EIT Health and EUREGHA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support and steer the regional-level implementation of the European Health Data Space (EHDS).
EU regions bring their own governance structures, regulations, and unique challenges to the fore, and they will be largely crucial for implementing the EHDS. Regional diversity and centrality equally represent a powerhouse of insightful perspectives and innovative solutions on which we can build a successful European initiative.
Innovation lies at the heart of EHDS, and start-ups and health-tech firms often lead the charge. EIT Health had the privilege of supporting many such ventures, witnessing first-hand how their ground-breaking solutions can influence policy changes at a regional level. These practical applications of innovation highlight the significance of an innovation-first approach in EHDS’s journey. EUREGHA is equally active in facilitating and promoting regional best practices and innovation, including through an upcoming dedicated best practices booklet set to be published by the end of 2023.
Policies and innovation, though crucial, cannot shoulder the entire responsibility of EHDS, even if accompanied by adequate funding for its technical implementation. Public support and engagement are vital in shaping health data policies, promoting transparency, and enhancing public understanding of health data usage. This participatory approach is not just about securing consent; it’s about creating an informed population that actively participates in healthcare decision-making for a true ‘social implementation’ of the EHDS.
The path to a unified EHDS also necessitates a high degree of multi-sector collaboration. EIT Health is committed to fostering these vital partnerships among regional health authorities, start-ups, healthcare providers, research centres and citizens. Through such collective endeavours, a comprehensive and robust health data space can be realised, becoming both a lever of healthcare citizenship and a keystone of digital transformation.
The journey towards a pan-European EHDS is complex, but this ambitious concept can become a tangible reality by embracing regional diversity. As EIT Health and EUREGHA join forces, we stand ready to champion this transformation, fostering a European Health Data Space that truly encapsulates the collective potential of Europe’s healthcare innovation landscape.