- refers to tools and services using information and communication technologies (ICTs) that can improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring and management.
- can benefit the entire community by improving access to care and quality of care and by making the health sector more efficient.
- includes 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, robotized surgery and blue-sky research on the virtual physiological human.
Goals of the EU:
- to improve citizens’ health by making life-saving information available -between countries when necessary -using eHealth tools
- to increase healthcare quality and access by making eHealth part of health policy and coordinating EU countries’ political, financial and technical strategies
- to make eHealth tools more effective, user-friendly and widely accepted by involving professionals and patients in strategy, design and implementation.
Digital Single Market Strategy
The EC adopts its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe which aims to make the EU’s single market freedoms “go digital” and boost growth and jobs in the EU. The strategy includes telemedicine and ehealth, which is a step forward in promoting interoperability and standards of these digital technologies in the EU, for the benefit of patients, health professionals, health systems and industry.
Directive on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare
Directive 2011/24/EU, Article 14, sets up a voluntary Network of national authorities responsible for eHealth. The eHealth Network will draw up guidelines in the area of eHealth. It aims to enhance interoperability between electronic health systems and continuity of care and to ensure access to safe and quality healthcare.