logo Collaborating for Digital Health and Care in Europe

Health in times of crisis

Health systems and public health authorities continue to face a major pandemic that is affecting individuals and societies. Much has been done to increase vaccination, do more testing and tracing, and shift towards hybrid care. EHTEL members continue to be intensively involved in many of these latest developments.
In this ongoing context, when much more needs to be done, EHTEL seeks input from its members and friends on the latest developments in how digital health helps. The focus is especially in relation to challenges to the resilience of Europe’s health and care systems. EHTEL’s own members provide us with their latest news on the newest innovations.

🔥 2022 Updates on digital health and the fight against COVID-19


COVID-19: A backgrounder published by the European Respiratory Society



 A 2021 view of telehealth from the USA


2021 top stories from EHTEL Members

Wales’ quick shift to video consulting at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic 


Technology Enabled Care Cymru: The Digital Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Wales


Living with COVID-19: Norway’s lively developments in implementation and research


pexels gustavo fring 3985170 2


As early as October 2020, Norway was well aware of how its districts – especially the larger ones – could start to use connected health during the COVID pandemic. Health and care employees really ‘got the hang’ of using technologies. Read More> 

Gruppo GPI provides machine learning support in the fight against COVID-19


Machine learning is helping to protect the most vulnerable people in the Aosta valley in mountainous northern Italy. The region was the first in Italy to announce the use of such an artificial intelligence-based system. The population health approach identifies vulnerable individuals and prioritises their vaccination against COVID-19. New EHTEL member, the GPI Group (Gruppo GPI) has developed this system, announced in La Stampa Aosta and Region. Read More (in Italian)>


SINFONIA faces the COVID-19 emergency

EHTEL member, SORESA (So.Re.Sa. S.p.A.), is working hard to deal with the COVID-19 emergency. SORESA and the Campania Region of Italy have cooperated to digitalise healthcare in Campania. The result was a digital platform called SINFONIARead More>


Contact tracing apps: how efficient are they in the fight against the pandemic?

EHTEL Member, TIC Salut Social Foundation has carried out a study based on data published by different countries on the adoption and efficiency of mobile applications related to COVID-19 cases tracing. Read More>


How digital medical data helps Israel optimise its COVID-19 vaccination campaign

According to news out on 21 February 2021, Israel has already inoculated close to half of its population with a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, a number far beyond any other country. How did they manage to do that? Read More>


Words for Wellbeing – a Technology-Enabled Approach

The need to know we are not alone is greater than ever, as the COVID-19 pandemic has many negative effects on us. It causes grief and bereavement, trauma for health and social care staff, financial hardship, and social isolation through shielding and other restrictions. Read More>


Public health emergencies and digital health: Observations from the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) disease outbreak 

Health information and digital health solutions are playing a key role in coping with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Epidemiological surveillance, based on real-world data, together with telemedicine and mobile health applications, are all contributing positively to the resilience of the health service delivery system. What we have invested in digital health in the past is now revealed as crucial. Future investments should certainly take communicable diseases into consideration. Read More >  


Digital tools in the fight against COVID-19:

Calls for digital health proposals:


2020 Updates on digital health in the fight against COVID-19:



“Now More Than Ever”: The Challenge of the COVID Era 

“Now More Than Ever” comes the need for eHealth. This message is firmly articulated by Portuguese eHealth expert, Henrique MARTINS (associated with EHTEL member, SPMS). It generates a keenness to follow what will happen from 1 January 2021 onwards, when Portugal holds the European presidency. The 2020 COVID-19 crisis is leading to rapid take-up of digital healthcare systems. Defining a digital-first approach that adds value is key. These overviews from EHTEL members of Portuguese and European developments feature in the “Health Management” journal (Volume 20, Issue 4). Read More>

COVID-19 assessment in primary care: Decision support for predicting severe disease
By Digital Health and Care Institute - 7 August 2020
Scotland is again making progress on facing COVID-19. A joint collaboration between the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) and the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI) has resulted in a decision support tool for predicting severe diseases. It forms part of Scotland’s COVID-19 assessment in primary care. It provides access to key findings from the rapid evidence review of symptoms, comorbidities, other risk factors, and clinical signs in adults. Read More >

COVID-19: How to get started with video consulting
By ehelse.no - 27 May 2020
Behandler ehelse
The Directorate for eHealth in Norway recommends health professionals to make use of video consulting solutions already in use in the health sector. Read More (Norwegian) >

Apple and Google release phone technology to notify users of coronavirus exposure
By Kari Paul - 20 May 2020
The two tech giants have released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus. This technological solution is complementary to contact tracing. Read More >

