It all started when Fredrik Lindén, the coordinator of the epSOS project proposed to me in mid January 2013 to take his place and represent the project at the ID WORLD Abu Dhabi 2013 world conference that took place on the 11th and 12th of February, 2013 in Abu Dhabi.
The conference was very well organised and over 500 important people participated from all over the world. It is a cornerstone, must-attend appointment for government representatives and all players involved in government sector related innovation, including the Postal and Healthcare sectors.
Before arriving at the conference venue I was informed by the organisers that Project Coordinator Fredrik Lindén was on the list of nominees for the HealthTech Innovation Award. Since I was replacing him, there was a chance that I was needed to collect this important prize for him!
The days passed by extremely quickly and before even having time to think, there I was, giving my presentation, noting all the important aspects and developments of the epSOS project. I tried to draw the best picture of the current European Union’s joint efforts on making cross-border healthcare a success story.
I mentioned the consensus based mechanisms established within epSOS that resulted into specific and clear specifications and guidelines to participating nations. I also noted the importance that Europe is putting on matters such as data privacy, patient consent, translation and transcoding mechanisms that reside within European culture and way of thinking.
And last but not least, I of course did not omit to mention the significant role that the project has on supporting Europe’s Digital Agenda 2020 and the vision of a common and unified Europe for equal rights and opportunities.
At the end of the conference, during the ID People EMEA Awards Ceremony, it was finally announced who won the HealthTech Innovation Award. Sophie B. de la Giroday, President of Wise Media and Host of the Summit said: “This award to Mr. Fredrik Lindén is for the development of feasible cross-border eHealth services, addressing technical, semantic and legal interoperability challenges that culminated in the large scale pilot project, epSOS. This project can improve the quality and safety of healthcare for citizens travelling to another European country.”
I felt very proud being a member of the epSOS family when receiving this award on behalf of Fredrik. It really meant that all those efforts commonly made since July 2008 by all the participating nations, IHE Europe and the Industry Team, to which I am an active member representing Gnomon Informatics SA, are now reaching worldwide attention and recognition! I personally hope that the European Commission will continue to fully support healthcare interoperability efforts via its cross-border healthcare policies in the next important years to come.