Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

READi for Health project: EU regions paving the way for better eHealth deployment

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READi for Health project
The EU-funded READi for Health project has brought together four European regions - Skåne (Sweden), Oulu (Finland), Murcia (Spain) and Midi-Pyrenees (France) - to pave the way for a better uptake of eHealth. They identified unmet needs, the ones who have to tackle them and through which channels.

The common goal of all parties involved in the project is to promote the development and upscale of eHealth solutions creating value for caregivers, patients and citizens.

To this end, the READi for Health regions joined forces: By sharing case studies of existing strategies and their success and failures, they prepared and specialised their regions for quick introduction of eHealth innovation and validation under real-world conditions. All READi regions are currently working in developing a baseline eHealth Strategy, so other regions may advance more quickly instead of having to start from scratch.

Partnerships

The consortium also started working in new Public Private Partnerships and purchasing mechanisms like Pre-Commercial Procurement to facilitate quick incorporation of innovation. New initiatives were launched, in particular in the areas of Semantic Interoperability and Standards, Cloud Computing and Secure information access from any device.

Supporting local SMEs

"In order to become a truly regional engine for growth, those innovations must be exported to European and world-wide markets", says project manager Myriam Martin. "That's why READi for Health supported local companies, especially SMEs, to internationalise their innovations by promoting a 'global network of eHealth clusters'. This network facilitates contacts and market intelligence, and contributes to the sustainability of the clusters themselves."

All in all READi for Health has been working to implement 9 main actions:

  1. Developing effective and inclusive regional eHealth strategies;
  2. Launching eHealth innovation hubs to support business from idea to implemented product focusing on needs;
  3. Supporting advanced eHealth services for start-ups and SMEs operating in the eHealth market;
  4. Pursuing interoperability - semantic and otherwise;
  5. Launching new initiatives that can discover how to use big data for better healthcare decision making;
  6. Supporting digital health-tech SMEs to access global healthcare markets;
  7. Facilitating public procurement of innovative eHealth technologies;
  8. Building eHealth capacity and patient empowerment and understanding across ecosystem;
  9. Communicating with all eHealth stakeholders.

Why it is important

Myriam Martin: "eHealth enables us to better face the social and economic challenges posed by an ageing population, more chronic disease and budgetary constraints. Healthcare organizations are challenged to develop and implement ICTs in a way that achieves benefits, while at the same time avoiding the privacy, security and safety risks that are introduced into the healthcare environment by ICTs. And that's where we try to help out."

You can learn more and if you're interested participate at the READi for Health website.

READi for Health will finish in August 2016 and will hold its closing event at eHealth Week in Amsterdam (8-10 June 2016).