Telemedicine could reduce daily trips in the Ile-de-France region by 300,000 to half a million
By Paris Match - 14 May 2020
Possible baisse de 300.000 a 500.000 deplacements quotidiens en Ile de France grace a la telemedecine
According to research by the Institut Paris Région, the growth in use of telemedicine during the French lockdown could eventually reduce visits to receive health-related care in the Ile-de-France region by anywhere from 300 thousand to 500 thousand a day. Read More (in French) >

A Pandemic Benefit: The Expansion of Telemedicine
By Jane E. Brody | The New York Times - 11 May 2020
Medical practice over the internet can result in faster diagnoses and treatments, increase the efficiency of care and reduce patient stress. Before Covid, telemedicine seemed like a luxury, but people are now thinking that a technology-based health care experience will become the new normal. Read More >


A highly desirable revolution in digital health
By Tino Marti - 12 May 2020

A digital health revolution is taking place. As European health systems are struggling to cope with the most challenging public health threat they have ever experienced, digital health has come in handy in providing effectiveness, safety, and even humanity. Read More >

Digital health and the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Bertalan Meskó and Pranav Dhunnoo - May 2020
0409 covid latvany small

Published by The Medical Futurist, in this recently published e-book you will find reliable information about the latest digital health innovations, technologies, and trends proving successful to combat COVID-19. Read More (download PDF) >



Virtual care: New models of caring for our patients and workforce
By Lee H. Schwamm et al  | The Lancet - 6 May 2020

New models of virtual care proliferate to protect patients and professionals. This article describes two virtual care innovations deployed by the Massachusetts General Hospital: virtual rounds and video intercom communication systems for safe inpatient care. Read More >

A major tool to help Italian authorities to control COVID-19: A “context broker” API financed by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)
ec.europa.eu - 22 April 2020
AdobeStock 329216075 low res 

This API is at the core of the bio-surveillance system, DE4Bio developed by Engineering S.p.A, an EHTEL member. It has been developed by FIWARE and is supported by the European Commission. The system, which is now being actively used by Italian authorities, provides the technical capabilities needed to turn widely collected data into real-time patient tracking, contagion maps, and predictive analyses.The API is one of the 10 building blocks made available by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to support the emergence of a European data-driven ecosystem that connects networks together. Read More >

Coronavirus: An EU approach for efficient contact tracing apps to support gradual lifting of confinement measures
ec.europa.eu - 16 April 2020

EU Member States, supported by the Commission, have developed an EU toolbox for the use of mobile applications for contact tracing and warning in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  This is part of a common coordinated approach to support the gradual lifting of confinement measures
Read More >

Digital Brief: Europe’s COVID-19 App Attack
Samuel Stolton | EURACTIV.com - 2 April 2020
Web Article Graphic Digital Brief 800x450 

A coalition of European stakeholders launched a new contact-tracing proximity technology under the project Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT). It analyses bluetooth handshakes that may have been registered between two smartphone users when they come into close proximity with one another. Read More >

How stakeholders should push digital health services to fight COVID-19
Ralf-Gordon Jahns - 1 April 2020
Cloud Rx HITN 0 1 
Three groups of stakeholders - first and second line digital health service providers, and enablers - are best positioned to make digital health service offerings an important piece in the puzzle to fight COVID-19. Using what is already available on the market, and building ecosystems of existing solutions that support all stages of the coronavirus patient's journey might be more appropriate than developing something from scratch. Read More > 

Italy launches a task force for data use against COVID-19
Ministry for Technological Innovation and Digitization - 31 March 2020

A multidisciplinary group of experts is working to evaluate and propose data-driven technological solutions for the management of the health, economic and social emergency which is linked to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 
Read More > (In Italian)


Helping digitally in the time of COVID-19
Robin Knowles - 26 March 2020
nominet roundtable joining generations for a vibrant digital future dlweek 2018 29022621368 o 1220x600 

The “time has come” for the technology sector now that, in the COVID-19 crisis, it is seeing the mass adoption of technology and digital behaviours. In return for this unexpected and rapid move online, the digital sector needs to step up – since it is uniquely placed to leverage that same technology for social benefit and good when we need it most. Read More >

Three Flemish companies launch an application to stem the COVID-19 pandemic
Le Spécialiste - 26 March 2020
medicalapps 750 3 

A joint venture of three Flemish technology companies has developed an application to curb the spread of the new coronavirus "faster and more efficiently." Entitled "Flattening The Curve", and available free from next week, the application will warn users of places where there are high levels of infection and encourage them to see a doctor if and when any symptoms of COVID-19 disease appear. Read More > (In French)


FRANCE (Opinion article)
Which health system after COVID-19?
Les Echos - 23 March 2020

