Digital transformation / health and care (communication) - Related Opinions
The own-initiative opinion presents the EESC’s views on the gaps in the current system and indicates potential measures for a European wide push for digital up-skilling of health and care workers, and also for policies that prevent further digital divides by addressing skill gaps in the population at large. This own-initiative opinion is in part a follow-up to the own-initiative opinion entitled "Towards digital health".
The EESC agrees that the aim of sustainable cooperation on health technology assessment (HTA) at EU level is to ensure that all the EU countries can benefit from efficiency gains, thus maximising added value; and believes that the proposal should benefit SMEs, as well as social economy enterprises operating in the sector, by reducing the current administrative burden and compliance costs linked to submissions of multiple dossiers to meet different national HTA requirements.
The EESC believes that equal access to healthcare, one of the main objectives of health policies, can benefit from digital support provided certain conditions are met: equal geographical coverage; bridging the digital divide; interoperability among the various components of the digital architecture (databases, medical devices); and protection of health data which must under no circumstances be used to the detriment of patients. The EESC highlights the need to develop and facilitate people's digital health literacy to encourage a critical approach to health information and to support the development of a nomenclature of reimbursable treatments and wellbeing services
The EESC welcomes the Green Paper, because of the contribution that mHealth can make to European healthcare systems, which are facing increasing challenges as a result of demographic change.
The Committee considers that the priority must be to improve healthcare, not to cut costs. The success of mHealth requires the participation of healthcare professionals, dialogue with patient organisations, the promotion of mutual trust between patients and professionals and the provision of incentives and training plans for the latter. Dialogue also needs to be established with industry in this field.