eHealth is defined as "electronic information and interactions connecting people and communities to health services".
eHealth is healthcare practices supported by electronic processes and communication. It includes a wide range of services and information technology such as electronic medical records, telemedicine, evidence-based medicine, consumer health informatics, etc.
Healthcare systems are becoming increasingly dependent on Information and Communication technologies to deliver quality care to EU citizens. As a consequence, ehealth has been set up one of the priorities of the EU’s i2010 programme and is also a strategic priority for EPF, as set out in EPF Strategic Plan, EPF Annual Work Plan 2007 and 2008.
EPF is a member of the e-Health Users’ Stakeholders Group, which provides advice to the European Commission (DG INFSO) on the progress on the European eHealth Action plan.
In December EPF published a position paper on eHealth. This paper was developed following a consultation of the EPF Policy Advisory Group and larger EPF membership and draws on the findings of various eHealth-related projects in which EPF has participated in over the last few years.
Members are invited to use this position paper to inform their own advocacy activities and involvement in eHealth debates or related projects.
While eHealth could bring forward many benefits for patients, it is key to foster patient‐centred development of eHealth, with equity of access, patient safety, and quality of care as key pillars.