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Patient file with mobile app access – The initiative being promoted in the EU

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An initiative to create a digital patient file that will be accessible in all EU member states is promoted by the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakidou, so that all the necessary tests are contained in an application on the mobile phone.

The “MyHealth@EU” initiative, which aspires to change the data in the field of health, if adopted by the member states and the European Parliament, foresees in the first stage the possibility of accessing the digital medical file of a patient, if he needs medical treatment in any country of the EU. Later, access will also be given to researchers, ensuring the full protection of patients' personal data, as Commissioner Kyriakidou explained, speaking on Tuesday in Brussels to a group of journalists from Cyprus.

With the digital health initiative, Cypriots – like all EU citizens – who will, for example, be on holiday in another EU country, will be able to have all their health data in an application on their mobile, in in case they need treatment. “They will concern all health data, including the imaging tests someone has had,” said the Commissioner.

This data, Ms. Kyriakidou explained, will be included in a digital file and the patient will not need to repeat tests he has already done abroad, if he has to face a problem.

In a second stage, this data will be accessible to scientists, researchers, as well as industry, with Commissioner Kyriakidou placing particular emphasis on the protection of personal data.

Responding to a related question, Mrs. Kyriakidou said that with digitalization, the health systems of the member states are being upgraded, while the rights to cross-border care already exist. He also pointed out that the European Health Union does not aim to abolish national health systems, an area that remains within the national competences of the member states.

Ms Kyriakidou said that the digital dossier, combined with the Cancer Strategy and the Pharmaceutical Strategy “are coming together like a big puzzle that gradually, if all this goes ahead… will form what we have called in 2020 the European Health Union '”, a reference that the President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen herself had made while delivering her State of the Union speech.

Regarding the European Plan to Fight Cancer, which is put before the member states for approval on Friday, he said it is the “most ambitious plan ever” with its budget reaching 4 billion euros. Through the plan and the European Health Union, funding is also provided for population control programs, and there are specific funds that a country can apply for, to be able to implement them, he said.

He also mentioned that on the 1st February 2023, at a joint event of the European Commission with the Swedish Presidency of the EU, in Stockholm, the registry of Member States' inequalities in cancer services will be presented for the first time.

As Ms. Kyriakidou explained, data is collected from all member states, “not to show which countries are lagging behind in some issues but to see where we need to pay attention and where funding needs to be given”.

This, he continued, will allow us to help in a targeted way, so that there are no such huge differences between the Member States in various aspects of cancer treatment.

The cancer strategy is one of the pillars of the European Union. Health, as the pillars come to complement each other so that the citizen can see the difference, he noted.

He then referred to the pharmaceutical strategy that will be presented in the first quarter of 2023 with a legislative change, noting that it will have a positive impact on patients' access to medicines.

He spoke of a “difficult undertaking” while the proposals are still being formulated, as he said there must be a balance between the right of patients n for access to innovative medicines and maintaining the pharmaceutical industries in Europe at a level of innovation and ensuring progress.

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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