Published: Fri, 03 July 2015
Seán Kelly MEP has highlighted the role of the EU in promoting eHealth as a vital part of tackling the challenges facing Europe’s healthcare systems.
Speaking at the ‘Outside In’ event, organised by POLITICO on Wednesday, Mr Kelly noted that: “The EU must raise awareness of the benefits of eHealth. If we get this right we could be an example for the world.”
As lead negotiator for the European Parliament’ Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) in the negotiations on Data Protection, Mr Kelly noted the sensitivity of health data; “General data protection can serve as an enabler for eHealth. It is vital that people are confident that their private data will be treated in a confidential manner, and so it is our job to make sure that we strike the right balance between the protection of personal data and the opportunity to improve healthcare.”
The Ireland South MEP acknowledged that people were often wary of trusting new technologies, particularly in health, and that it was up to those involved in data protection to show how patients can benefit from eHealth: “We have to admit that the lack of clarity presented to patients is an issue we have to address, and that it is important to understand and take into account their concerns in these negotiations.”
Mr Kelly also praised the efforts of the EU in promoting eHealth, particularly through Horizon 2020, adding: “The EU has recognised that eHealth has a crucial part to play in the future of European health provision, and has backed this up by providing support for it under Horizon 2020. This funding can only serve to improve the healthcare available to those both in Ireland and across Europe in the coming years.”
Mr Kelly was joined at Outside In, hosted by POLITICO, by a number of eminent speakers including Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, and Zoran Stančič, Deputy Director General of DG CNECT amongst others.
See some pictures from the event on our Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/seankellymep/sets/72157655330123362