Task force recommends legal framework
By Manon Malhère | Tuesday 08 May 2012
Published on 7 May by the EU eHealth Task Force, a report entitled ‘Redesigning health in Europe for 2020’ recommends the creation of a legal framework to manage the high volume of health data in order to guarantee that citizens’ data will be treated appropriately and thus promote e-health. The 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 EU, and the European Commission. In the second half of 2012, the Commission will present the e-health action plan 2012-2020.
Neelie Kroes, the commissioner for the Digital Agenda, and John Dalli, the commissioner for health and consumer policy, said: “This report from the eHealth Task Force puts the spotlight on the importance of health data, health literacy and exchange of good practice on e-health”. They stressed that: “How we’ll manage data will be critical for the effectiveness of our health research, diagnostics and health care delivery. It will enable people to play a more central role in the management of their health”.
The task force urges political decision makers to create a legal framework and space to manage the massive amounts of health-related data to ensure that citizens’ data are treated appropriately. The ultimate aim is to make health care more integrated and personalised. Therefore, the legal framework should define the conditions in which health data must be exploited. This involves, in particular, defining the different types of health data and their uses. Furthermore, the group recommends creating a ‘beacon group’ of member states and regions which are pioneers in e-health applications (such as Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Spain), the aim being to facilitate best practice-sharing. The EU could facilitate the creation of this group and finance experts to assess various e-health projects, the report said.
The task force also recommends promoting a culture of health both to empower and reassure patients about the use of e-health applications (‘apps’)
Moreover, the group recommends ensuring that budget lines dedicated to financing e-health are responsive in order to adapt quickly to situations. Specific e-health budget lines are necessary, namely to enable the concrete development of good ideas into fast prototyping and testing.
The report is available at
www.europolitics.info > Search = 314064
The ultimate aim is to make health care more integrated and personalised