The European Commission has proposed the creation, by 2025, of a database for access to medical history throughout the European Union (EU), facilitating, for example, the monitoring and treatment of Portuguese patients outside the country.
“Today, we propose a European Health Data Area, an initiative that brings us closer to making health data work for patients, people and innovation. Our goal is to start operating by 2025”, announced the European Commissioner for the Protection, Stella Kyriakides.
Emphasising that, “for the first time, there will be a common EU data space that will link all Member States, for the benefit of all citizens”, the European responsible for the area of Health exemplified that “if a person living in Portugal falls ill in Paris a local doctor will be able to access your medical history in French and prescribe the right medicine”.
“There is no need to repeat unnecessary medical tests, these can be shared digitally across the EU”, she stressed.
According to data from the commission, of the €14 billion spent annually on medical examinations, about 10% is spent on procedures that are performed unnecessarily, often repeating what has already been done in other places.
It is the unnecessary or duplicated procedures that the community executive wants to avoid, according to Stella Kyriakides: “By sharing health data between hospitals and between doctors in all member states, we can also save a lot of money, both for governments and private ones” . It is estimated that, in 10 years, it will be possible to save €5.5 billion in better access and exchange of health data.
The official also guaranteed that there will be a “great protection of privacy and security”, namely taking into account European rules, such as the General Regulation on Data Protection. “The European Health Data Area will give citizens full control over their data, [as] they will be able to add information, rectify errors, restrict access and find out which health professionals have accessed their data,” said Stella Kyriakides.
The initiative is part of the European Health Union programme, with a common EU framework for health.