Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

Action 75: Give Europeans secure online access to their medical health data and achieve widespread telemedicine deployment

The actions aims at undertaking pilot actions to equip Europeans with secure online access to their medical health data by 2015 and to achieve by 2020 widespread deployment of telemedicine services.

The eHealth action plan 2012-2020 was launched in December 2012 to address barriers to widespread telemedicine deployment. Two pilots funded under CIP programme designed to equip Europeans with secure online access to their medical health data, involving over 20 regions in different Member States.

What is the problem? Sustainability of healthcare systems is at stake

Increasing demands from patients, a rising spread of chronic diseases, the impact of an ageing population, together with scarcer human and financial resources are putting sustainability of healthcare systems at risk. New models of healthcare and stakeholder engagement and involvement are essential to ensure the sustainability of a healthy society.

Why is EU action needed? Patients' empowerment and deployment of telemedicine services are key to ensuring the sustainability of healthcare systems

Healthy and active lives are associated to well informed, educated and pro-active patients and citizens. The strategy of patient empowerment includes increased patients' access to their health data, participation and responsibility, in order to render their interactions with healthcare services more effective while increasing their mobility. As active players, patients gain in autonomy, quality and safety of care, and can improve their lifestyles.

Telemedicine services are crucial to taking better care of chronic diseases patients, including elderly patients. DAE action 75 is also contributing to the delivery of the European Innovation Partnership in the field of active and healthy ageing, proposed under the Innovation Union flagship.

Telemedicine is also a promising tool to improve mental health, increase the social impact of public health intervention, provide efficient health support in remote areas, and to respond to the shortage of healthcare professionals and the lack of financial resources.

Everybody will benefit

Citizens: have access to safer and better care with greater choice and new online services resulting in an improved quality of life, better continuity of care and increased accessibility to health systems.

Health providers: improve the efficiency of their organisation providing closer patients' follow-ups.

Health Authorities: thanks to telemedicine, they are able to use their resources more efficiently, increase the accessibility of health systems, improve health coverage, decrease the variability of clinical practices while ensuring better care.

Industry: New markets for personal health & wellness management will emerge.

What has the Commission done so far?

In 2012:

  • Used the large scale pilots "Renewing Health" and the Thematic Network "MOMENTUM" to raise awareness of telemedicine benefits
  • Launched a call via the 2012 Work Programme to increase further deployment of telemedicine services in chronic disease management; the pilot project is currently under negotiation
  • Published a document on the applicability of existing EU legislation to telemedicine services
  • Adopted a new eHealth Action plan 2012-2020, further addressing barriers to widespread telemedicine deployment
  • EU project epSOS has developed the architecture and common components to pilot patients' cross border access to their health records.

In 2013:

  • Launched a call under the 2013 Competitiveness Innovation Programme to:
    • implement widespread, real-life solutions for the treatment of mental disorders based on innovative telehealth services (MASTERMIND);
    • develop clinical practice guideline for nursing and social care workforce (ENS4Care);
    • support deployment of integrated care (CAREWELL, PhysioDom-HDIM, INCA, Beyond Silos);
    • support public procurement for innovative solutions (PPI) in eHealth, active and healthy ageing and assisted living (STOPandGO).
  • The eHealth Stakeholder Group provided an overview of the "state of play" regarding patients' access to electronic health records.

What will the Commission do next?

In 2014:

  • Ensure the progression of 2 pilot projects "SUSTAINS" and "PALANTE" – designed to equip Europeans with secure online access to their medical health data, involving over 20 regions in different Member States.
  • The epSOS project will pilot patients' cross border access to their health records and evaluate the service. The epSOS working group, including clinical experts, defined the functional service related to the Patient Summary.
  • The eHealth Stakeholder Group will provide an overview of the "state of play" regarding patients' access to electronic health records and telemedicine deployment, assess obstacles to uptake and give recommendations.
  • Adoption of a Green Paper on mHealth, accompanied by a Staff Working Document on the EU legal framework applicable to health and wellbeing apps.

5th Meeting eHealth Network

Cross-border health project epSOS: What has it achieved?

Your opinion on epSOS eHealth services abroad

Report identifies challenges and trends in eHealth

Trillium Bridge is looking to share patient data between EU and US

In October 2013, the first fully-fledged European Cyber Security Month (ECSM) will take place all over Europe. The challenge is to improve trust in public and private IT services, used in everyday lives.
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all over Europe
The campaign is under intensive planning with more than 40 partners and, currently, stakeholders in 25 countries across Europe participating. The EU’s ‘cyber security’ agency ENISA is, together with the European Commission Vice President and Commissioner Neelie Kroes and the Commission Directorate General DG CONNECT, supporting this first full scale European Cyber Security Month, with more than 50 activities.

But what is the ECSM?

The European Cyber Security Month is an EU campaign that takes place in October. Its purpose is

  • to promote cyber security among citizens,
  • to change their perception of cyber-threats, and
  • to provide up-to-date security information, through education and sharing good practices.

Activities all over Europe

ECSM activities will take place in these 25 countries (22 EU Member States and 3 partner countries): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

More than 40 partners from both public and private bodies are active in the campaign, among them Europol, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the European Commission’s Europe Direct network, as well as professional information and communication (ICT) associations (e.g. ISACA and the Information Systems Security Association, ISSA -) and industry representatives.

The activities will include video, radio and TV talk shows and programmes, lectures, expert workshops, conferences, online games, and fairs in all ECSM countries. For example, in Austria a record number of activities is being organised: (15); in Ireland a Cyber Psychology Research Centre will be launched.

ENISA’s Executive Director, Professor Udo Helmbrecht commented: “ENISA is a broker of cyber security knowledge. The European Cyber Security Month campaign makes it possible to share best practices, and to increase the results of the security communities’ work. It’s about your security, and in your best interest; online security requires your active participation”.

He added; “In a time when cyber security is of increasing importance for society and the economy, the challenge is to bring the skills of citizens and SMEs up to speed, to improve the trust in public and private IT services, used in everyday lives”.

For further information: Website Twitter @enisa_eu  and @CyberSecMonth #OctoberNIS #CyberSecMonth


eHealth Interoperability Framework Study


Progress Report
Status: On track Francisca Garcia Lizana Francisca Garcia Lizana