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Commission: communication on the future of digital health
  1. Stephanie Kohl
  1. Correspondence to Stephanie Kohl, Policy and Advocacy, European Association of Hospital Pharmacists, Brussels 1200, Belgium; Stephanie.Kohl{at}

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In a communication that was published at the end of April, the European Commission provided insights on the digital transformation of health and care in the Digital Single Market. Measures identified by the communication aim at increasing the availability of data in the EU and at building on previous initiatives to boost the free flow of non-personal data. This publication basis itself on the result of a public consultation concluded in September 2017.

The initiative by the European Commission, which provides direction for EU-level activities in the field of digital health for the coming years, was welcomed by many stakeholders such as patient and healthcare professional associations. Three main areas of action were identified focusing on securing access to health data for citizens, personalised medicine and citizen empowerment with digital tools for user feedback and person-centred care.

Concrete actions for each of the three key areas have been put forward by the European Commission including but not limited to the development of an eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure, the creation of voluntary collaboration mechanisms for health research and clinical practice, the implementation of pilot exercises for rare and infectious diseases as well as the facilitation of the supply and uptake of innovative digital-based solutions for health.

ECDC: towards One Health preparedness

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published the results of an expert consultation on One Health preparedness in Europe. The report addresses the challenges of the One Health approach and seeks to identify priority areas for action to help strengthen it. One Health encompasses human and veterinary health as well as the environment.

Consultation participants suggested to reinforce ECDC’s role related to information exchange and coordination of surveillance data by improving cooperation with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), supporting the development of One Health action plans at national level, conducting integrated …

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  • Section 6: Education and Research

  • Funding None declared.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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