EU seeks views on improving healthcare by applying eHealth

The information and communication technologies (ICT) applied to the heathcare sector (so-called 'eHealth')- can help to deliver widespread benefits to the quality and efficiency. European Commission has launched a public consultation in order to know citizens' and other interested parties' views on this topic.

The European Commission is inviting all interested parties, including healthcare professionals and patients, to give their feedback on the main benefits of eHealth, the main barriers preventing large-scale deployment, and the actions the EU should take to overcome them. Furthermore, stakeholders can provide their views on the best ways to improve interoperability, on how the Commission should address legal issues related to eHealth and on the best ways to support innovation.

In addition, the questionnaire will also help the Commission assess whether its proposed policy objectives are technically viable, workable in practice and in line with the expectations of stakeholders. The online public consultation runs until 25 May. The answers will feed into the preparation of the eHealth Action Plan 2012-2020 that the Commission is due to present before the end of 2011.

The mentioned 2012-2020 eHealth Action Plan will be an opportunity to build on the actions of the first such Action Plan which was launched in 2004. It will aim to take these actions a step further and provide a longer term vision for eHealth in Europe, in the context of the Digital Agenda for Europe as well as the Innovation Union and European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing within the 2020 Strategy.