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Europe and US agree eHealth roadmap

Aims to strengthen transatlantic cooperation in eHealth and health IT

A transatlantic eHealth roadmap has been agreed between the European Commission and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

It aims to strengthen transatlantic cooperation in eHealth and health information technologies (IT) and will prioritise two areas over the next 18 months.

The first is the development of standards for electronic health information and communication technology that will allow 'interoperability' between different countries' systems.

The second priority will be to develop and expand a skilled health IT workforce in Europe and the US.

The EC's work in the area is being led by its directorate general for communications networks, content and technology (DG CONNECT).

Announcing the roadmap DG CONNECT noted eHealth “has considerable potential to promote individual and community health while fostering innovation and economic growth”.

Both the EU and US want to encourage more effective use of information communications technology when it comes to the delivery of health services, such as disease prevention and health promotion.

Setting out its pathway to achieve this the EU-US Transatlantic Economic Council aims to finalise pilots of interoperable electronic health records by September 2014.

Meanwhile, before February 2014 the Council aims to have explored “new models of education/employer collaboration” to ensure healthcare staff maintain competence levels through “a recognised programme of certified continuous professional development”.

The work of the collaboration will initially be done in virtual meetings, conference calls and discussion groups, but will include an in-person, joint EU-US eHealth/Health IT Cooperation Assembly.

This will take place during the EU's eHealth Week, which this year will be hosted by the Irish Presidency in Dublin Ireland on May 13 to 15.

4th April 2013

From: Healthcare

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