On April 25th, 2018, the European Commission has adopted a communication setting out a plan of action that puts citizens at the centre of the healthcare system. This approach will provide the basis for EU action in digital health over the next years, such as support for the exchange of e-prescriptions and electronic patient summaries, enabling the cross-border exchange of full electronic health records, voluntary coordination in sharing data and resources for disease prevention and research, and capacity building and the exchange of innovation and best practices for healthcare authorities.
The Communication brought back citizens on the drive seat of our healthcare systems in three ways:
– by enabling citizens’ secure, cross-border access to their electronic health records and the possibility of sharing their records across borders;
– by facilitating the use of larger data sets through a shared European data infrastructure to prevent diseases, determine personalised medical treatment and better anticipate epidemics;
– and by providing digital tools that enable citizens to manage their health more actively within integrated care systems.
How can the use of digital tools benefit people
Digital tools such as mobile health applications or personal devices to monitor blood or sugar, will empower people to look after their health, improving disease prevention, and enabling feedback and interaction between users and healthcare providers.
EU countries and regions will be supported in investing in large-scale deployment of integrated care models centred in the needs of the person (to explain: the different services of the hospital, the treatments at home are based on different care models), through the exchange of innovative and best practices, capacity building and technical assistance.
The Commission will raise awareness on innovative procurement and investment possibilities, including by mobilising relevant European Union programmes and other financial instruments.
More information about the new Communication is available here.