eHealth technologies allow doctors to access patients’ medical records more easily, get immediate access to test results from the laboratory, and deliver prescriptions directly to pharmacists, making heaçthcare delivery faster and more efficient. For patients, eHealth technologies save lives - for example, patients with heart problems can carry monitors which alert their doctor if their condition changes.
European-level eHealth services
European-level eHealth services are also facilitating access to healthcare, whatever the geographical location, thanks to innovative telemedicine and personal health systems. eHealth, for example, can enable health authorities and hospitals from different Member States to work more closely together. If a particular treatment can be provided to a patient more effectively in another country, eHealth systems make it simpler to organise and carry out the treatment abroad.
Suppliers of eHealth tools – such as databases for patient records, mobile monitors, or handling systems for patient call centres – also benefit from the development of a European market in the sector, which enables them to build a strong base from which they can compete in the global market.
Hence the EU’s eHealth policy, which covers areas as diverse as patient rights in cross-border healthcare, funding advanced research and development, and ensuring that electronic health record systems are compatible internationally.
In addition, ICT also plays a key role in helping the elderly to improve their quality of life, to live more actively and independently for longer, and to counteract reduced capabilities which become more prevalent with age.