Digital Single Market includes electronic health records, cross-border genome databases and artificial intelligence.

MS/CM – 04/2018

Following the conclusion of a major public consultation in the autumn of 2017, to which the GKV-Spitzenverband submitted comments, the Commission has now presented the long-awaited communication on the digital transformation of health and care. Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, said: ‘Our proposals make use of the full potential of digital technologies to improve healthcare and medical research. This will lead to easier access to health data, which will lead to better disease prevention and patient-centred care, rapid responses to pandemic threats, and improved treatments.’ 

Commission proposes the following action points:

1. The Commission will review the Implementing Decision on the Directive on patients' rights in cross-border healthcare (Article 14). The revised rules will define the role of the eHealth network (consisting of representatives from the 28 Member States) in managing the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure (eHDSI) and clarify the rules for cross-border data transmission. 


2. The Commission will adopt a recommendation on technical specifications for an interoperable European electronic health record exchange format. The cross-border accessibility of electronic health records will help citizens to access and manage their health data across the EU. 


3. The Commission will mobilise further investment funds to finance the exchange of national electronic health records between participating Member States and to promote digital interaction between patients, healthcare providers, etc. 


4. National authorities and other stakeholders, in particular researchers, should build and share data infrastructures for genomic and other health data for research purposes. One of the initial objectives of this collaboration is to make at least 1 million genome sequences accessible in the European Union by 2022. Almost half of all EU countries (excluding Germany) have signed a declaration on cross-border access to genome data. 


Further information is available here