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European Commission - Press release
Better use of health data will transform the healthcare landscape, says expert report
Brussels, 7th May 2012 - A high-level group of experts today warned that Europeans will only be able to benefit from the affordable, less intrusive and more personalised healthcare which Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) can bring if agreement is reached on how to use health data. The group, headed by the President of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, delivered this and other recommendations for redesigning health in Europe to Vice President Neelie Kroes and Commissioner John Dalli at eHealth Week 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The eHealth Task Force was established a year ago (see IP/11/551) to advise the Commission on how to unlock the potential of eHealth for safer, better and more efficient healthcare in Europe.
Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda and John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health & Consumer Policy said "Information and communication technologies are making our health systems more efficient and sustainable. This report from the eHealth Task Force puts the spotlight on the importance of health data, health literacy and exchange of good practice on eHealth. How we'll manage data will be critical for the effectiveness of our health research, diagnostics and healthcare delivery. It will enable people to play a more central role in the management of their health. Supporting health literacy is also key for patient empowerment and for building trust in eHealth solutions. We believe Member States have much to gain from learning from one another's eHealth experience rather than reinventing the wheel."
The five recommendations to the European Commission:
The Task Force's recommendations will feed into eHealth-related EU initiatives, including the eHealth Network, which is being established according to the provisions of the Directive on patients' rights in cross border healthcare.
The eHealth Task Force presented its report during the conference "Smart Health – Better Lives” in Copenhagen, co-organised by the Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. This 10th High Level eHealth Conference 2012 brought together health ministers, government officials and stakeholders to promote innovation for smart health.
The Task Force's recommendations are based on the following critical preconditions for the effective implementation of eHealth:
The Commission has been investing in eHealth research for over 20 years. Since 2004, when the first eHealth Action Plan was launched, it has also been developing targeted policy initiatives aimed at fostering widespread adoption of eHealth technologies across the EU.
Most recently, the Commission launched the European Innovation Partnership on Active & Healthy Ageing. This brings together the public and private sectors, researchers, health practitioners, patients and carers with the aim of adding 2 years to the average number of healthy life years in the EU by 2020. In the second half of 2012 the Commission will present the eHealth Action Plan 2012-2020 to scale-up eHealth for empowerment, efficiency and innovation.
Task Force Report:
eHealth at the EC: http://ec.europa.eu/ehealth
Follow eHealth on twitter: @EU_ehealth
Follow eHealth Week on twitter: @EU_ehealthweek
Digital Agenda: Commissioners Kroes and Dalli welcome Council Presidency eHealth Declaration on delivering better health care – MEMO/11/287
Digital Agenda website
Neelie Kroes' website
Follow Neelie Kroes on Twitter