A new study funded by the European Commission is assessing the progress made to date towards the realisation of European eHealth Action Plan goals. Good practices and lessons learned constitute the study’s key elements. The results will be fed into policy recommendations for further accelerating eHealth implementation.
The study has been assigned to a consortium consisting of empirica Communication and Tech-nology Research (Germany), The National Institute for Health and Welfare (Finland), Time.lex (Belgium), Prof. Denis Protti of the University of Victoria (Canada) and University College, London (UK), and EMC Consulting Group (Belgium).
The European Commission and EU Member States have long recognised the potential of ICT-enabled applications to improve citizens’ health, healthcare delivery as well as public health services or medical research. In its 2004 eHealth Action Plan, the European Commission identi-fied distinct areas of initiatives required to build up national and pan- European eHealth infra-structures and to implement solutions in order to move swiftly towards an ICT enabled, collaborative, personalised and more efficient model of healthcare.
The eHealth Strategies study will take a closer look at policy documents, concrete eHealth im-plementations and nationallevel legal and regulatory as well as administrative support mecha-nisms. In addition, it will also deal with financial and reimbursement issues. The research effort draws upon earlier projects funded by the European Commission. In particular, these include the eHealth ERA study and the Legal framework of interoperable eHealth in Europe study. A network of National Correspondents will raise data on new developments and validate existing information for each country.
The compilation and comparative assessment of the results is informed by concepts from public policy science, notably the policy-cycle paradigm. This allows an assessment of the advances made, from agenda setting through implementation to full routine operation. In addition, national evaluation and assessment activities will be presented where applicable. This will be complemented by statistical analyses.
The final project report – based on individual country briefs - will provide a summary of eHealth progress on the European level and information regarding the spectrum of eHealth solutions available in each country, the degree of administrative and legal support and financial incentives for promoting the use of eHealth applications. In that perspective, the study will furnish strategic information not only for policy-makers but also healthcare service providers, healthcare industry executives and other stakeholders.
Link to the study website: www.ehealth-strategies.eu