EU leaders seek guidance on telemed interoperability

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Leaders from six countries in the European Union are asking the eHealth Network for guidance on telemedicine interoperability across nations.

In a letter to the eHealth Network, leaders from Denmark, Norway, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Catalonia say their nations have confidence in telemedicine’s benefits and have experience with deploying the technology on a large scale, but to overcome challenges they need “cross regional--and even cross-national--coordination.”

“Large scale deployment of telehealth systems … has considerable potential to move healthcare from the hospital to the home, empower citizens and patients with timely information, and improve the health and the quality of life of patients and their families,” they write.

To overcome technical challenges, struggles to adopt Continua guidelines and lack of interoperability, the leaders have three requests for eHealth Network:

  • Make time for a review of an “end-to-end interoperability framework based on international standards for personal connected health,” with a common approach throughout the EU.
  • Support deployment of telemedicine at a large scale and support evidence for the benefits of the technology.
  • Change “the market dynamics” for connected health. “The ongoing work of initiatives such as the Personal Connected Health Alliance has started to move the needle, but for a market breakthrough we need more countries and regions to join,” they write.

“In return, we pledge to periodically come back to share with you our experiences in deploying interoperable personal connected health,” the leaders conclude.

The United States faces similar challenges when it comes to such technology. For example, many states have different definitions for telehealth, creating "confusing environments" for end users.

To learn more:
- here's the letter (.pdf)