eHealth

Overview

Digital health and care is the collective term used to refer to tools and services that use information and communication technologies (ICTs) that can improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and management of health and lifestyle. Digital health and care has the potential to improve access to care, quality of care, and increase the efficiency of the health sector.

Digital health and care covers areas such as:

  • Information and data sharing between patients and health service providers, hospitals, health professionals and health information networks
  • Electronic health records
  • Telemedicine services
  • Portable patient-monitoring devices
  • Operating room scheduling software
  • Robotised surgery

Goals of the European Commission

  • To improve citizens' health by making health information available using digital health and care tools, including across borders
  • To increase healthcare quality and access by making digital health and care part of health policy and coordinating EU countries' political, financial and technical strategies
  • To make digital health and care tools more effective, user-friendly and widely accepted by involving professionals and patients in strategy, design and implementation

Digital Single Market Strategy

The European Commission's Digital Market Strategy aims to digitalise the free movement of goods, capital, services and labour, and boost growth and jobs in the EU. It includes telemedicine and digital health and care, promoting interoperability and standards within the EU for their use for the benefit of patients, health professionals, health systems and industry.

Directive on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare

Under the Directive 2011/24/EU on patients' rights in cross-border healthcare the eHealth Network has been set up to speed up deployment of eHealth and to facilitate cooperation between EU countries. The network brings together the national authorities responsible for digital health and care from all EU countries, on a voluntary basis, to work on common orientations for eHealth. The eHealth Network plays a central role in solving interoperability challenges between electronic health systems. 

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