About this consultation

Consultation period
20 July 2017 - 12 October 2017
Digital economy and society, Public health, Research and innovation

Responses to this consultation

The Commission reserves the right to publish the replies after the end of the consultation period. You can follow this page where a link to the consultation results will be published.

Consultation outcome

The European Commission reserves the right to publish all contributions to the consultation, unless non-publication is specifically requested in the general information section of the questionnaire.

A short summary of the consultation results will be published within 1 month after the consultation closes. A synopsis report with a qualitative analysis of all consultation activities will be issued within 3 weeks of the closing data of the consultation.

In case your response includes confidential data, please provide a non-confidential version.

Target group

  • Health and social care professionals and organisations
  • Manufacturers and service providers digital health solutions (products and services)
  • Operators and users of digital health tools
  • Data brokers
  • Businesses commercialising data-based digital health products and services
  • Public authorities (national, regional and local)
  • Organised civil society
  • Researchers and research organisations
  • Patient organisations
  • Health professional associations (and registries)
  • Providers of health and social / community care
  • Digital health, care and well-being developers
  • Hospitals
  • The service and Internet of Things industry
  • Citizens

Objective of the consultation

The purpose of the consultation is to define the need and scope of policy measures that will promote digital innovation in improving people’s health, and address systemic challenges to healthcare systems. This must be aligned with legislation on the protection of personal data, patient rights and electronic identification.

The consultation seeks to collect information on:

  • Cross-border access and portability of personal health data
  • Sharing of resources (scientific research expertise, data capacity and advanced digital infrastructure) that will accelerate research and advance prevention, treatment and personalised medicine; initially in three areas:
    • rare and complex diseases in order to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from the laboratory to the clinical setting;
    • preparedness for upcoming epidemics and EU-wide identification of infectious threats within days;
    • the use of real world data for the purpose of pharmacovigilance and assessment of effectiveness of products placed on the market.
  • Measures to ensure widespread uptake of digital innovations, enabling more patient centered and integrated healthcare, and allowing for feedback and interaction between patients and healthcare providers.


Demographic change, increased longevity, the rise of chronic conditions and the re-emergence of infectious diseases combine into a major challenge for health care provision in Europe. All EU countries have seen an increase in public expenditure on health and long-term care over the last decades. Costs are expected to rise further, primarily due to the ageing population. In 2015 healthcare spending accounted for 8.7 % of GDP in the EU. It could reach up to 12.6 % of GDP in 2060. The extra years of life gained through increased longevity are not necessarily spent in good health. In fact, there has been a decline in the average Healthy Life Years (HLY) in the EU28 between 2010 and 2014.

The Communication on effective, accessible and resilient health systems concluded that Member States’ future ability to provide high-quality care to all will depend on making health systems more resilient, while remaining cost-effective and financially sustainable.

Digital technologies can offer cost-effective tools to support the transition from a hospital-based health care model to a patient-centred and integrated model, improve access to care, and contribute to the sustainability and resilience of healthcare systems.

The Digital Single Market Mid-term review proposes that the Commission adopt in 2017 a Communication addressing the need and scope for measures on digital health and care, in line with legislation on the protection of personal data, patient rights and electronic identification, particularly:

  • Citizens´ secure access to electronic health records and the possibility to share these across borders.
  • Support data infrastructure to advance research, prevent disease and personalise health and care in key areas.
  • Facilitate feedback and interaction between patients and healthcare providers enhance disease prevention and empower people to take responsibility for the management of their own health.

How to submit your response

You can reply in any EU language.

We strongly encourage you to respond through the online questionnaire. Questionnaires sent by e-mail or on paper will not be analysed except those due to accessibility needs of people with visual impairment.

Responses received after the closing date will not be considered.

Accessibility for persons with disabilities

The online questionnaire meets the standards set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

You can also send your answer via email with your reply attached as Word, PDF or ODF.

Protection of personal data & privacy statement

View the questionnaire

Reference documents

DownloadPDF - 20.6 KB

Additional information