The European Commission today launched two initiatives to improve the safety and quality of care to people who require medical assistance while travelling or living abroad: a Recommendation on cross-border interoperability of electronic health record (EHR) systems and the Smart Open Services (SOS) project. The Recommendation aims to provide Member States with basic principles and guidelines for ensuring that doctors can gain access to vital information on patients that they are trying to treat, wherever such information may be located in Europe. The SOS project, co-funded by the European Commission, is supported by 12 Member States and their industry players, to demonstrate the benefits of such interoperability. It will enable health professionals to access specific medical data such as current medications of patients from other EU countries. In an emergency, sharing of medical information could save many patients' lives.