eHealth Week ’16 Press Release

Official eHealth Week ’16 Press release:

eHealth Week programme announced

  • The Netherlands is amongst the leading countries in eMental Health practice
  • Privacy Code of Conduct to protect mHealth data
  • The added value of Personal Health Records
  • The human aspect of eHealth

3 March 2016, The Hague, Netherlands

Today the Dutch Presidency of the EU Council, the European Commission and HIMSS Europe announced the programme for eHealth Week, an event that will take place from 8 until 10 June in Amsterdam. Experts from across Europe will share best practices, amongst others about eMental Health, the online prevention and treatment of mental health conditions.

The Netherlands is one of the leading countries in eMental Health practice. Two out of three Dutch mental health care institutions apply eMental Health in their care provision and in the communication with patients. According to research from GGZ Netherlands, approximately 100.000 Dutch patients make use of eMental Health. Moreover, between 60 and 70 per cent of Dutch mental healthcare patients are receptive to the idea of eMental Health.

All in all, the programme of eHealth Week will provide a variety of sessions connected to the themes: Empowerment of the People, Trust & Standards and Social Innovations & Transitions. For more information about the programme please click here.


How to protect your privacy while using mHealth apps

A Code of Conduct can help App developers are often small companies or individuals and may lack the legal expertise to take complex data protection rules into account and apply them to their mobile health apps. This coincides with the current lack of trust by citizens in these apps as demonstrated by the results of the European Commission’s mHealth Green Paper consultation and other studies.

In order to improve this situation and to help app developers comply with data protection principles, one year ago, the European Commission, together with the industry, launched the development of a Privacy Code of Conduct for mHealth apps. This initiative will be discussed in a dedicated session of the second theme, “Trust & Standards“, where representatives from different sectors will address the latest draft of the Code of Conduct and next steps.

Pēteris Zilgalvis, Head of Unit Health and Well-Being at DG Connect at the European Commission, said: “I am happy that this initiative moved forward so rapidly and I hope that it can soon be presented to the Article 29 Working Party, the independent European working group on data protection. Once approved by them and applied in practice, I believe the Code of Conduct will be a great step towards increased trust in mHealth apps.”

The added value of Personal Health Records

In one of the sessions connected to the “Empowerment of the People” theme, experts will discuss the added value of Personal Health Records and how their use can be integrated and implemented on all levels. For patients with health information and data in multiple places it is difficult to keep track of their medical records. With the use of Personal Health Records patients can collect, track and share information about their health. Improving the ‘information’ position of the patient is a precondition to achieve empowerment and self-management.

“The conversation about Personal Health Records comes at an important time in Europe, where it is common for patients to travel within the continent on a regular basis. How are we all expected to keep track of our records? Can we find common ground? This session will address important eHealth aspects which affect all stakeholders alike and promises to be extremely insightful”, said Christina Roosen, Vice President of Public Affairs at HIMSS Europe.

Ethical aspects of eHealth: do we pay enough attention to the human aspect?

Also featuring in the programme, will be a discussion around the critical technical breakthroughs that are leading to humans to be increasingly replaced by machines, technologies and robots. Replacing human contact and how to deal with these issues when scaling up new initiatives will be the point of focus during one of the sessions connected to the theme “Social innovations & Transitions“. Experts will share opinions and develop practical guidelines for practical initiatives.


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Official eHealth Week ’16 Press release:

THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS – (HealthTech Wire / News) – The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the European Commission and HIMSS Europe officially announced the themes of eHealth Week 2016 in Amsterdam earlier on today. Empowering People, Trust & Standards and Social Innovation & Transition will be the three main topics which will be addressed during the three day conference in June. The patients will have a prominent role during the event, reflecting the focus which is being placed on people and citizens who are using eHealth in the Netherlands and across Europe.

eHealth Week  is an official part of the Presidency of the Netherlands in the Council of the European Union, which will take place from 1 January until 30 June 2016. During eHealth Week 2016, over 2,000 international experts in IT and healthcare, public institutions, professional and patient organisations are expected to attend.

The Dutch Minister for Health, Welfare and Sport, Edith Schippers, highlighted the importance of eHealth Week taking place in the Netherlands: The Netherlands is a pioneer in the area of innovative products and services in the healthcare sector. Whether it concerns diabetes, e-mental health, healthy ageing or equipment for diagnostics, Dutch companies are a global actor and are highly regarded. They can mean a great deal for the healthcare sector and the patient.”

Martin van Rijn, Dutch State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport added: Technological developments succeed each other rapidly. It is our job to make sure that new technologies will lead to better healthcare where people who need support and healthcare are key.”

Empowering people

This theme will address self-empowering eHealth for patients and healthy citizens in order to enable them to be more active in managing their own health. It will also explore how elderly people can continue to live independently and how eHealth applications can better meet the needs of users.

Trusts and Standards

Proper legal frameworks are a precondition for healthcare providers, enterprises and member states to be able to exchange data.  Legal clarity is also necessary to ensure trust among the public in eHealth solutions and applications. Proper standards and technical solutions are needed to make systems interoperable and connect the different actors. The objective of the theme is to exchange knowledge on how to promote and enhance trust in health IT systems and how to increase the use of standards in eHealth.

Social Innovation and Transition

Often, much emphasis is placed on the technical aspects of eHealth. However, scaling up eHealth also requires a different mindset on co-operation, organisational and cultural innovation – organising healthcare in a smarter, more efficient and effective way. In this theme, the social aspects of implementation and innovation are key. This theme will stimulate implementation, scale and use of eHealth and discuss where, why and how implementation and upscaling has been successfully achieved and how best practices can be replicated.

Christina Roosen, VP Public Affairs for HIMSS Europe, also revealed the significance of the confirmed themes: “Patients, doctors, nurses and healthy people actively following their health status will change the way that healthcare is delivered, not institutions. eHealth Week will focus on the people that are changing the health care system, and this starts with the power of patients”.


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Official eHealth Week ’16 Press release:

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – (HealthTech Wire / News) – eHealth Week, the leading eHealth event of Europe, will take place in Amsterdam on 8 – 10 June 2016. This was announced in Amsterdam yesterday during the Info Day about the eHealth Week. The event is organised by the Dutch Ministry of Health, the European Commission and HIMSS Europe. eHealth Week is an official part of the Presidency of the Netherlands in the Council of the European Union which will take place from 1 January until 30 June 2016. During eHealth Week 2016, over 2,000 international experts in IT and healthcare, public institutions, professional and patient organisations are being expected.

“eHealth can improve outcomes for patients”

Director Paul Timmers, Digital Society, Trust and Security, DG Connect, European Commission, stated during the meeting: Digital solutions can empower citizens to manage their health, while health and care systems can improve their efficiency and cope with the increasing demand from an ageing population. eHealth can not only save time and costs, using resources more efficiently and avoiding duplication, but also improve outcomes for patients.”

The latest eHealth developments will be discussed during the eHealth Week. Presentations will be delivered by high level speakers through workshops, sessions and interactive panel discussions. eHealth Week will bring together government and ministerial delegations as well as the private sector, thus encouraging productive discussions around how these two areas complement each other and what lessons can be learned.

Christina Roosen, Vice-President at HIMSS Europe added: “We are particularly excited to be announcing next year’s host country as The Netherlands as one of the most digitally mature countries in the EU. It is home to one of the three HIMSS EMRAM  Stage 7 hospitals in Europe as well as having eight Stage 6 hospitals: it is an ideal place for the European eHealth Community to come together. We hope to gather eHealth leaders from every region in Europe to encourage knowledge sharing so we can strive towards our common goal: to advance healthcare through information technology.”


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