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Estonian Presidency invites stakeholders to take part in the consultation of the Digital Health Society Declaration

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Eesti ELi nõukogu eesistumine kutsub sidusrühmi osalema e-tervise deklaratsiooni väljatöötamises (foto: Annika Haas/EU2017EE)

Together, the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and ECHAlliance invite stakeholders interested in the development of digital health to take part in the consultation process of the Digital Health Society (DHS) Declaration.

The declaration calls EU players to act on the current main challenges to digital health deployment and will be co-signed during the high-level e-health conference taking place from 16 to 18 October in Tallinn, Estonia.

The declaration will integrate input from all stakeholders interested in the development of digital health. “More than 100 organisations – leading European Union stakeholders representing policy makers, citizens, health professionals, scientists, companies and payers – are already working on this document that can make a difference to really achieve the digital transformation of healthcare systems,” said Ain Aaviksoo, Estonia’s Deputy Secretary General of E-services Development and Innovation. “There is a growing demand for using digital solutions to the benefit of people’s health. To have full control over their health, citizens must also have control over their health data. The DHS can help the EU achieve this in collaboration.”

The DHS has set up four Task Forces facilitated by ECHAlliance in order to generate action plans, tangible projects and commitments from EU stakeholders. The topics are:
Convergence on interoperability standards and digital tele-healthcare protocol, led by Erik Gerritsen, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health of the Netherlands
Data donors and citizen-controlled data governance, led by Angela Brand, professor at Maastricht University
Legal framework facilitating the free flow of data and the 2nd use of data, led by Bleddyn Rees, lawyer and digital health expert at Osbourne Clarke
Digital transformation and change management in health and social care organisations, led by Richard Corbridge, CIO of Health Service Executive and CEO of eHealth Ireland

In addition, a cross-country European health data cooperation network has been launched to facilitate the use of health data for research and development and is being led by Ain Aaviksoo, the Deputy Secretary General of E-services Development and Innovation from the Ministry of Social Affairs of Estonia.

Each DHS Task Force will publish its conclusions in September 2017. “It will be associated with a call for commitments and actions to all stakeholders in Europe willing to move forward on these specific topics, following the roadmap and actions plan described by the Task Forces,” said Brian O’Connor, Chair of the ECHAlliance.

Anyone interested in contributing to the DHS declaration and the DHS Task Forces can participate in the consultation process online.. The declaration will constitute an input for the debates of EU ministers, and EU Council conclusions about digital health.

Background for editors:

  • The Digital Health Society will contribute a large part of the high-level e-health conference ‘Health in the Digital Society. Digital Society for Health’ taking place on 16-18 October in Tallinn.
  • The conference ‘Health in the Digital Society. Digital Society for Health’ (#ehealthtallinn) is organised by the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs as part of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, as well as by ECHAlliance and HIMSS Europe. The three-day event will bring European Union policy makers, health ministers of member states, patient representation organisations, IT and private sectors, healthcare managers, doctors, and scientists to Tallinn.
  • A digital Europe and the free movement of data is one of the overall priorities of the Estonian Presidency. With the spread of digital technologies, large amounts of data are produced in the health sector, which could be used for advanced data analytics to support the prevention and treatment of diseases and to contribute to research and innovation. The Estonian Presidency plans to propose Council conclusions to be adopted at the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) meeting in December in Brussels.

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