How will health care systems look like once COVID-19 is over? The last paragraph of this article is about "Finally adopting telemedicine". It highlights the need to improve health system governance so as to adopt telemedicine as a more usual way of delivering care. Read More > (In French)


The COVID-19 pandemic: The ‘black swan’ for mental health care and a turning point for e-health
Wind et al - 19 March 2020

Mental health is a really important field of therapy. COVID-19 is now affecting the entire globe – it has come out ‘of the blue’. The Netherlands, Sweden, and other countries are all witnessing a situation in which the COVID-19 outbreak is hastening managers, ICT staff, and clinicians to overcome overnight barriers to adoption that previous took them up to 17 years. Theirs is a pragmatic standpoint seldom seen before. The virus seems a greater catalyst for the implementation of online therapy and e-health tools in routine practice, and especially that of mental health, than two decades of many brilliant, but failed, attempts in this domain. Read More > (pdf)

Telemedicine reduces the risk of COVID-19 infections
Ärzteschaft - 19 March 2020

Commenting on the dramatic increase in teleconsultations, Professor Jürgen Debatin, Head of the Health Innovation Hub of the German Federal Ministry of Health, states: "[…] it is above all digital technologies that keep us together as a society in this situation. This also applies to medicine." Patients can communicate via tele-platforms from home with a doctor. Even those who are not allowed to leave home need not feel left alone. Telemedicine reduces the risk of infection for the individual patient, for the practice staff and of course for everyone elseRead More > (In German)



Operators of telemedicine platforms report growth rates of over 1,000 percent in the past few days
Ärzteschaft - 16 March 2020


Most operators offer their platforms currently free of charge. It is estimated that more than 20,000 medical doctors and psychotherapists (10% of office-based practitioners) now offer appointments through video consultation. Online appointments are reimbursed, just like face2face meetings, plus a technology surcharge - provided that one of the 20 platforms certified by the Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV) is used. Read More > (In German)



Medical teleconsultation fee fixed to 20 euros by INAMI 
L'avenir - 16 March 2020

0e1607cc 6796 11ea 9ec0 31dd1db0b86c web translate 4.6e 5 151.6668 scale 0.1851381 0.1851381

INAMI/RIZIV, the Belgian National Institute of Health Insurance and Disability, has updated its list of reimbursable services (to include medical teleconsultations with retroactive effect from 14 March 2020). The teleconsultation fee for doctors is set at 20 euros, to be entirely covered by INAMI/RIZIV.
Read More > (In French)


Applications welcome from startups and SMEs with innovative solutions to tackle Coronavirus outbreak

ec.europa.eu - 13 March 2020

The European Commission is calling for startups and SMEs with technologies and innovations that could help in treating, testing, monitoring or other aspects of the Coronavirus outbreak to apply urgently to the next round of funding from the European Innovation Council. Read More >
Coronavirus sets off massive telemedicine use in France

FPM – 10 March 2020

texxlexxmedecine 1072x568

Telemedicine is booming in France by a jump of 40% in a few weeks. So much so that the government has taken up the subject. Health Minister Olivier Véran has announced a decree easing the conditions for the practice of telemedicine. Read More > (In French)



COVID-19 Telehealth Legislation Update

FPM – 10 March 2020

Last week, Congress passed an $8.3 billion COVID-19 funding package that included a provision to allow telehealth to be more widely used for Medicare beneficiaries during the coronavirus public health emergency period. Read More >



New telemedicine strategies help hospitals address COVID-19

Modern Healthcare – 6 March 2020

 telemedicine iHospitals are urged to expand their use of telemedicine, both within their facilities for infection control and to reach patients at home through video -visits and symptom-checker chatbots. Health insurers are also encouraging expanded telemedicine use and giving providers and patients incentives to use this delivery modelRead More >




Israeli MDs give free counseling to coronavirus patients worldwide
Abigail Klein Leichman, 1 March 2020

shutterstock 1648211998

Physicians from some of Israel’s largest hospitals have volunteered for the Innovation social project geared to helping isolated patients all over the worldRead More >



Robotic medicine may be the weapon the world needs to combat the coronavirus
CNBC – 26 February 2020

106403250 1582304018128gettyimages 1201647444Telemedicine is playing a key role. Robotic devices and camera technology from companies such as InTouch Health and Zoom Video Communications are being used with coronavirus patients and in broader communication during the crisis. Read More >


Israel's Sheba Hospital turns to telehealth to treat incoming coronavirus-exposed patients

Jonah Comstock - 19 February 2020

Tyto Care

Datos's remote patient monitoring platform, Tyto Care's connected devices, and a robot from InTouch Health will help the hospital treat and monitor patients in quarantine and at home. Read More >



Past Events