Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Innovative healthcare in the 21st century

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Across Europe, public health systems are facing shrinking budgets and increased demand. Yet in times of austerity, ICT can be our most powerful ally to maintain cost efficient and high quality care.
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The European Commission's eHealth Action Plan 2012 – 2020 provides a roadmap to empower patients and healthcare workers, link up devices and technologies, and invest in research towards the personalised medicine of the future. This means providing smarter, safer and patient-centred health services. Given the fast growing uptake of smartphones and tablets, the action plan also includes a specific focus on mobile health (mHealth).

This action plan builds on a series of pioneering initiatives that are now beginning to bear fruit such as the epSOS pilot where 23 countries are working together to achieve cross-border interoperability between electronic health record systems in Europe. Thanks to epSOS, tourists, business travellers, commuters or exchange students will be able to enjoy seamless access to high quality and safe healthcare abroad.

Renewing Health has allowed nine leading regions to pool their efforts to revolutionise the management of chronic diseases. Diabetics and heart patients, among others, can manage their own diseases from the comfort of their own homes and take an active role in improving their conditions while achieving better health outcomes.

Health-e-Child is another example of a collaborative platform. This growing network allows paediatricians across Europe to pull together essential clinical information relating to heart diseases, inflammatory diseases, and brain tumours meaning that in the future, more children suffering from these diseases will be able to benefit from early diagnosis, screening, individualised disease prevention and therapy.

But the European Commission also finances research projects targeting some of Europe's deadliest diseases. This is the case of HAMAM, that improves early detection and accurate diagnosis of breast cancer; euHeart for personalised diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease; or PASSPORT in the field of liver surgery.

Read more about the eHealth Action Plan here.

Last updated on 18/09/2014
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Dipak Kalra's picture
Dipak KALRA
Imagine you have your medical record posted in a safe place in the cloud. Your usual clinicians can access it, but also any emergency doctor admitting you, unconscious from an accident or a medical crisis anywhere in Europe. The European Commission is funding projects to develop the structures and semantics needed to achieve this interoperability.
António Cunha's picture
António CUNHA
Coimbra is Portugal's city of reference for health. It provides healthcare services through the largest hospital in the country and it's where a lot of academic work and advanced research takes place. It's a great example of interconnection between the academic and industrial worlds.
Paul Timmers's picture
Paul TIMMERS
Today is the International Day of Older Persons and Europe is by far the "oldest" continent in the world. The number of people in Europe aged 65+ will almost double, from 85 million today to 151 million in 2060. Germany and Italy have the 2nd and 3rd highest median ages in the world. By 2050 also countries like Portugal, Malta, Germany or Spain are projected to have a media age of 50+.
Pantelis Angelidis's picture
Pantelis ANGELIDIS
Europe can become the leading region in the world in harnessing health and care innovation, and capturing its benefits.
Lydia Montandon's picture
Lydia MONTANDON
REACTION cares about the quality of life of people with diabetes.
Andrea Gaggioli's picture
Andrea GAGGIOLI
How can mobile tools change mental health research and practice? Blog post by psychology expert and researcher Andrea Gaggioli.
Stefan Visscher's picture
Stefan VISSCHER
mHealth has great potential. It allows you as a consumer to assess your own health status indicators. Such a tool could be beneficial, but introduces risks at the same time. This is where European legislation for medical devices comes in.
Celine Deswarte's picture
Celine DESWARTE
The European Commission should continue supporting a wider use of digital tools in healthcare, according to the eHealth Stakeholder Group, a European Commission advisory body. There are 4 major areas on which the group presented specific suggestions for action.
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