The European Union will have a single health data space

National systems will have to adapt to the innovation in the European Union, because residents EU more and more actively move around the member countries, and this is required by reality.

A unified health database is designed to significantly improve medical care, regardless of whether the patient is in his own country or abroad. For example, in 2020 alone, 13.5 million Europeans lived and, if necessary, received treatment in another country of the European Union. The exchange of medical information will help bring the provision of medical services away from home to a new level.

The system under construction is based on two cross-border services: the already existing [email protected] and brand new [email protected] Licinio Custra Manu, EC Adviser on the Single Data Space, explains how this innovation will change the lives of not only patients, but doctors and scientists alike:

[email protected] will allow medical professionals to access important information from another country, for example, a pharmacist will be able to see prescriptions written in another country. It is important for a doctor in a hospital to be able to look at the patient’s medical history, find out if he has an allergy, what vaccinations he has had, what kind of medicine he is taking.”

In addition, medical documentation is translated into the language of the country where the patient is located and treated, that is, medical assistance will be provided in full, as if he were in his native country.

The formation of a health data platform involves the development of a network of national contact points and coordination services in the European Union – they will be responsible for standardizing the exchange and providing access to databases.

[email protected] provides for the secondary use of the catalog – for innovation, research, development of new solutions. However, those wishing to obtain information from a huge database will have to request permission from a special agency, whose branches will be located throughout the European Union. At the same time, access will be possible only under conditions of strict confidentiality and security, each member country will retain the hosting of its own databases. Licinio Custra Manu elaborates:

There is no centralized European database with all patient information. The data remains where it was collected, but can be accessed if needed.

Services are already available in ten European countries [email protected]e.g. electronic prescriptions and medical records. In the coming years, this important practice will take root throughout the EU. Gradually, laboratory tests and x-rays will be placed in the database – that is, it will contain a complete medical record of each patient.

The Health Data Hub, the Paris-based Health Data Center, is “at the helm” of the pilot project. It will be implemented by an international consortium of participants. The Center, together with partners, has already built its own ecosystem, which allows managing medical information in accordance with high standards of security and confidentiality. The scientific director of the hub Emmanuel Bacri clarifies:

“None of our employees, under any circumstances, has access to directly identifying domains. This is one of the rules of the center. The data is encrypted, the keys to the ciphers, the codes are controlled, the level of security is extremely high. This is a normal condition, given the nature of the data stored” .

The Finnish agency Finddata is also a partner of the consortium. It provides its experience in the field of secondary use of health data, their application in government projects. Finddata director Johanna Seppanen says:

“We never talk about what we call direct identifiers (this is the first name, last name, social security number, that is, data that directly identifies their bearer). The data is stored either under pseudonyms without reference to the one who provided it, or they are anonymous , which, of course, also does not allow identifying a person.

In an innovation system, the protection of information plays a key role in maintaining the trust of citizens. This is the only way to convince them not to be afraid to provide data about their health.

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