Digitization and data sharing will strengthen European healthcare systems and the healthcare industry. We show you how companies in the healthcare sector use it to improve their products and services, which also benefits EU citizens. Find out more about the e-revolution in healthcare in this Smart Health episode.
Every day in Europe, millions of pieces of medical data are generated by healthcare workers. But this information is not fully used.
The European Health Data Space (EHDS), launched by the European Commission in May, aims to close this gap. It will facilitate access to health data for patients and professionals (WEB: at home and abroad), and create the technical conditions for using this information securely to promote research and innovation.
use of health data
Health data can be used in two ways:
- Use in connection with health care e.g. B. visiting a doctor is called primary use. Secondary use refers to information that is processed under strict conditions of security and confidentiality, e.g. B. for political decisions or the improvement of health products.
Practical benefit using the example of Greece
In Greece we looked at how this could work in practice. Initiatives such as Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise, IHE for short, aim to standardize and harmonize data exchange between IT systems in healthcare.
"In the European market, the e-health sector and companies face various obstacles," said Alexander Berler, director of strategic business development at IHE Catalyst AISBL. "The eHealth sector is a fragmented market to the detriment of European citizens, unlike in the US and Asia."
The European digital health market is worth around €40 billion and is still growing. For companies like Gnomon Informatics, which specialize in e-health products like the eHealthPass, coordinated data sharing would finally open the doors to a pan-European market that would benefit both patients and businesses.
"The digitization of medical data is very important for European citizens as well as for the rest of the world," says Korina Papadopoulou, Director of Product Development at Gnomon Informatics. "A patient can have all their medical data and disease reports on one device. That way, they can carry the data with them when traveling across different countries and share it with any clinic and any doctor."
Improving interoperability between healthcare providers across Europe can also avoid duplication of testing, which has a positive impact on healthcare costs and patient care.
Gnomon Informatics Managing Director Kostis Kaggelidis says: "The use of a European data space is the right way to build e-health systems. This sets the direction for Europe to create an e-health industry and quality services."
HL7 – an instrument for the international level
"Health Level Seven" is a set of international standards that serve as a guide for the transmission and exchange of data between different healthcare providers. The HL7 standards were developed by Health Level Seven International, a non-profit organization supported by more than 1600 members from over 50 countries, including healthcare providers, government advocacy groups, pharmaceutical companies, etc.
The interaction between medical and digital systems is based on interoperability, ie that IT systems read, use and exchange data on a common basis.
Common language is a key capability for bridging the terminological gap between different healthcare software systems.
The next step is to agree on the "grammar rules", that is, on the structure of the syntax of the received information.
Once fully implemented, the European healthcare data space will broaden the horizons of the European healthcare market. Then medium-sized companies can also work together to develop new, innovative products for the healthcare sector.