Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Healthcare of the 21st century: digital

Last Friday the European Commission revealed an eHealth Action Plan which is supposed to optimise the use of digital solutions in Europe's healthcare systems. As a result of the changes it intends to introduce, the patients should gain more control of their care and the costs of healthcare could decrease. So far, most European patients uses only their mobile phones (out of all modern technologies that could be applied to access and assess healthcare systems), e.g., to download smartphone apps to assess their health. The Action Plans wants to clarify areas of legal uncertainty, improve interoperability, increase awareness of digital solutions among patients, support research into personalised medicine, ensure free legal advice for start-up eHealth businesses. We are also promised a mHealth (mobile health) Green Paper by 2014 which would explain and address quality and transparency issues. Additionally, a Staff Working Document was issued which summarises which EU legislation applies currently to cross-border telemedicine. (e.g., as far as liability of healthcare practitioners, licensing systems, and data processing is concerned) (Putting patients in the driving seat: A digital future for healthcare)

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