May 25, 2022

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Covid lesson Europe is ready to create a (digital) space for health data

Health information on your smartphone and one-click sharing with health professionals. After declaring a state of epidemiological emergency,European Union It can dedicate itself to building the future of affordable digital healthcare for everyone, piece by piece. The first pillar of the Health Consortium around which the Brussels strategy is organized is the European Health Data Area, which the Commission wants to activate by 2025. Moreover, the two years of Covid-19 demonstrated the growing importance of digital services for health, as they explained in Brussels, with “ Data is the lifeblood of our health systems. However, many obstacles still had to be overcome. The acronym is Ehds, from the English European Health Data Space: The goal is to facilitate the sharing of information about an individual’s health both in their own country and in other EU member states, so as to promote a single market for services and products. Healthcare. Just introduced by the EU executive, the characteristics and concrete performance will now be the subject of negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council, where government representatives sit. To fund the creation of the European Health Data Area, the Commission has allocated €810 million, more than the €12 billion that has already been made available to countries to support investments in digital health provided for in various recovery plans. The intention is also to have EHDs dialogue with the regulatory framework for artificial intelligence and cloud computing. All this, of course, out of respect for the privacy so dear to Europe, which has made it the cornerstone of its world-leading regulatory work. Data in electronic format will in most cases become anonymised and remain under the full control of users, who will be able to access it freely and easily in order to add information, correct errors, limit access and know the healthcare professionals they have consulted. But it will also bring important benefits to science and research, as EHDS will serve as a platform to provide key inputs to the medical and pharmaceutical industry to develop new treatments, medical devices and medicines, but also to improve access to healthcare. for public health. In order to access data availability, however, researchers, companies and institutions will have to request prior permission from the responsible national authority (if it is not available, it should be created under the new EU regulation).

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Access will only be granted if the requested data is intended for specific purposes, in secure environments and without revealing the identity of individuals. According to the EU Action Plan, the new initiative will also reduce costs for patients and health systems in the twenty-seventh: in fact, it is estimated that “of the 14 billion euros spent annually on medical services, about 10% need to perform unnecessary procedures, and they are often done elsewhere.” The experience gained from creating the Covid-19 digital certificate has informed and inspired the work behind the new European Health Data Area. Just as with the Green Corridor, whose infrastructure has been jointly developed by EU technicians and at the disposal of capitals, for now it will be up to the states to work hard to ensure that medical histories, electronic prescriptions, diagnostic imaging reports, support materials, lab reports and discharge notes are issued and accepted In common, interoperable and secure European format. EHR system manufacturers will need to certify compliance with these two standards. According to Brussels’ calculations, the EHDS in general should allow savings of about 11 billion euros over the next ten years: a good step to accompany the European treaty reform proposals expressed in recent days by the EU Parliament, which among other things wants to take advantage of the lesson learned from the pandemic and expanding the competencies of the European Union in the field of health.

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