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Med-e-Tel 2009 – second morning, part 1 April 2, 2009

Posted by peterjmurray in conference, Europe, health informatics.
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It’s the start of day 2 here at Med-e-Tel in Luxembourg. Yesterday evening we had the civic reception at the City Hall (Hotel de Ville) in the centre of Luxembourg; some reasonable city-branded sparkling wine, but I also had some useful discussions about open source with Alvin Marcelo and Thomas Karopka. The public transport bus system here works very well, although there seems to be lots of new building and construction vehicles on the bus routes, which slows things down a lot.

The first session this morning that I am attending is from Pascal Collotte from the European Commission, talking about online cross-border initiatives in health at the European level, and from different EC programmes. His focus is on the eTEN programme, which has been about deploying trans-European e-services for all in the EU market, in particular with a focus on public e-services and supporting eEurope 2010. This ended in December 2006, although funded projects will run to 2010. eTEN projects were built on services that had been initially tested in research and development, to pilot-test initial market deployment, and identify issues. They were meant to end up with business plans for sustainable deployment in at least several countries across the EU.

The political focus and goals of eTEN projects were aimed at mobile European citizens should be able to receive medical treatment anywhere in Europe – so looks at things such as EHRs usable or accessible from across Europe at sites of healthcare. Interoperability was also a key focus, so as to avoid/prevent new digital divides. Co-operation of national healthcare systems was needed to ensure success. Nowadays, Pascal says, interoperability is more of a legal and administrative problem to be overcome, rather than a technical problem.

Among challenges the programme sought to address were aging populations within Europe, with increasing expectations and rising demand for health and social services; it has been important to reduce inequalities in access to healthcare. Increasing patient mobility in Europe, and of health professionals, has also raised issues. He talked about two projects, Netcards and TEN4health, the latter being a portal in several languages to verify individuals’ heath insurance status.

UPDATE 11:20

Ehealth in Colombia and Latin America – Colombia has only 12 hospital beds for 10,000 of the population (compared with 36 in Brazil, about 40 in Argentina), and 96% of health agencies are private (ie, only 4% public). 38.5% of population use Internet, but 57% of cities have 3G internet access, which could provide a platform for telemedicine systems. The Colombian government aims to have telemedicine in 89% of public hospital network in 2010. many patients living in rural areas do not have ready access to healthcare – but through wireless systems can receive telemedicine interaction.

Trying to listen (not very successfully – too much noise generally from the exhibition area, people chatting in the audience, etc) to a presentation about developing health information collection system in Albania – first part seems exactly the same as presenter gave yesterday under a different title, although some different material in later part of session.

My presentation for this afternoon (Tele-nursing session) is at http://www.slideshare.net/drpeter/medetel09-murray-final

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