Financing eHealth

Assessment of financing opportunities available to Member States to support and boost investment in eHealth






DG INFSO, European Commission (EC)

Realising that financing is potentially a powerful inhibitor to effective eHealth diffusion, the EC’s Directorate General Information Society and Media commissioned a study on “assessment of financing opportunities to support and boost investment in eHealth.” The approach is to uncover opportunities for financing eHealth in the context of overall investment in healthcare development and to identify the range of financing models available for eHealth. This results in support for decision-makers of organisations investing in eHealth. The preferred financing models differ according to types of eHealth solutions and the socio-economic and regulatory environment. The different impacts and affordability issues for the short term and the medium term are highlighted.
eHealth can be financed in different ways, including as part of general healthcare development financing, public private partnership, leasing, research funds, and venture capital. Also, public funds are available on local, regional, national, EU, and international level. The best option for financing a particular endeavour can be determined by the type of eHealth investment that is envisaged. Different financing opportunities can be used in different phases of an eHealth investment life-cycle. For example, a pilot of a Hospital Information System can start with initial support from government funds on ICT development, but once operational, the system may yield enough return of financial and other resources that it can move towards internal financing from re-allocating existing expenditure budgets.