European Health Union: Commission publishes an open public consultation on the European health data area – The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology
This article is presented to you in collaboration with the European Commission.
Today the Commission published a public consultation on the European Health Data Area (EHDS) – an important part of the European Health Union. EHDS aims to take full advantage of digital health to provide high quality healthcare and reduce inequalities. It will promote access to health data for prevention, diagnosis and treatment, research and innovation, as well as for policy development and legislation. The EHDS will place the rights of individuals to control their own personal health data at the heart of its concerns. The consultation will remain open for responses until July 26, 2021.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: ″The European Health Data Space will be a crucial part of a strong European Health Union. It will enable EU-wide collaboration for better health care, better research and better health policy making. I invite all interested citizens and stakeholders to join the consultation and help us harness the power of data for our health. This will need to be built on a solid foundation of non-negotiable citizens’ rights, including privacy and data protection. “
Innovative solutions and digital technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), can transform healthcare systems. They make them more durable and improve people’s health. The development of these technologies requires secure access by researchers and innovators to substantial amounts of health data.
This public consultation covers:
- access and use of health data for health care delivery, research and innovation, policy making and regulatory decisions;
- promote a genuine single market for digital health services and products, including innovative ones.
The creation of a European health data area is one of the key priorities of this Commission in the field of health. The aim of the EHDS is to promote the exchange of health data and to support research on new prevention strategies, as well as on treatments, drugs, medical devices and results.
In the Communication on the European data strategy, the Commission announced its objective to deliver concrete results in the field of health data and to understand the potential generated by developments in digital technologies. The collection, access, storage, use and reuse of health data present specific challenges that must be addressed. This requires a regulatory framework that best serves the interests and rights of individuals, especially with regard to the processing of sensitive personal health data. In this context, the Commission adopted its Proposal for a law on data governance (2020) with conditions regarding access to data, and provisions to foster confidence in the voluntary sharing of data.
Facilitating better access and sharing of health data is essential to ensure increased accessibility, availability and accessibility to health care. It will drive innovation in health and care for better treatments and outcomes, and encourage innovative solutions that use digital technologies, including AI.