Overcoming barriers to eHealth

Today, coinciding with the European Ministerial eHealth Conference in Budapest, Eucomed, the European medical technology industry association, has launched its position paper on eHealth describing the industry perspective including seven criteria that play a critical role in enabling the transformation of healthcare systems across Europe.

In order to overcome the uptake barriers of eHealth, Eucomed believes eHealth programmes, policies and legislation should be in line with the following criteria:

  1. Ensure that the needs of patients, providers and healthcare systems remain at the centre of eHealth policies.
  2. Ensure a framework for technical and semantic interoperability in the health sector that enables standardisation and harmonisation of currently disjointed national and local eHealth systems.
  3. Ensure an appropriate value-based reimbursement and funding framework which properly compensates healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses and caretakers for the use of eHealth technologies and remote services.
  4. Ensure the legal certainty of eHealth products and services across Member States.
  5. Establish a leading European voice in presenting the value of eHealth for the future of EU healthcare systems.
  6. Emphasise the appropriate uptake of new technologies to ensure that healthcare is provided in the most effective and efficient way.
  7. Allocate increasing funds to the health sector with particular priority given to eHealth technologies and projects.

“eHealth is transforming healthcare delivery across Europe and it is only a matter of time before we drop the ‘e’ in ‘eHealth’ and view it as the benchmark. Eucomed and its members will become more involved and active in the eHealth arena as we have solutions to offer such as remote monitoring, which have proven to increase the efficiency and productivity of healthcare systems”, says Anna Lefevre Skjöldebrand, Chair of the Eucomed eHealth Working Group.

Eucomed describes eHealth as a crucial tool to facilitate the provision of healthcare through ICT with a view to:

  1. enabling European patients to be more engaged in managing their own health, with proper training and under the supervision of professionals;
  2. improving healthcare quality and productivity in Europe;
  3. enabling efficient and secure access to data by clinicians and patients;
  4. facilitating the sharing of knowledge and best practices across Europe, and opening the door to new treatments;
  5. contributing to more equitable access to healthcare for European citizens across the EU Member States;
  6. increasing the adaptability and sustainability of healthcare systems that are presently facing challenging financial and demographic burdens.

More information on the Ministerial eHealth Conference can be found at: http://europa.eu/eucalendar/event/id/178071-ehealth-week/mode/standalone

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