At the eighth Ministerial eHealth Conference in Barcelona today, EU ministers have outlined a joint vision and policy priorities on how to make eHealth more accessible, interactive and customised to patients. The Declaration outlines a vision and identifies key objectives to be achieved in the next ten years.

The Declaration calls for policy coordination amongst the various areas where eHealth can have an impact on citizens' health in order to enhance benefits for patients, healthcare systems and society. It recognises the need for stronger synergies with policy areas like competitiveness, research and regional development both at European and national levels.

The importance of eHealth should be underlined in the framework of the future EU 2020 Strategy and the European Digital Agenda. In this context Member States look forward to the World Conference on ICT.

ICT tools for Health should be used to scale up benefits to patients, healthcare systems and society. Large scale actions at European level to link research, innovation and deployment are therefore welcomed. The Commission should report on progress in this area. The signatories also underline the importance of involving all stakeholders in the strategic planning, validation and implementation of eHealth.

For two decades, the European Commission has been supporting EU research through the funding of more than 450 projects for a total of 1 Billion €, enabling Europe to take the leadership in research and innovation in the field.

Since 2007 the European Commission has been supporting eHealth deployment via the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme and over the last years through the Public Health Programme.

Additional information:

The High Level eHealth Conference 2010

4th World of Health IT Conference and exhibition

Council conclusions on Safe and Efficient Healthcare through eHealth

European Commission Communication: "Telemedicine for the benefit of patients, healthcare systems and society"

Commission Recommendation on "Cross-border Interoperability of Electronic Health Record Systems"

European Commission eHealth policy

epSOS project

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