The Dutch signature shows the growing awareness of the importance of such EU cooperation on health. More Member States joining increases the expected results and impact of such an initiative.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society welcomed this new step forward:
Welcome to the Netherlands to this European initiative. Cooperation on health and particularly on linking genomic health data throughout the European Union is of the utmost importance for improving personalised health and better treatment for every EU citizen.
The Declaration on linking genomic health data across borders is a mechanism of cooperation between the EU signatory countries, which are committed to collaborate on the secure and authorised access to national and regional banks of genetic and other health data. Having a larger cohort of genomic data, will allow for more clinically impactful research. This will contribute to better health and care delivery to European citizens and ensure Europe's leading place in health research. It will also contribute to better prevention of diseases and more accurate personalised treatments, in particular for cancer and brain related diseases, as well as for rare diseases.
The signatory Member States cooperate closely in order to overcome data silos, lack of interoperability and fragmentation of smaller national initiatives. Investments in sequencing, bio banking and data infrastructure will be maximized. The right to data privacy will be secured, while giving citizens an active role in their personalised treatment and putting their needs at the centre of healthcare innovation.
The initiative was originally launched on 10 April 2018 during the Digital Day 2 and since then it was signed by Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Some research projects on eHealth supported by the EU:
- MuG - encoding genomics data;
- PredictND - support for patients with dementia;
- Sound of Vision - help for visually impared.
- Transformation of Health and Care in the Digital Single Market
- European Commission's Digital Single Market mid-term review
- Council conclusions on "Health in the digital society – making progress in data-driven innovation in the field of health", adopted on 8 December 2017
- Council Conclusions on "Encouraging Member States driven Voluntary Cooperation between Health Systems”, adopted on 16 June 2017
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)