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Med-e-Tel 2009 – opening session April 1, 2009

Posted by peterjmurray in conference, Europe, health informatics.

Well, I have finally arrived at Luxexpo for Med-e-Tel 2009 – some ‘interesting’ travel experiences. I am currently sat waiting for the opening session to begin but have discovered one issue (which is not confined to this event) – while wireless internet access is all well and good (and seems to be working well here), electricity is another matter. The place seems bereft of power outlets, so I may have to take notes (even, shock horror, using pen and paper if necessary) and blog later if battery life on the laptop does not hold up.

The event seems quiet at the moment, but it is still only 09:25 on the first morning, and some people may not be arriving until today. An update to follow once things start.

UPDATE (10:00 Luxembourg time) – this is the seventh Med-e-Tel. Pierre Gramenga, Managing Director of Luxexpo gave the opening welcome remarks. Participants are from 50 countries on five continents.

Mars Di Bartolomeo, Minister of Health and Social Security for Luxembourg said that main aim of Med-e-Tel is to exchange experiences in use of telemedicine. He said that Luxembourg is ‘on track’ in using ICT in healthcare, and welcomed the European Commission support for the event. He stressed the need for high quality health service built on traditional values of the country, including solidarity-based social services, and believes that new technologies can help with this.

Gerard Comyn, Acting Director of ICT Addressing Societal Challenges and Head of Unit for H1, ICT for Health, at the European Commission followed with his welcoming address. He says that EC is one of the main drivers of telemedicine implementation in Europe; there is increasing demand from citizens for best quality care. Health care expenditure in Europe is 8.5% of GDP on average, and rising. In response to current challenges, the Commission believes telemedicine is one of the solutions that can increase accessibility to healthcare, and can overcome health professional shortages, as well as involving patients more. There is also shift from hospital-based to patient-based model of care, and telemedicine can help countries achieve this. The EC has funded research and eTEN projects to help develop telemedicine and 21st century health.

Michael Nerlich, President of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH) gave the final welcoming address.



1. stevehards - April 1, 2009

Re “He stressed the need for high quality health service built on traditional values of the country, including solidarity-based social services”…. North American and UK readers may not be aware that ‘solidarity’ is an important construct in many countries on the European mainland, in the way that ‘fairness’ is to Brits and ‘independence’ is to Americans.

‘Solidarity’ equates to something like ‘support for a cause’.

Steve Hards

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