A single space for digital health data will soon be created in the European Union. The European Parliament approved this principle on Wednesday, but must now enter into negotiations with member states on concrete implementation. The goal is to give patients more control over their medical data and make it immediately available across the European Union.
The European Health Data Space (EHDS) aims to make digital patient data more accessible for two reasons. First, for the patients themselves. They will then have immediate and free access to their own files, which they can then easily share with doctors and other health professionals across borders. The aim is therefore for prescriptions, image reports and laboratory results to be placed in a uniform European format to make such exchange possible.
Sharing patient files and electronic prescriptions is already possible via MyHealth@EU. All 27 Member States must be members of this platform by 2025 at the latest.
Second, the use of digital health data should benefit research and innovation. A large European database offers much more capabilities than smaller national databases. The ability to work with existing data has proven critical during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to take appropriate public health measures.
The European Parliament insists that patient data is well protected and not misused, for example.
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