Healthcare 4.0: A new way of life?

On 23 March, Digital Europe (organisation representing the digital technology industry in Europe) organised an event on “Healthcare 4.0: A new way of life”.

During the event, 5 panelists from the Commission, industry and academia gave insights on the opportunities, barriers and concerns related to the use of digital technologies in the healthcare sector.

Miguel González-Sancho (Head of Unit H.3. “eHealth, Wellbeing & Ageing”, DG CNECT, European Commission) outlined three priorities for the European Union (EU) in this field:

  1. Cooperation at EU level
  2. Accelerating personalised medicine and creating infrastructure that allows data sharing
  3. Citizen empowerment

Based on the public consultation on Health and Care in the Digital Single Market carried out in 2017, the Commission will soon publish policy recommendations on the sharing of patient data across borders.

Following Mr. González-Sancho’s presentation, the panelists raised the following concerns:

  • Cory Robinson (Assistant Professor in Communication Design at Linköping University) pointed out that with the rapid scientific and technology developments, the question we have to answer now is how legislation can keep up with these developments. Sensitive personal data is increasingly utilised, e.g. some banks already introduced heart beat data for online banking instead of PIN numbers. How can we ensure that patients remain at the centre of care?
  • Similarly, Lars Lundberg (policy expert, IT & Telekomföretagen - a Swedish trade association) stated that since such innovations change the business model of the healthcare sector, this shift must be supported by policy. 
  • Meni Styliadou (Vice President, Head of External Affairs Europe & Canada, Takeda Pharmaceuticals) emphasised the fact that data can be a catalyst, but standards need to be developed. In this regard, it is critical to have entities that manage and compare health outcome data, she stated. These entities should be based on public-private partnerships no avoid the monetisation of health data.
  • Paul De Raeve (Secretary General, European Federation of Nurses Associations) highlighted the importance of community participation, trust and patient-centeredness when it comes to e-health.

The soon-to-be-published Commission Communication on the sharing of patient data across borders, which is a non-binding policy paper, will provide recommendations to address this challenge and to promote digital innovation in improving people’s health. In particular, the Communication will focus on:

  • Citizens’ secure access to electronic health records and the possibility to share these across borders;
  • Creating data infrastructure to advance research, prevent disease and personalise health and care in key areas;
  • Facilitating feedback and interaction between patients and healthcare providers, enhancing disease prevention and empowering people to take responsibility for the management of their own health.

Date: 04/04/2018 | Tag: | News: 760 of 1588
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