EuroHealthNet welcomes the European Commission’s initiative to establish a European Health Data Space with the purpose of promoting access to health data for research and innovation on new preventive strategies, as well as on diagnosis and treatment of diseases to improve health outcomes, while ensuring that citizens have control over their own personal data.
The European Health Data Space (EHDS) aims for “making the most of the potential of digital health to provide high-quality healthcare and reduce inequalities”. Improved safe health data collection and use could certainly improve monitoring and prevention systems, as well as enhance the ability of people to better understand and engage in their own wellbeing via multiple applications and tools.
However, EuroHealthNet remarks that there are significant challenges to be addressed and safeguards to be ensured:
- Standardisation of data is a key for the deployment of the EHDS and use of health data across the EU.
- The development of sound digital infrastructures should ensure the collection of high-quality data that add value to health systems in a non-discriminatory way.
- Data/Digital Health Literacy programmes should be an integral part of the EU actions on the EHDS.
- The deployment of the EHDS should go hand in hand with training and capacity building programmes for professionals (including through up- and re-skilling) .
The full feedback can be found here.
More information is available here.