European Commission sets up the eHealth Network

According to the provisions of the Directive 2011/24/EU on Patients' Rights in Cross-border Healthcare, the European Commission has adopted a Decision establishing the eHealth Network. The Network will bring together the national authorities responsible for eHealth on a voluntary basis to work on common orientations for eHealth.

The aim of the eHealth Network is to ensure EU wide interoperability of electronic health systems and wider use of eHealth as well as coordination, coherence and consistency of work on eHealth at EU level.

As highlighted by Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, interoperable eHealth can help to improve the safety and efficiency of care of millions of Europeans who travel within the EU every year. The establishment of the Network represents the first time that the European legislator includes provisions on eHealth with a clear objective to achieve modern innovative solutions to deliver better health services to the citizens.

The eHealth Network is expected to translate the results of numerous research projects and pilot projects into real-life accessible services for European citizens. It is mandated to draw up guidelines on a minimum set of common data to be included in patients' summaries as well as effective methods to enable the use of medical information for public health and medical research.

Also, according to the Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare, the eHealth Network will support Member States in developing common identification and authentication measures to facilitate transferability of data in cross-border healthcare.