Economic Aspects of eHealth
Direct links to projects in this IS Policy Areas
Techno-Economic Impacts Enabling Societal Change
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) continue evolving unabated and spawn new applications that impact all aspects of the economy and our society. Since 1995 building a European Information Society has been a key ambition of the European Union. This objective became a full priority on the Lisbon Agenda and was confirmed in the renewed Lisbon Objectives under the i2010 policy initiative. Today it is a central part of the Europe 2020 Strategy to overcome the crisis and prepare the EU economy for the challenges of the next decade under the initiative "a Digital Agenda for Europe". This flagship initiative defines the key enabling role that the use of ICTs will have to play if Europe wants to succeed in its ambitions for 2020.
Within this policy framework, the TIESC Action of the JRC IPTS Information Society Unit contributes to developing a more quantitative approach on the impacts of the use of ICTs, in particular in the eHealth domain, thus providing scientific support and contributing to the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy. More specifically the SIMPHS project undertaken in cooperation with the European Commission's DG INFSO (now DG CONNECT) ) investigated Personal Health Systems and assessed the potential of EU wide deployment of Integrated Personal Health and care Services (IPHS) to improve the sustainability of healthcare systems in Europe.
The European Hospital Survey: Benchmarking deployment of e-Health services (2012–2013) project is the continuation of the eHealth benchmarking Phase III survey. This survey funded and managed by Unit F4 of DG CONNECT gathered data from a statistically representative sample of European acute hospitals in order to benchmark their level of eHealth deployment and led to the definition of a "A composite index for the benchmarking of eHealth Deployment in European acute Hospitals" which JRC-IPTS researchers developed in cooperation with DG CONNECT/F4.
Building on the work accomplished in SIMPHS2, JRC IPTS has been asked by DG CONNECT to contribute to the development of a Monitoring and Assessment Framework for the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. More…
Initiated in 2009 the SIMPHS project (SIMPHS 1) started with an analysis of the market and innovation dynamics of of Personal Health Systems (PHS), focusing on the Remote Patient Monitoring (RMT) segment. The research explored the current status of the market in Europe and addressed the question of how RMT can help tackle some of the challenges faced by European Healthcare delivery systems. Analysing the reasons for limited deployment and identifying barriers, the project provided ample evidence on encouraging outcomes of early RMT deployment, while analysing the impact of the outcomes and briefly modelling the potential from EU wide deployment. The first phase was concluded mid 2010. More...
Following the conclusion of the first phase, in 2010-2012 the scope of the SIMPHS research was expanded so as to complement the supply side with a demand side approach, focusing on needs, demands and experiences made with PHS by healthcare producing units (e.g. hospitals, primary care centres), healthcare professionals, healthcare authorities and patients amongst others. In addition to RMT, telecare, mobile Health (mHealth) and fitness/ wellness applications were added to the scope of the research under the umbrella "Integrated Personal Health/care Services" (IPHS). During the second phase (SIMPHS 2) a series of activities have been undertaken. More...
The SIMPHS research was initiated in the context of the European Commission's Lead Market Initiative (LMI) which had identified eHealth as one of the highly innovative markets ('lead markets') for which there is a clear demand and a strong European industry base and where public policy has an important role to play. Telemedicine/homecare and personalised health systems and services had been highlighted by the eHealth Taskforce report in 2007 (in preparation of the LMI) as one of the areas where strong growth was predicted and where European companies were believed to be well placed to seize the new opportunities arising in the European eHealth market as well as in world markets.
In the meantime, the challenges faced by European Member States in healthcare have become more pressing as they are confronted with an increasing ageing population which puts at risk the sustainability of health and social care systems, at a time when public budgets are under extreme pressure as a result of the economic crisis and the need to reduce budget deficits. In addition, the pool of care professionals is decreasing (doctors, nurses, social carers), a trend which will also continue in the future. As a result an increasing care demands will have to be met with depleting resources which prevention, the organisation of the health and social care systems and ICT for Active and Healthy Ageing can help cope with. In that context, improved adherence to treatment, integrated care and independent living solutions such as Remote Patient Monitoring or more widely telehealth and telecare represent an opportunity not only to reorganise care, increasing efficiency of care delivery, improving health outcomes and quality of life but also contribute to growth by creating large scale markets for innovative products and services addressing the needs of an ageing population.
It is in this context that in 2011 the European Commission launched the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA), the first Innovation Partnership to be launched as part of the Innovation Union, one of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy for growths and jobs. The Innovation Partnerships have been conceived to address weaknesses in the European research and innovation system which prevent innovation from making it to the market stage. In the context of an ageing European population, active and healthy ageing has been identified by the EC as both a major societal challenge common to all European countries and an opportunity for Europe to take the lead in providing innovative solutions in this field which the pilot European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing will seek to address. More specifically, the EIP on AHA aims to increase by two healthy life years (HLY) the average healthy life span of European citizens, by 2020.
The research carried out by IPTS in the eHealth field is also contributing to the EIP on AHA.
European Perspectives on Information Society (EPIS)
Leader: Fabienne Abadie