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12 May 2011
Health First Europe (HFE) Honorary President John Bowis announced HFE's key tenets for e-Health petitioning policymakers to adopt the policy recommendations in order to foster increased access to medical technologies for patients. Speaking at the Hungarian Presidency Ministerial e-Health conference in Budapest, Hungary, Mr. Bowis revealed the key principles which include e-Independence, e-Workforce, e-Value, e-Accessibility and e-Transparency and incorporate each health constituency perspective - patients, healthcare professionals and industry. The recommendations provide prescriptive, concrete measures for expanding the uptake and use of e-Health technologies for citizens throughout the EU.
Mr. Bowis announced the key e-Health tenets during his panel on Evidence-Informed Policy Decisions on Telemedicine stating, "Health First Europe encourages policymakers to consider our recommendations as a means of ensuring patients are aware of, and able to, benefit from the technologies which exist today. These recommendations are derived from our broad constituency and meant to take account of the barriers which still prevent individuals, professionals and industry from realising the advantages e-Health technologies have to offer."
The five key e-Health principles announced by Mr. Bowis were based on those prescribed in the Health First Europe publication "E-Quality in E-Health" and include:
e-Independence - Every individual should have their e-Health needs assessed and be provided the opportunity to manage his/her own healthcare. This should be done through a scheme allowing for access to e-Health technologies namely via a direct payment system which allows individuals to choose and manage their treatment.
e-Workforce - Health professionals must be part of the conception and design processes of e-Health solutions through formal consultation procedures so that new tools meet end users' needs and support health professionals' work. Prompt communication with clients, patients and other professionals through the use of e-Health solutions will save valuable time which can be re-oriented to direct patient care where professionals are needed most.
e-Value - E-health innovations shall be funded from a value-based perspective which incorporates all aspects of the benefits to the patient throughout the continuum of care. The initial coverage could be revised with time to reflect the accumulated evidence on the technology benefit to healthcare systems.
e-Accessibility - Each and every consumer shall have the right to an interactive online health record which is owned by, and accessible to, the individual and can support rapid, secure communication between health professionals, specialists and citizens for personalized, homecare management.
e-Transparency - Health Technology Assessment (HTA) authorities shall report approved e-Health services and products to a central online repository so that a real-time EU map of e-health services and their accessibility are available to all citizens. HTAs should provide a mechanism for secure, transparent reporting of patient experiences with products and services in order to facilitate the patient perspective in the overall HTA process.
Health First Europe expects the implementation of its five key principles to be realised throughout the Member States by 2020 and will be closely monitoring the progress of the recommendations.
About Health First Europe:
Health First Europe is a non-profit, non-commercial alliance of patients, healthcare workers, academics and healthcare experts and the medical technology industry.
We aim to ensure that equitable access to modern, innovative and reliable medical technology and healthcare is regarded as a vital investment in the future of Europe. We call for truly patient-centred healthcare and believe that every European citizen should benefit from the best medical treatments available. www.healthfirsteurope.org
For more information please contact:
Health First Europe Secretariat
Office: +32 (0)2 626 1999
Mobile: +32 (0)489 334 298
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