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An update on eHealth with key stakeholders

On 29 January the European Commission eHealth Stakeholder Group (eHSG) held its third meeting. The participants assessed the progress of working groups in advancing some key actions of the Digital Agenda for Europe and of the eHealth Action Plan, the two policy areas of specific interest for the group.

EPF is member of the eHealth Stakeholder Group which represents expert representatives of European umbrella organisations active in the eHealth sector and is appointed for a period of three years. The group will contribute to the development of legislation and policy related to eHealth.

DG CONNECT representatives introduced some of the latest eHealth-related developments. They presented the recently finalised eHealth Action plan which runs from 2012-2020. The aim of this plan is to remove obstacles to greater use of digital technology in Europe’s health system.

They also provided further updates on how current EU legislation applies to cross border telemedicine. The Commission recently published a staff working paper to clarify legal issues in this area as it currently falls within the scope of several legal instruments. The paper explains the problems a healthcare professional can face in delivering telemedicine across borders.

The discussions continued on plans for a future Green Paper on mobile health (mHealth) and well-being applications. The aim will be to legally clarify their situation within the Internal Market and to see how they can be best used for the benefit of the consumers and the patients.

The participants discussed progress achieved by the working groups. Topics included:

  • Patient access to health records and telemedicine – Key actions 13 of the Digital Agenda Europe (DAE)  
  • Interoperability 
  • Skills
  • Health inequalities
  • Legal issues

The meeting closed with a presentation on the eHealth Governance Initiative.  The focus was put on its role in supporting the recently established eHealth Network of Member States.