European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel and European Commission Director-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, Roberto Viola, welcomed representatives of the European Health Tech sector to discuss the digital transformation of health and care to which leading companies in the Health Tech sector can contribute.
In particular, the participants addressed the challenges and opportunities of interoperability and the Commission's plans for its forthcoming Recommendation to set out a Format for an Electronic Health Record Exchange. The participants also discussed the potential for health of key technologies like artificial intelligence and high performance computing which can help design new healthcare products, provide faster diagnosis and better treatments.
Digital technologies have become a reality in current societies. They are bringing the opportunity to revolutionise the entire healthcare sector, putting patients at its centre. Digital solutions for health and care offer great opportunities to increase the well-being of citizens and could radically change the way health and care services are delivered to patients.
These transformations not only will benefit people but also the sustainability of healthcare systems. However, citizens cannot yet fully benefit from the digital single market in this area. Market fragmentation and lack of interoperability across health systems stand in the way of this transformation. Moreover, the uptake of digital solutions for health remains slow and varies greatly across Member States and regions.
This transformation is complex and ambitious and only possible if the main different actors engage in a joint effort. In this regards, the European Health Tech community is integral to the success of this agenda. It is their innovation that will help shape the future of the sector, and through their innovation this transformation will be possible. Therefore, encouraging innovation in this area, and creating the right investment environment for new and existing health tech businesses, is also a priority for the Commission.
The Commission will therefore continue to work with all the stakeholders on diverse issues, ranging from interoperability and standards, privacy and security to IT infrastructure, supercomputing and artificial Intelligence in order to achieve the digital transformation of health and care systems to improve health outcomes for citizens, improve the long term sustainability of health systems and to stimulate growth and promote the European industry in the domain.
The Communication on enabling the digital transformation of health and care in the Digital Single Market; empowering citizens and building a healthier society was adopted on 25 April 2018. It identifies three main priorities:
- Citizens' secure access to their health data, also across borders
- Personalised medicine through shared European data infrastructure
- Citizen empowerment with digital tools for user feedback and person-centred care