The EU Commission has presented a draft for a European Health Data Space. All EU citizens should be able to access their own health data in digital form. In addition, the data is to be made available for research in anonymised form. The aim is to link national health systems more closely through the secure and efficient exchange of health data.
Europe is growing ever closer together. This now also applies to health. The European Commission recently presented a long-awaited proposal for the so-called European Health Data Space. The German Association of Research-based Pharmaceutical Companies explains: "The European Health Data Space (EHDS) is an initiative within the EU. The aim is to link national health systems more closely through the secure and efficient exchange of health data. The pooling of nationally collected health data is intended to improve care, research and the infrastructure of the individual health systems as a whole.2 Likewise, the EHDS is intended to improve the quality of care and treatment, research and data exchange across Europe.
And the EU Commission states: "A European Health Data Space ensures efficient exchange and direct access to different health data (electronic patient records, genomics data, data from patient registers, etc.) - not only in healthcare itself (primary use), but also in health research and health policy (secondary use)".
Data will be created in a common European format
The consequence: "In future, the 450 million citizens of the European Union will be able to access their own health data in digital form. Citizens will then be able to share their data, which will be created in a common European format, with doctors, pharmacists or nurses throughout Europe. In addition, the legal and technical conditions are to be created for using the data for public and private research. According to the EU Commission, the plan will be completed by 2025/2026." This is reported by the medical portal "Handelsblatt Inside Digital Health".
Naturally, a discussion about data protection has flared up directly. The EU Commission is bracing itself for resistance on data storage. According to "Handelsblatt Inside Digital Health", the Vice-President of the EU Commission Margaritis Schinas emphasises: "We have to build this trust capital, which we always need when we talk about the data room." The EU is planning to create a data room for other sectors as well. And the health policy spokesman of the FDP parliamentary group, Andrew Ullmann, sees potential for research. "Soon, research-based companies will be able to access data files in a data-protection-compliant manner. This will be crucial for new medicines and therapies," Ullmann is quoted as saying by Handelsblatt Inside Digital Health. He sees an advantage in the fact that the proposal comes from the EU. "For credibility in protecting data, it's good that the EU was also responsible for the General Data Protection Regulation."
Digitalisation leads to a high degree of independence
We at Natura Vitalis think that further digitalisation in medicine is generally a good idea and have been leading the way in this development for several years as a manufacturer of high-quality natural food supplements and vital substances. For a long time now, Natura Vitalis has been offering online consultations with experts from very different segments of the health industry, for example. Viewers can follow this in a live stream and ask the experts their questions by e-mail or telephone. We notice with every new live event how great the interest and feedback are. People get the information that is relevant to them in a short way and from any location. Especially in times of contact restrictions and worries about contracting Covid-19, this makes sense. Users also make themselves independent of fixed practice opening hours and appointments. On the Natura Vitalis Facebook page and the YouTube channel, viewers can regularly find new live streams and all previously broadcast episodes.
By the way: The Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) is calling for faster digitisation of the healthcare system. To this end, the DIHK has prepared an impulse paper with proposals for digital services in the health sector. It sees the electronic patient file as particularly important. The representation of the interests of tradespeople emphasises that the digitalisation of the health care system also promotes the economy, for example by creating jobs.
This text may contain translation errors as the translation was done by an online translation tool.