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Bringing cross-border interoperability to healthcare

A laptop computer and a stethoscope together, meant to convey the concept of the universal electronic medical record.

eHealth European Interoperability Framework

When is this action of interest to you?

You are a developer of eHealth systems. You would like to know with which standards and profiles your system should be compliant when deploying in different regions and member states of the EU.

You are a purchaser of eHealth solutions, and you would like to specify in your tendering procedure the eHealth systems you want to purchase in order for them to be interoperable.

You are a regional or national authority planning the deployment of eHealth systems and you want to create an interoperability framework enabling the provision of cross border services.

The eHealth European Interoperability Framework will meet your needs.

What is this action about?

Healthcare systems are increasingly dependent on information and communication to deliver high-quality care to European patients.

While eHealth tools and services are now widespread and have been revolutionising the healthcare sector in recent years, all too often health authorities, hospitals, or doctors have selected and implemented their own individual systems.

Ensuring that these systems are able to communicate with each other would offer significant benefits in healthcare across the EU.

This action will contribute to the development of an appropriate EU-wide framework for standards, interoperability testing, and certification of eHealth systems.

It should help elaborate a joint vision on interoperability architecture related to eHealth and provide guidance on architecture domains where EU Member States share a common interest.

The action should build on the many relevant elements that have been developed by existing EU Commission-funded eHealth projects such as epSOS, CALLIOPE, HITCH, eHR-QTN, NetC@rds, SemanticHealth, SmartPersonalHealth and also more horizontal projects such as STORK.

What are the objectives?

  • Ensuring that eHealth systems across the EU are able to communicate with each other;
  • Contributing to the development of a European Interoperability Framework for eHealth, which defines and agrees on a common set of standards, profiles and procedures relevant to the electronic provision of healthcare services.

What are the benefits?

  • Improving guidance and coordination efforts to build national and international interoperable eHealth infrastructure.
  • Member States
  • Providing support to Member States and relevant players to deploy interoperable, cross-border eHealth services in a sustainable way.
  • European Commission
  • Allowing possibility to provide and receive cross-border healthcare services.
  • Healthcare providers
  • EU citizens/patients
  • Enhancing patient safety and continuity of care.
  • Healthcare providers
  • EU citizens/patients

What is our approach?

Before eHealth profiles, technical specifications and sometimes standards can be proposed for inclusion in the eHealth European Interoperability Framework, we first need to assess whether they comply with a number of criteria, as described in communication COM(2011) 315. The goal of the study which will be launched with this action will be to assess compliance of existing profiles, standards and specifications with the Common Assessment Method for Standards and Specifications (action 2.2).

The European Commission’s DG Information Society will lead the study, taking into account the assets developed by existing Commission projects (epSOS, CALLIOPE, HITCH, eHRQTN, STORK, NetC@rds, SmartPersonalHealth, the Network of Excellence in Semantic Interoperability [currently under negotiation]) and will liaise with the ones which are still active and with related political initiatives such as the eHealth Governance Initiative.

Project core data
  • Project start/finish:
    Q3/2011 to Q4/2012
  • Parties involved: European Commission (DG Information Society, DG Internal Market, DG Enterprise)
  • ISA contribution: EUR 400 000

Contact the Programme Manager - ISA Action 21200

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