Director General Roberto Viola of DG CONNECT of the European Commission was among a long list of policy makers and health stakeholders who gathered at the EU Health Summit on 29 November to map the future of healthcare in Europe. Recommendations for the next European Parliament and European Commission have been drawn up.

Panel at EU Health Summit

During his speech, Director General Roberto Viola, underligned the work done by the Commission and the EU Member States, in exploring how the new and emerging digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence and high performing computing, can be harnessed to improve the health and care of EU citizens in sustainable way. 

According to Viola, "the digital transformation of healthcare is crucial, also in view of making this sector financially sustainable. High-performance computers like the one in Barcelona are one key element to make this transformation possible".

Digital health is a win-win situation for everyone: Better health outcomes, more efficient and convenient services and a sense of empowerment. Citizens need to be, and feel, in control of their data, who uses it and why, and be sure that their data is protected and that their privacy assured.

Roberto Viola:

"Every European citizen should have an electronic health record - and this record should be easily exchangeable across Europe. We will soon publish a recommendation on how this should happen."

Digital Transformation of Health and Care

Roberto Viola also stressed the work done by the European Commission in enabling the digital transformation of health and care in the EU and explained that the Commission's policies and research are well aligned with the needs of patients, citizens and health and care professionals. The Commission will also continue to support collaborative efforts across Europe to tackle the major challenges facing our continent.

Recommendations EU Health Summit

The EU Health Summit is a multi-stakeholder event organised from within and across the health community that seeks to bring together European leaders, policy makers and health stakeholders to discuss how Europe could develop and take the lead in areas such as research and innovation, health data and digital health, healthcare organisation and financing as well as health in all policies.

Ahead of the event, the partner organisations have put together recommendations for a shared vision for the future of health in Europe, calling upon the next European Commission and European Parliament to bring about necessary changes.

The recommendations for digital health are:

  • Establish a European Health Data Institute to produce a range of health data  to inform the work of policymakers, researchers, industry and healthcare  providers;
  • A European Digital Platform should be created to facilitate accountability for health data use and consent management;
  • Ensure eHealth interoperability across the continuum of care.

More information