Cross-border collaboration in public procurement

This report ‘How can voluntary cross-border collaboration in public procurement improve access to health technologies in Europe?’ examines the legal framework put in place by the EU to foster voluntary cross-border collaboration in the field of public procurement of health technologies. It looks at recent experiences and developments in cross-border collaboration across Europe and explores the challenges and opportunities that such cross-border collaboration present.

To download the report on cross-border collaboration in public procurement from the euro.who.int website

Taskforce to take Health and Digital policies further

Europe faces a major challenge with the sustainability and quality of health and care provision, as a consequence of demographic change and improvements in medical treatment. Public expenditure on health and long-term care has been increasing over the last decades in all EU Member States, and is expected to rise even further as a consequence of an ageing population. In 2015, it accounted for 8.7% of GDP in the EU and could reach up to 12.6% of GDP in 2060, according to a recent EU report.

Digital technology can improve health and care provision, allowing citizens to live longer and more healthy life years (HLYs) and it can help in innovating the way we deliver and receive health and care services. The European Commission has set up a task force bringing together technology and health policy makers in order to put the citizen at the centre of health and care re-design.

For more information about the taskforce to take health and digital policies further on the ec.europa.eu website

Effective, accessible and resilient health systems

The European Commission’s Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health has just been renewed for three more years, running until May 2019. The aim of the Panel is to provide the Commission with independent advice from a variety of sectors  to support modern, responsive and sustainable health systems.

The Panel’s new members cover a wide range of disciplines, including human medicine, public health and economics. It will support the Commission’s efforts to provide evidence-based policy-making using both country-specific and cross-country knowledge and will support the agenda on effective, accessible and resilient health systems.

More information about the Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health on the ec.europa.eu website.

European eHealth Network

The Joint Action to support the eHealth Network (JAseHN) was launched in 2015 and is now in the process of setting up a cross-border network to exchange Patient Summaries and ePrescriptions, by focusing on the following objectives:

  • enable seamless cross-border care and secure access to patient health information between European healthcare systems, particularly with respect to the exchange of Patient Summary and ePrescription.
  • contribute to patient safety by reducing the frequency of medical errors and by providing quick access to patient health information, as well as by increasing the accessibility of a patient’s own prescriptions, also when abroad.
  • provide medical personnel with life-saving information in emergency situations and reduce the repetition of diagnostic procedures.

To read more about JAseHN and download their leaflet from the jasehn.eu website

E-health in practice

A new report gives an overview of the developments and benefits of using e-health, with 29 cases from across the European Region.

E-health is a broad concept, defined as the use of electronic means to deliver information, resources and services related to health. Many terms are included in e-health, such as:

  • electronic health records;
  • mobile health, or m-health;
  • telehealth or telemedicine;
  • health-related e-learning;
  • social media for health;
  • health data analysis and “big data”

The following examples illustrate different uses of e-health:

Improving appointment systems in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Before 2011, patients in Skopje experienced long waiting times to see doctors and have diagnostic tests. The MojTermin (My Time) system made it possible to book appointments online and receive text message reminders and for decision-makers to access a live dashboard to see referrals, prescriptions and requests in real time. The system was so successful in reducing waiting times that it rapidly expanded from a pilot project to become a key part of public and private health care in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

First nationwide electronic health record system 

Estonia launched its electronic record system in 2008, becoming the first country in the world to fully implement such a system nationwide, with records covering an individual’s medical history from birth to death. Information on the health of 1.35 million people (98% of the population) is now in the system, and e-prescriptions account for 98% of all prescriptions issued. The electronic record system forms part of the broader eEstonia electronic public services, which, in addition to e-health, include e-taxes, e-schools, e-commercial registries and e-elections.

Training medical students in using a multilingual, virtual, simulated patient

11 countries in the Region have created a multilingual, virtual, simulated “patient” that responds and behaves in the same way as a real patient being seen in a primary care setting. It can be used by medical students in different countries with different languages. The system simulates a clinical interview with a virtual patient presenting with symptoms of one or a combination of illnesses.

To read the report From Innovation to Implementation on the who.int website

eHealth guidelines for nurses

The EU-funded Ens4Care project has developed five guidelines for European nurses and social workers on how to use eHealth for:

  • promoting a healthy lifestyle and prevention
  • clinical practice
  • skills development for advanced roles
  • integrated care
  • nurse ePrescribing.

The ENS4Care network brought together 24 partners from all over Europe, with a mix of professional associations in nursing and social care, nursing regulators and unions, informal carers, patients, researchers and research communities, civil society representatives and industry. They collected a total of 122 existing good practices of using eHealth tools by nurses and social workers at both national and regional levels.

To find out more about the eHealth Guidelines and the project itself, on the ens4care.eu website

E-health in Europe – from innovation to implementation

This report describes the development of e-health in the WHO European Region and the trends that are emerging in 2016. It is based largely on data collected from the 2015 WHO Global eHealth Survey.

It includes case studies of successful implementations in various countries and the practical application of e-health in various settings. It provides evidence of an increasing appetite for e-health and indicates tangible progress in the mainstreaming of technology solutions across the European Region to improve public health and health-service delivery.

To read “From innovation to implementation – eHealth in the WHO European Region” on the euro.who.int website.

Smart ageing prize

AAL (previously known as Ambient Assisted Living) has launched its Smart Ageing Prize – a €50,000 Challenge Prize to find the best innovation in internet connected devices and technologies (Internet of Things) that will empower older adults to achieve the quality of life they aspire to socially and independently.

The Prize aims to find innovations that improve connectivity between older adults, devices and technologies related to any aspect of their life (e.g. home, social, work, study, transport or services). The idea should present a business opportunity which has the potential to be commercially viable. Applications must involve older adults in the development and testing of the technology.

AAL will help the most innovative ideas turn into real products that can be financially sustainable. Fifteen of the most promising applications will be chosen as Finalists and will be invited to a social innovation mentoring academy in Brussels in July to progress their ideas. Each of the Finalists will be awarded a €500 grant to develop a prototype to demonstrate at the Academy.

The winner will be awarded a prize of €50,000 at the AAL Forum in Switzerland in late September (www.aalforu.eu).
The Prize is open to individuals, groups and organisations in the 28 member countries of the European Union, as well as Israel, Canada, Norway and Switzerland. The deadline for applications is Friday 13 May 2016 at Midday (12pm) Central European Time.

For more information about the Smart Ageing Prize, on the aal-europe.eu website.

Empowerment of Disabled People

October 2014. This conference was part of Phase 1 of the EDECT project. You can see the full programme and the presentations are listed below in order of appearance at the conference:

European Health Information Initiative

A single, integrated health information system for the entire European Region is the aim of this European Health Information Initiative (EHII) which brings together representatives from the   European Region, WHO collaborating centres (Moscow and Manchester), the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and The Wellcome Trust.

EHII believes this integrated system can be achieved by actions in six key areas:

  • development of information on health and well-being, with a focus on indicators;
  • enhanced access to and dissemination of health information;
  • capacity building;
  • strengthening of health information networks;
  • support for development of health information strategies;
  • communication and advocacy.

Initial activities include:

  • preparation of a mapping exercise on existing and future health information developments, with a particular focus on indicator development
  • regular progress reports from WHO/Europe, European Commission and OECD to the EHII Steering Group on their joint collaboration in the field of health information;
  • development of a communications and advocacy strategy for EHII.

For more information about EHII, click here on www.euro.who.int