The European Commission has proposed a regulation on health technology assessment (HTA). HTA is a research-based tool that supports decision-making in healthcare by assessing the added value of a given health technology compared to others. The proposal would provide the basis for permanent EU-level cooperation in four areas. Member States would still be responsible for assessing the non-clinical (economic, ethical, social, etc.) aspects of health technology, and for pricing and reimbursement. While Member States could choose to delay participation in the joint work until three years after the rules enter into force, it would become mandatory after the sixth year. Stakeholders have broadly welcomed the proposal. National parliaments, however, are divided in their appreciation of it, and the Council has intimated that its discussions will take some time.
The EU Member States’ driven initiative supported by the European Commission is gathering pace – here is a quick overview.
On the occasion of its final conference organised in Brussels on the 19th March, the CEN ‘International Patient Summary’ project presented the results of its works focused on turning the current European guidelines on Patient Summary adopted by the eHealth Network into European standards, in the context of the creation of International standards for Patient Summary, which would apply worldwide.
Albania and North Macedonia are eager to transpose the acquis in e-health area, while Albania has set up a digital agency and started the digitisation of electronic health records. According to the roadmap set out by the Council, both countries are supposed to open the accession negotiations in June 2019. In this context, a meeting was organised in Brussels on the 29th March, concerning the transposition of the acquis communautaire in the field of digital health, as part of a broader exercise on the European consumer and health protection set of rules.
For summer season, Croatia will dispense ePrescriptions for Finnish citizens and allow the access of Czech patient summaries, while Croatians travelling Estonia can get their ePrescriptions dispensed there.
Germany and Sweden have recently signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on Innovation and cooperation for a sustainable future, including among others cooperation in the Batteries sector.
Mobile phones are an integral part of everyday life, and it is hard to imagine a world without them. There are nevertheless health concerns, and the debate is ongoing. There is a vast body of research on the potential risks from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields such as those emitted by mobile phones. Yet scientific opinion remains split over the possibility of a link between mobile phone radiation and health problems. The results of research in this area have been interpreted in a variety of ways, and studies have been criticised for their methodological flaws, lack of statistical significance, and bias.
The overall theme of the Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Forum 2019 will be “Smarter practical implementation of digital technology to enhance active and healthy living”. Six thematic areas were identified by the Forum’s Programme Committee and are described in detail on the AAL website.
Following the adoption of the CEF Telecom Work Programme 2019, which outlines the general objectives, priorities and expected impacts of the actions that will be supported in the field of Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs), the 2019 CEF Telecom call planning has been published.
An EU-funded project is developing software, based on artificial intelligence, that enables robots to more effectively interact with autistic children in human-led therapy sessions, helping to improve their social and communication skills.
Future medical technology investment by Galway based Aerogen will be supported by a EUR 30 million loan agreed with the European Investment Bank highlighted at the first sector focused EIB-IBEC financing workshop.
On 15 February 2019, Hungary joined the EU Member States driven initiative on linking genomic data bases across borders, becoming the 20th country to join this cooperation mechanism.