On the 25th of April 2018, the European Commission launched a new Communication on the digital transformation of health and care. The Communication is focused on data, data-sharing and handling, which is an important component of Europe's Digital Single Market strategy.
Communication 2018(233) Infographic, Copyright European Commission
The Communication 2018(233) focuses on three key areas:
- Citizens' secure access to, and sharing of, data
- Better data to promote research, disease prevention, and personalised health and care
- Digital tools for citizen empowerment and for person-centred care
EHTEL and its Members fully support the work on these three areas. In fact, EHTEL has engaged in different consultations aimed at building relevant policy messages around the themes of:
- Management and governance
- Citizens' empowerment (see EHTEL's commentary related to the Council Conclusions from December 2017)
The Communication announces 12 important actions to be taken by the European Commission. Such actions offer new opportunities for health and care stakeholders to achieve the "triple win" that will benefit Europe's people, health systems, and the market.
Stakeholders across the European Union - Member States, regions, health and care authorities, and civic society - are called on to support this narrative. With its multi-stakeholder approach to the digital health ecosystem, EHTEL will lead the way.
"Digitisation of health and care in these three areas is key. EHTEL is extremely pleased to support the very concrete ways in which the European Commission and the digital health community are moving forward.” Commented John Crawford, then EHTEL’s President. “As an important multi-stakeholder platform, EHTEL is encouraged by this stronger joint effort to translate belief into practical commitment. Our own members are keen to build on the Communication's proposed use of new tools, methods, competences, and capabilities."
EHTEL's Secretary General, Marc Lange added: "Let's work together to incentivise the use of digital tools by bridging gaps between the demand and supply side on health and care digitisation. Innovation is key. Yet - at the same time - let's not forget that legacy challenges will continue to play an important role as we move towards greater digitisation of health and care."
Two EHTEL working groups, the Innovation Initiative (dedicated to innovation management) and the ELO Network (focused on national and regional digital health infrastructures), already bring together experts in the key areas. In addition, EHTEL recently formed a Task Force dedicated to Digital Integrated Care.
Projects in which EHTEL has been, or is still, involved can provide support on the Communication’s main themes: EU*US eHealth work; Progressive; SCIROCCO, VALUeHealth, and WE4AHA.
EHTEL's continuing involvement in the EC eHealth Stakeholders' Group and the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing will provide further insights.
Read and download the full press-release in the resources section below.