empirica improving availability and use of secondary health data via DigitalHealthEurope

As co-ordinator of the DigitalHealthEurope project, empirica is supporting three key policy priorities of the European Commission for the digital transformation of health and care:

  • citizens’ secure access to and sharing of health data across borders
  • better data to advance research, disease prevention and personalised health and care
  • digital tools for citizen empowerment and person-centred care.

The second priority was the focus of DigitalHealthEurope in the 2019 EHTEL Symposium held on 3-4 December 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.

The theme for this year was “Imagine 2029: Our data, our health, our care – 20th anniversary of EHTEL”. The use of data to support health and care was in the centre of all discussions, with prominent topics such as use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), AI-friendly environments, Big Data, machine learning, data donation and sharing, etc.

DigitalHealthEurope was featured in a dedicated session focused on improving availability and use of secondary health data. The session was attended by approx. 25 stakeholders representing governments, research and academia, healthcare providers, industry, and independent experts.

Strahil Birov (empirica) presented the scope of DigitalHealthEurope, followed by an introduction of data infrastructures in support of secondary uses of health data, given by Oliver Zobell (Forschungszentrum Jülich). A lively discussion was supported via a live online voting system to capture the attendees’ views on different aspects, e.g. on the key challenges for secondary use of data. The attendees also discussed what the emerging European Health Data Space could look like in terms of most interested stakeholder groups that could benefit from using it, and the type of information expected in such a space.

DigitalHealthEurope gained valuable new experts willing to contribute to ongoing work related to providing input to white papers, taking part in surveys, workshops and events aimed at producing policy recommendations related to secondary use of data and beyond (see all three policy priorities DHE is supporting).