The Policy Affairs Working Group has learned that the eHealth Action Plan 2012-2020 will be published on 06 December 2012.
The eHealth Action Plan, the publication of which has been delayed several times, will act as a framework for future EU and national initiatives which will broadly seek to:
The content of the upcoming action plan will likely take into account the report on the open consultation on the action plan. Those who responded to the consultation stressed the need to increase awareness among the public and health professionals as to the benefits of eHealth with some 71% of respondents calling for support for ICT measures for clinical use.
While the original eHealth Action Plan of 2004, promoted the use of non-invasive imaging-based systems to support diagnosis and using digital patient specific data to aid surgeons, such endorsement has fallen from the EU agenda in recent years. The focus has tended to shift considerably from the support of imaging technologies as part of eHealth to what has become known as ‘telemedicine’ which promotes patient self-care and is largely aimed at cost containment.
Should the results of the consultation be taken into account then the Action Plan may support the goals of VPH and may help reverse the trend of viewing eHealth as cost containment and more of viewing it as an investment in advanced tools such as VPH.