Assessing progress towards an interoperable European eHealth space

- New study commissioned by the European Union to empirica eHealth experts -

Fostering the development and implementation of national eHealth policies and strategies has been a key goal of the European Union (EU) eHealth Action Plan of 2004. To re-view progress made and analyse the results so far obtained by EU Member States, the European Commission just before Christmas signed a contract with Bonn-based eHealth specialist empirica. "We are more than happy that we won this prestigious project in a competitive tender, which will update part of the very comprehensive survey work undertaken earlier by the so-called 'eHealth ERA' project" said Dr. Veli Stroetmann, senior research fellow with empirica Communication and Technology Research, who is a principal investigator for this new work. Some key results of that earlier study were summarised in the EU report on "eHealth priorities and strategies in European countries".

The objectives of the new study are to measure and assess Union Member States eHealth progress:

  • whether national eHealth policies, strategies, roadmaps and/or implementation measures exist and have been updated;
  • whether and to what extent the objectives defined in the European eHealth Action plan have been incorporated into them;
  • what progress has been achieved, focusing on eHealth Action Plan priorities;
  • which (further) national priorities and actions may support the accelerated realisation of the eHealth Action Plan.

The final output, expected during the middle of 2010, will involve a comprehensive progress report with country briefs and policy recommendations on Member States eHealth policy progress towards an interoperable European eHealth space.

Special advisor to the study and contributor will be Prof. Denis Protti of the University of Victoria, Canada, a global expert on the comparative analysis of national and regional eHealth implementations. Contributing partners are the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL, the former STAKES), and European law firm Time.Lex CVBA as well as further expert institutes in all the more than 30 countries to be covered by this extensive research.

The EMC Consulting Group, a leading European publisher of healthcare and eHealth related information, will support the project in its dissemination efforts. EMC has an extensive, worldwide network of collaborators at the highest levels of healthcare and offers services that range from strategic healthcare management consulting, eHealth and education to EU project communications.