1. HEALTHCARE’S DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
The healthcare industry has begun to see the fruits of the EU’s digital agenda, with recent steps to improve sharing of healthcare information across borders, and pilot initiatives to improve the use of healthcare data for research, which it is hoped will serve as a basis for the wider digital transformation of European healthcare systems. While patients, industry and policymakers alike are generally supportive of this goal, the slow and fragmented uptake at national level and challenges around the legal and regulatory framework are hindering progress towards the ambition of an integrated European health data ecosystem.
Potential impact? While work so far has focused more on the ‘building blocks’ of digital health such as interoperability and data exchange, expect to see a greater focus on advanced digital tools to empower patients and improve healthcare systems under the next phase of the EU’s digital health strategy. Hard legislation on Artificial Intelligence expected in the first 100 days of the new Commission, as well as anticipated sector-specific ethical guidelines for healthcare, will be a first test for the industry, which must also work to build greater understanding and trust regarding the use of personal data.