The European Commission wants to make it easier for citizens to move health data from one Member State to another.
The idea is that in the future, for example, a Finn who is on holiday in Spain would be able to go to a Spanish doctor if he or she sees the patient’s medical history from Finland on his or her computer.
The Commission presented its proposal for the creation of a European Health Data Space today in Strasbourg. The proposal will then be referred to the Council of the Member States and the European Parliament.
The Commission ‘s goal is for health data to start moving between Member States by 2025.
“The more health data we have, the better diagnoses we get,” Vice-President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas stated.
Data in a unified format
The idea is that in the future, EU citizens will be able to view their electronic health information and share it with healthcare professionals in their own country and between EU countries. This would be free of charge for citizens.
If the submission passes, Member States must ensure that summaries of patient data, electronic prescriptions, medical images, statements, laboratory results and final statements are prepared and approved in a common European format.
“This is a big and necessary initiative. It’s coming at the right time. The whole College of Commissioners was unanimous behind it, ”said Schinas.
The EU Commission did not give the proposal a clear price tag. According to the Commission, the Member States and the Commission are funding the creation of the Health Data Space through “a number of different instruments”.
Member States have earmarked € 12 billion of EU stimulus package money for health investment. The Commission will provide an additional € 810 million for the creation of a health data space.
“I am very confident that this initiative will be supported, as it demonstrates the power of cooperation,” EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides stated.
Sitra has been involved
The Finnish Independence Fund Sitra has participated in the preparation of the Commission’s proposal. The Factory project, coordinated by Sitra, has provided the Commission with recommendations as a basis for a legislative proposal and will support member states in considering the proposal.
Sitra was asked to coordinate the project because it was involved in drafting a law in Finland that was the first country in the world to allow the secondary use of health data. It regulates how existing health data can be used in research and innovation.