Technical paper on the development of digital health policies in Austria, stakeholders, interoperability, data sharing practices.
Digital Service Capabilities/ICT Infrastructure/Data Information and Sharing
Data sharing and data management
Data and informationsharing is fundamental for boosting and promoting innovation in the digital health and care sectors and delivering integrated care. Since personal health data are highly sensitive data that must be protected and appropriately managed, robust data-sharing principles and solutions are imperative. Solutions to secure data-sharing and handling such as blockchain exist but they must be accompanied by comprehensive data governance strategies. Through the European Health Data Space, the European Commission envisages to promote secure exchange and allow citizens to control their health data and information across borders. Based on a large-scale citizen consultation on health data-sharing governance, DHE identified the need to adopt and apply Europe-wide technical and ethical standards as well as common data governance principles. Therefore, this DHE building block outlines good practice approaches to secure data-sharing and data management strategies that put citizens and patients in full control of their own data.
Interoperability in health and care is the ability for various health and care information systems to exchange, interpret and use data cohesively. The development of new digital health and care solutions in isolation or without following common principles and standards leads to a lack of interoperability, which has a negative impact on the quality and safety of health and care delivery. This is often cited as a key issue relating to the lack of digital solution adoption as individual solutions have been designed to address and support one aspect or need of the person rather than a range of solutions being able to address and support the inevitable, multiple needs of the person. Standards exist to tackle the interoperability problem. Europe is especially strong in promoting the greater use of standards. This DHE building block will provide good practice resources for ensuring interoperability in health and care.
Data exploitation management
Data exploitation refers to utilising data for further research, commercial, societal or political activities and adding value to the obtained results, ie secondary use of data. Data interoperability, quality and integrity are crucial for data exploitation. Exploitation management is an integral part of EU H2020 projects, ensuring measures to maximise impact of innovations. With the European Data Strategy creating a single market for data, strong data exploitation management becomes increasingly important. Therefore, this DHE building block brings together good practices and strategies for data exploitation management in digital health and care initiatives.
ICT infrastructure availability
In order to enable digital health and care solutions to be used, the underlying ICT infrastructure needs to continuously evolve and support new use cases and new technological approaches, such as interoperable Electronic Health and Care Records, cloud computing, federated approaches to pooling and querying health and care data, remote monitoring, ePrescription, etc. At the same time, the infrastructure design and architecture should avoid the creation of siloed approaches by promoting open interoperable standards for data and information exchange. This DHE building block therefore highlights good practices and approaches to setting up and operating such ICT infrastructures for health and care.
Matching supply and demand in the health and care sectors is vital for ensuring that innovations meet the needs of citizens, patients, care teams and policy-makers. This can be achieved through public procurement, which facilitates market opportunities for companies while driving innovations from the demand side, i.e., through potential buyers of innovative solutions with similar care delivery shortcomings and needs. Thus, public procurement provides valuable opportunities to boost innovation at local, regional or national level. This DHE building block aims to present good practices of public procurement of innovative solutions for digital health and care products and services.
Certification of digital solutions / applications
Digital technology offers huge potential for improving the prevention, diagnosis and management of disease. The prevalence of smartphones and other devices has led to the development of hundreds of thousands of health solutions and applications. Many of these digital resources, however, are developed and shared at a faster rate than they can be assessed for efficacy, safety, and security—presenting patients and clinicians with the challenge of distinguishing helpful tools from harmful ones. This DHE building block therefore aims to document good practices and approaches to providing transparency to end-users when it comes to digital health solutions and apps through quality labelling and certification.