Health data and data management are crucial when it comes to empowering citizens and building a healthier society.
Secure access to health data
The first priority of the Communication on Digital Transformation of Health and Care in the Digital Single Market focuses on citizens' secure access to their health data, including when they are abroad. The goal is to make it possible for citizens to exercise their right to access their health data across the EU, including, inter alia, the interoperability of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems.
The second priority of the Communication stresses the importance of personalised medicine through a shared European data infrastructure. Researchers and other professionals should pool resources such as data, expertise, computing processing and storage capacities for better health prevention, and faster and more personalised diagnosis and treatment. In order to achieve this, authorities and other stakeholders share data and infrastructure for prevention and personalised medicine research and treatment.
The third priority targets the empowerment citizens, with digital tools for user feedback and person-centred care. This empowers people to look after their health, stimulating prevention, and enabling feedback and interaction between users and healthcare providers.
Improved research and treatment
Access to healthcare data helps researchers to produce more accurate, faster tests on medicines to be launched on the market. For exammple, the EU-funded AirPROM project helped to develop a breakthrough pill against asthma, with the use of digital airway models to predict both disease progression and response to treatment. The research and the development of the pill was much faster and more efficient than normal. It is estimated that about 20 years were saved.
Through the use of big data, researchers can help health care professionals and health policy makers to identify, simulate, select and monitor the effectiveness of current and new treatments. Examples of projects are:
- Evotion project - on hearing loss;
- BigO project - on child obesity;
- iPrognosis - on Parkinson's Disease
- SOMA - on work-related stress
The European Commission is working to provide citizens with access to safe and top quality digital services in health and care.
The European Cancer Imaging Initiative will unlock the power of imaging and Artificial Intelligence for the benefit of cancer patients, clinicians and researchers.
The European Innovation Partnership in Active and Healthy Ageing is an initiative that aims to foster innovation use of digital for active and healthy ageing.
The privacy code of conduct on mobile health apps aims to promote trust among users and provide a competitive advantage for those who sign up to it.
The 1+ Million Genomes initiative has the potential to improve disease prevention, allow for more personalised treatments and support groundbreaking research.
The European Commission has adopted a Recommendation on a European electronic health record exchange format to unlock the flow of health data across borders.
The European Commission created two expert groups working on eHealth: the eHealth Stakeholder Group and a temporary eHealth Task Force.