EU launches public consultation on Health and Care in the Digital Single Market

Commission plans to publish new ways to exchange patient data later in 2017 – and is open to suggestions as to what that would look like

Posted 8 August 2017 by

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on what health and care in the Digital Single Market should look like.

And even though the UK is set to formally leave the EU in 2019, any EU policies on this key area are likely to have big implications for both citizens and the UK health IT market.

It wants to define the need and scope of policy measures that will promote digital innovation in improving Europeans health, as well as address systemic challenges to health and care systems, with any resulting measures having be aligned with legislation on the protection of personal data, patient rights and electronic identification.

To that end, it has opened a consultation to get views on:

  • cross-border access to and management of personal health data
  • possible future joint European exploitation of resources (digital infrastructure, data capacity), to accelerate research and to advance prevention, treatment and personalised medicine
  • measures for widespread uptake of digital innovation, supporting citizen feedback and interaction between patients and health care providers.

A new policy communication by the end of the year has been promised by Brussels, with input welcomed before October 12.

“We are dedicated to improving European citizens’ quality of living by improving Europe’s health, care and research systems by using digital technologies to their full potential,” says the official statement on the plans.

“This consultation will help us identify ways to offer citizens, medical professionals and researchers better access to health data, prevention, rapid response to pandemic threats, personalised treatments and care.

“We are considering new digital initiatives to deliver on the free movement of patients and data, to support the modernisation of national health systems, and to bring together scattered evidence and innovative knowledge from across Europe.”