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Towards European data spaces for medicines

ELO Network Virtual Meeting - 21 September 2020


On 21 September 2020, EHTEL held a Virtual Meeting entitled Towards European data spaces for medicines. It was part of the Imagining 2029 work programme, a programme that builds on a series of webinars and workshops – hosted by its working groups. The programme is focused on accelerating digital transformation while acknowledging the opportunities and challenges raised by the current COVID-19 crisis. This webinar belongs to the ELO Network agenda for 2020: Getting ready for European Health Data Space(s).


The webinar in a nutshell

This “Imagining 2029” virtual meeting was supported by the UNICOM project and focused on leveraging interoperability for a better quality of medicine data to improve patient safety and healthcare. The topics discussed included: data quality principles and standards endorsed by European Policies, interoperability frameworks for data quality and re-usable clinical documentation, support for value chains for medicinal products, and governance and investments at national and European level.

👀Watch the video recording below or on Youtube.

No time to watch the webinar now? Explore the outcomes

The meeting was opened by Andreas Grode (ELO Co-Chair, gematik eHealth Competence Centre, Germany) who introduced the agenda and co-chaired by Stephan Schug (EHTEL). Stephan set the scene drawing on the lessons learned from previous ELO webinars.

Followed a video-presentation by prof. Miriam Sturkenboom ( i~HD and Utrecht UMC, Department of Epidemiology, BE/NL), focused on Wide use of real-world medication data. It showcased three examples of uses of medication data: anti-inflammatory drugs, tracking vaccines, and medicines use for pregnancy. 

Right after UNICOM coordinator Karl Stroetmann delivered a presentation on Data quality and semantic interoperability along the medicine data value chain. He introduced the UNICOM project, its domains of application as well as the outlooks for semantic interoperability. 

The meeting continued with the showcasing of a national use case: Data quality for patient safety in Belgium. Luc Nicolas (EHTEL) explained what is it an Authentic Validated Source and introduced Belgian SAM ecosystem. He was followed by Jos Devlies (Eurorec), on the SAM data model and medicinal product definition. (SAM stands for Authentic Source of Medicines within the Belgian eHealth IT organization).

It was then the time for the front row discussion, which started with a statement by Robert Vander Stichele (i~HD, Belgiumon connecting National Drug dictionaries with their data model with a global univocal identification system. After his short introduction, the webinar hosted a rich discussion on the topics debated, with insightful interventions by participants.

You can read all the above-mentioned presentations in the resources section below.⤵️

Voices from the webinar

“Identification of medical products (IDMP) was originally created to support pharmacovigilance but its use can be extended to many other purposes.”  
Karl Stroetmann

“Progress to improve medicinal products interoperability will be critical for evaluating future COVID-19 vaccines.”
Miriam Strurkenboom 

“Creating a virtuous eco-system for the identification of medicinal products is also about creating interoperability between all the public bodies involved.” 
Luc Nicolas

"Accurately identified medicines by using IDMP eases clinical decision support everywhere in Europe.”
Robert Vander Stichele

“Patient safety in drug therapy will make huge progress when achieving true semantic interoperability through IDMP.”
Stephan Schug

The factsheet

As a final outcome, EHTEL has developed a factsheet that explains why the concept of European Health Data Spaces is particularly relevant for medicinal products with a focus on pharmacovigilance.

Download the factsheet (pdf)

Read the news on the factsheet launch


More information

- Check out the next webinars from September onwards under the ELO Network agenda for 2020

- Learn all about Imagining 2029 work programme

- Download all the webinar's presentations in the "Resources" section below⤵️




  • Towards European data spaces for medicines-full presentation 23 September 2020 PDF*
  • EHTEL Factsheet: Towards European data spaces for medicines 22 September 2020 EHTEL PDF*

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  • 02/11/2020

    An EHTEL factsheet: Towards European data spaces for medicines

    The third factsheet of the Imagining 2029 work programme explains why the concept of European Health Data Spaces is particularly relevant for medicinal products with a focus on pharmacovigilance. It is mainly based on the information collected during the third EHTEL/ELO virtual meeting dedicated to the theme “Towards European data spaces for medicines”.
    Read more

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