WHO and EU: $12 million to improve health information systems – ICT and health

The goal of the agreement is to modernize health care and improve the availability of health data to support public health. The project, funded by the European Commission, will improve health care for about one billion people in 53 European countries.

More robust health information systems

Cooperation between the European Commission and WHO/Europe provides an important opportunity to strengthen European unity, by ensuring that health databases and technical standards in both European Member and non-EU Member States are compatible with EU standards. This also includes ensuring access to health data for citizens and health professionals.
The four-year project aims to improve the use and reuse of health data by healthcare providers, policy makers and patients, in addition to improving the quality and interoperability of health information systems. With the twelve million, both sides want to solve the loopholes in these systems.

International best practices

doctor. Hans Henry B. explains: Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, emphasized the importance of cooperation website From the World Health Organization: “Harnessing the full potential of health data effectively and securely means that healthcare providers, policymakers and innovators in digital health can accelerate new products and treatments and make them available to those who need them most. This new health partnership between the European Commission and WHO ensures /Europe will better coordinate data exchange and promote the use of best practices. This promotes secure, reliable and resilient health information systems.”

Ms. Sandra Gallina, Director-General for Health and Food Safety at the European Commission, added: “The importance of health data cannot be overstated. More robust health information systems and accessible health data can improve the efficiency, safety and personalization of healthcare, transforming health.” The public as we know it. This is why the European Commission, for example, has developed an important proposal regarding the European Health Data Space (EHDS) as part of a strong European Health Union.

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Strengthening European cooperation

The project will strengthen cooperation between participating countries, the European Commission, WHO/Europe and external stakeholders. An important aspect is the establishment of the Health Information Network, a network of countries engaging in collaborative decision-making, meaningful dialogue and knowledge sharing.

The initiative will be driven by the principles and ideas proposed within the European Health Data Space (EHDS) to facilitate the use and reuse of health data within the EU. The envisaged EHDS regulation aims to improve individuals’ access to and control over their personal electronic health data. At the same time, this makes some data available for reuse in research and innovation. Recently, Europe has been busy working on concrete implementation of the EHDS strategy on the basis of a compromise text, or negotiating mandate.

Consistent data

Systems that store health data, including medical records, are called health information systems. This includes EPDs, PACs and laboratory information systems. To be effective and cost-effective, health information systems need consistent, well-organized data. They must also be able to exchange information with each other across national and international borders. This is called interoperability.

The WHO-European Commission project is funded under the EU4HEALTH program in line with its aim to “protect people in the Union and its neighboring countries from serious cross-border health threats”. The agreed project will support the objectives of the EU Global Health Strategy, as well as the European Action Program 2020-2025, the Regional Action Plan for Digital Health for the WHO European Region 2023-2030, and the WHO Global Strategy on Digital Health 2020-2025.

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Megan Vasquez

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