Dear Readers, Amidst what may be the greatest economic downturn since the 1930s, 2009 promises to be a memorable year. Opinions about the impact of the recession on the healthcare sector are mixed, but there seems to be a consensus that it will be less vulnerable than many others. Meanwhile, the recent presidential elections in the US have brought to power one its most resolute champions of hea


The European Association of Healthcare IT Managers The European Association of Healthcare IT Managers (HITM) is a non-profit pan-European umbrella association of all relevant national healthcare IT associations in Europe. Believing in the fundamental importance of unifying healthcare IT professionals at European and global levels, HITM is committed to increasing the professional authority and respo

AGFA Healthcare Signs Agreement With Government of Ontario, Canada Agfa HealthCare has recently signed an agreement with the government of Ontario, Canada, for a CAD$29.6 million grant to support the growth of the company’s Research, Development and Regional operation centres in Toronto and Waterloo. The objective is to streamline and centralise these operations. The investment is part of the gov

iSOFT Signs a Five Year Agreement with Cmpmedica for Essential Drug Information Support Tools CMPMedica will supply iSOFT with comprehensive evidencebased drug information. This information solution will power iSOFT’s integrated suite of decision-support tools with the objective of enabling healthcare professionals to make better informed decisions. CMPMedica combines internationally referenced alert t

Carestream Showcase Latest Innovations for Radiology and IT at ECR 2009 At the annual meeting of the European Congress of Radiology (ECR), Carestream Health will demonstrate its latest digital imaging and IT solutions. These innovations, available worldwide in the second quarter of 2009, include latest generation RIS/PACS that will reportedly streamline the delivery of imaging services and boost pr

New Philips and VTT Development Centre in Finland Philips and VTT have jointly opened an InnoHub in Espoo, Finland. The objective is to produce innovative ideas and turn them in to profitable business. The focus areas are health, lifestyle and well-being. The InnoHub provides a real life setting, including a hospital room, nurses station and home environment and can be used for the entire innovatio

Lorenzo to be Adopted in Two More German Hospitals The German hospital group, Krankenhaus Buchholz and Winsen, is set to become the latest iSOFT customer for LORENZO. With iCS (iSOFT Collaboration Suite), Krankenhaus Buchholz and Winsen provide GPs access to hospital patient records using a standard web-browser. eFA, created as an electronic case record for sharing of patient data for integrated ca

Successful Implementation of the ‘eHealth Services’ Project Lithuania’s “eHealth Services” Project is part of the development of a national eHealth system by the country’s Ministry of Health. Jointly funded by the Lithuanian Government and the European Union, the project entails the design, installation and operation of hospital information systems (HIS) in three regional healthcare instituti

Catrene Launches New Call for Project Proposals The recent EUREKA programme CATRENE (Cluster for Application and Technology Research in Europe on NanoElectronics) has launched a call for project proposals. The programme is open to Europe’s high tech industry, small and medium sized enterprises, research institutes and academia. CATRENE follows other successful EUREKA programmes JESSI, MEDEA, and

Call for Proposals Under the ICT Policy Support Programme The European Commission's Directorate-General for Information Society and Media has launched a call for proposals under the Information and Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP). The ICT Policy Support Programme aims to stimulate innovation and competitiveness through the wider uptake and best use of ICT by citizens, govern

Setbacks for German E-health Smartcard Due to problems encountered in the first seven pilot sites forGermany’s flagship national e-health smartcard programme, several key clinical components are currently being re-evaluated. Gematik, the German national health IT organisation, announced that their new priority is electronic referral letters and electronic insurance claims. Electronic prescription

4th A.I.S.I.S. National Congress The Italian Association of Health Information Systems is holding its fourth national congress February 27- 28, 2009 in Porto Vecchio, Genoa. The title of the congress is “Verso l’Ospedale Digitale: quali elementi costitutivi? (“Towards the Digital Hospital: what are the constitutive elements?”) Topics discussed will include the prospect of fully integrated d

For the 5th consecutive year, the World Health Care Congress Europe presents business cases, best practices and strategies for addressing the pressure and current challenges facing European health care - efficiency, economic stability, access to care, quality care, patient safety, and patient mobility within and across borders. The WHCCE 2009 brings together over 100 internationally recognised leaders in h

The 7th edition of the annual Med-e-Tel conference in Luxembourg will focus on proven and tested telemedicine applications and provide evidence on clinical effectiveness and economic efficiency as well as on user aspects and satisfaction, and on some dos and don’ts of telemedicine implementation into care processes. EHTEL will be among one of the contributors to the opening session of this year’s

The 2008 World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition continued to address the perspectives of clinicians, directors and other healthcare professionals, by offering Ó Educational sessions Ó Vendor exhibitions Ó Best practice exchange Ó IHE Interoperability Showcase Ó Networking sessions Ó Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits Designed for and by the healthcare IT community in

