Tuesday, December 20, 2011

EU/U.S eHealth Collaboration

ARGOS formally called the “Transatlantic Observatory for Meeting Global Health Policy Challenges” was created to provide dialogue and enable collaboration on important health policy issues. The goal to promote eHealth understanding, learning, and collaboration among EU and the U.S is supported by several partners such as the European Institute for Health Records (EuroRec), Empirica, Instituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, AMIA, and the University of Buffalo. Other organizations contributed such as the UC San Diego, CCHIT, European American Business Council, and AHIMA.

A Conference held November 2011 enabled leaders in the field to present their ideas and thoughts along with recommendations on important global eHealth issues. The presenters pointed out that it is essential for the U.S. and EU care about the challenges since citizens are traveling and migrating globally and face new health issues, EU and U.S. want to produce better products to penetrate global markets, both the U.S. and EU want to be able to support large scale eHealth infrastructure, the U.S and EU need to support eHealth R&D, and the experiences and lessons learned globally concerning eHealth are useful both in Europe and the U.S.

George De Moor, PhD, President of EuroRec, a speaker at the Conference reported that the goal is to coordinate research efforts, to integrate all electronically captured data and information, and obtain knowledge on modeling the human physiome in both health and disease. The EU and U.S. have already invested large amounts in resources by working to develop the Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) framework.

The leaders agree that EU and U.S need to agree on common policies, standards, and realign all VPH-type research efforts towards the creation of a global VPH cyber-infrastructure. This would ensure that all data repositories and models as well as all developed tools and techniques would be interoperable. It is estimated that there are more than 100 VPH related projects worldwide resulting in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, prevention of fractures, prevention of the rupture of cerebral aneurysms, and help in cardiac and liver modeling.

The leaders feel that the way to move eHealth forward is by doing community building and social networking on the issues, provide user support and training, test and use models in clinical decision support systems, develop clinical trials, and establish a multi-stakeholder advisory group to address the main issues and work to accomplish a common vision.

To provide new ideas on how to achieve collaborative solutions and meet eHealth challenges, ARGOS just recently released the proceedings “Transatlantic Cooperation Surrounding Health Related Information and Communication Technology” a collection of eight policy briefs addressing key topics and solutions in eHealth informatics. Information on The ARGOS proceedings, published by IOS Press in the Netherlands is available at www.iospress.nl.