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How can technologies re-shape healthcare in Europe?

Workshop hashtag: #ehealthSTOA

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Written by Nera Kuljanic and Liliana Cunha
How can technologies re-shape healthcare in Europe?

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The demand for healthcare services is growing fast in Europe, partly due to the ageing population and the higher prevalence of chronic diseases. E-Health, defined by the WHO as ‘the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health’, is seen as one of the means for addressing these needs and reinventing the healthcare systems. It can be employed in conducting research, educating and training health professionals, preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases and monitoring public health, for example. E-Health is recognised as one of the building blocks of the EU health policy.

The Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel of the European Parliament is organizing a workshop on this topic on 1 December 2015. The event will be chaired by Eva Kaili, MEP and STOA Vice-Chair, and moderated by John Bowis, former MEP (1999-2009) and UK Health Minister (1993-1996).

The topic of ‘health and new technologies in the life sciences’ is one of the thematic priorities of the STOA Panel and a number of projects and events requested by the Panel under this heading took place in the past years. Most recently, on 1 July 2015 a debate took place on how technologies can improve patients’ health literacy, and a study looking into the use of ICT in the health sector in low and middle-income countries is about to be published.

What to expect?

The workshop intends to build on the lessons learned by healthcare organisations across Europe from the deployment of ICT to define what kind of policy support, and at which level (national, regional or the EU), is needed to overcome the bottlenecks that prevent a more intensive application of eHealth in Europe.

Opening the workshop, Pēteris Zilgalvis from DG CONNECT, European Commission will set the scene with a talk on key trends and developments in eHealth in Europe, after which specific experiences from three Member States will be presented. Lambis Platsis from Greece will talk about setting up an eHealth network in the context of the Aegean healthcare system, Claudio Saccavini from Italy will present the pilot project on the use of eHealth for congestive heart failure in the Veneto region in Italy, and Stanislav Pušnik from Slovenia will talk about deploying eHealth for coaching people with diabetes.

The second part of the workshop includes presentations on some of the challenges for the deployment of eHealth in Europe, especially concerning the provision of routine healthcare (Alexander Hörbst, Austria) and perceptions of patients and medical professionals (Panos Stafylas, Greece), but also related to policy-making and research (Wendy L. Currie, France). The discussion will offer an opportunity to identify barriers to, and opportunities for devising strategies and interventions to improve the use of eHealth in Europe.

Building on this, in the third session MEP Eva Kaili will share, in a discussion with the experts and the audience, her views on priorities for eHealth and related EU policies.

Click here for more information and to watch the workshop via webstreaming.

About Scientific Foresight (STOA)

The Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA) carries out interdisciplinary research and provides strategic advice in the field of science and technology options assessment and scientific foresight. It undertakes in-depth studies and organises workshops on developments in these fields, and it hosts the European Science-Media Hub (ESMH), a platform to promote networking, training and knowledge sharing between the EP, the scientific community and the media. All this work is carried out under the guidance of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA), composed of 27 MEPs nominated by 11 EP Committees. The STOA Panel forms an integral part of the structure of the EP.


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