so through an upcoming webinar and in its 2021 Symposium that will be held in December 2021. EHTEL looks forward to understanding what the proposed legislation on the data space will be, and to contributing to the formulation of the new EHDS 2 on the secondary use of data.


How to support EHTEL's vision

Want to know more about what EHTEL’s position on the four chief areas around the European Health Data Space was? Read these four quickie summaries and offer your support:

  1. Access to and exchange of data for healthcare
  2. Access to and exchange of personal data for research
  3. Digital health services and products
  4. Artificial Intelligence in healthcare


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