On the April 25, 2018 the European Commission (the “Commission”) adopted a plan of action to enable the digital transformation of health and care in the Digital Single Market (the “Communication”), intended to put EU citizens at the centre of the healthcare system. This is to be achieved in three ways:
1. Citizens’ secure access to and sharing of health data
The Commission wishes to ensure that EU citizens should have secure access, anywhere in the EU, to a comprehensive electronic record of their health data. Citizens should remain in control of their health data (wherever it is located) and be able to share it securely with others for purposes chosen by those citizens, for example, medical treatment or research.
The Commission recommends the:
- development and adoption of a “European electronic health record exchange format”, which would expand the existing eHealth digital services infrastructure; and
- establishment of interoperable standards that would minimise barriers to cross-border transfer of health information and data within the EU and identify incentives for adopting the common format, and tackle practices that impede interoperability.