The four days of the trade fair (and three days of COMPAMED) including the accompanying MEDICA Congress 2008 and the Deutscher Krankenhaustag (German Hospital Congress) saw a total of 137,000 registered visitors. The 4,313 exhibitors participating at MEDICA presented a complete spectrum of new products, services and processes for use in doctors’ surgeries and hospitals. The areas that triggered great i

EU News

The European Commission has recently funded an investigation into the potential of robotics entitled “Roadmap for the application of robotics in medicine and healthcare.” Although still an emerging field, the use of robotics is expected to grow in importance with current demographic changes. This is likely to put pressure on the healthcare system with shortages of healthcare personnel, the need t

Fostering the development and implementation of national eHealth policies and strategies has been a key goal of the European Union (EU) eHealth Action Plan of 2004. To review progress made and analyse the results so far obtained by EU Member States, the European Commission just before Christmas signed a contract with Bonn-based eHealth specialist empirica. The objectives of the new study are to measu

A major study on financing e-Health was commissioned by DG INFSO and Media’s ICT for Health Unit. Its objective: to examine the financial needs of e-Health investment against the funding available and therefore assist EU Members and the Commission in their efforts to meet the e-Health Action Plan objective of “supporting and boosting investment in eHealth.” The main conclusion to be drawn from


Traversing Tomorrow’s Healthcare Frontier Tosh Sheshabalaya, Technology is a curious creature. The most meaningful changes not only descend upon us, seemingly out of the blue, but also completely shake up the way we live and work. In addition, what may appear to be The Next New Thing often masks something else, which offers the same promises but does so in a far more effective and profound ma

Product Comparison

ECRI Institute Europe Weltech Centre Ridgeway Welwyn Garden City Herts AL7 2AA United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1707 871511 Fax: +44 (0)1707 393138 [email protected] www.ecri.org.uk ECRI Institute, a non-profit organisation, de dicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research in healthcare to uncover the best approaches to improving patient care. As pioneers in this scien


From Bedding to Software: Two Cases Asset management and control is an enduring challenge for all hospitals. The scope and scale of hospital ‘assets’ is both vast and heterogeneous. Nevertheless, IT has been increasingly deployed, often in imaginative ways, to meet such challenges. Such demands are likely to grow as the current economic crisis increases equipment financing pressures on hospitals.


Tosh Sheshabalaya, The November 2008 US presidential elections have brought to the White House one of the country’s most resolute champions of healthcare reforms in recent memory. Barack Obama is – and has also long been a proponent of IT as a way to bring about efficiencies to the country’s bloated healthcare spend, and the deep rooted structural challenges it must confront over the next decade. B

The fast-evolving field of e-Health standards is both a puzzle and a challenge to many healthcare IT managers. As the age of electronic health records (EHRs) approaches by the day, it is self-evident that optimal patient care will require care providers to create, access, update and use these records both efficiently and securely. Not Another Standard In spite of its rather unwieldy name, Integrati

Therese R. Revesz, Principal at Revesz International LLC, New York. Having already proven themselves in Europe, smart cards hold immense promise for all segments of the US healthcare industry: insurers, public and private sector providers and patients. Convenient, portable, intelligent and secure, smart cards combine storage and processing capacities. Implementation of a smart card system could w

Malcolm Clarke is Senior Lecturer in telemedicine and eHealth Systems at Brunel University. He is former chairman of the American Telemedicine Association Special Inte r - est Group in Technology and is on CEN, HL7, IEEE and ISO committees working on standards for medical devices. With an ever-increasing elderly population and the growing prevalence of chronic disease, current healthcare sy

Marcia Galan Perroca is Professor, Department of Specialized Nursing, Medicine School in São José do Rio Preto (FAMERP), Brazil. Patient Classification Systems (PCSs) are an important tool in healthcare management to improve the efficacy and effectiveness of resource use. An overview of the concept, benefits and limitations of the use of a PCS, their development and implementation in Brazil, as

Catalina Ciolan, While much of Europe slumbered through its summer vacation, the programme to build a pan-European e-Health network shifted up one notch, after the European Commission published a Recommendation on cross-border interoperability of electronic health record (EHR) systems. Hospitals in England should allow the “widest possible use” of mobile phones by patients as well as staff and

Country Focus: Belgium

Kristof Eeckloo is with the Centre for Health Services and Nursing Research, Faculty of medicine, at Belgium’s Catholic University of Leuven. Belgium is a federal state. There are three levels of government: federal, regional (three regions and three communities) and local provinces and municipalities). The Belgian healthcare system is mainly organised on the federal and regional level.

The Belgian healthcare system is a mix of mandatory national insurance and private medicine, a system of collective agreements between healthcare providers and insurance companies (national healthcare funds), and regulations issued by the public authorities. The Ministry of Public Health is responsible for defining laws on hospital programmes, the number of beds and major equipment. Healthcare and Hos

The legislative framework for e-Health in Belgium overlaps several existing laws and rules, ranging from privacy and data protection to certification of medical software and liability for devices. The key bodies officially developing the e-Health programme are the federal Health Ministry and the State Secretariat for Informatics. Federal System Entails Incrementalism in Technology Adoption The comp

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