By Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU

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

Stakeholders interested in the development of digital health have been invited in the consultation process of the Digital Health Society (DHS) Declaration. The invitation was sent by The Estonian Presidency of the council of the European Union and ECHAlliance.

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.

“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.”

Four Task forces will generate action plans from EU stakeholders:

  • 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 byBleddyn 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.

“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 road map and actions plan described by the Task Forces,” said Brian O’Connor, Chair of the ECHAlliance.

It is possible to contribute to the DHS declaration by applying here.

More information on the website.

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