Europe’s digital health thought leaders and experts gathered in Helsinki, Finland, on the 14-16 June 2022, during HIMSS 2022, one of Europe’s top health conferences, to look at ways of delivering a next generation of healthcare services.
HIMSS22 Europe offered many curated educational sessions. They featured renowned experts, focused on real-world case studies, highlighted large-scale implementations, and discussed outcomes-driven best practices. Contributors shared the latest data and evidence on digital transformation from around the European region and beyond.
Top among the topics at HIMSS22 was often the European data space on health.
An early highlight, even before the conference started, was the TEHDAS Forum. Held in-person and online, the event brought together almost 700 European health data stakeholders. Speakers from industry, the public sector and research, discussed the current developments of the European health data space (EHDS).
The forum sessions focused on: the role of citizens as actors of health data sharing; the incentives needed to improve data quality; how to build a strong Health Union for the future; and the legislative process built to establish the European Health Data Space.
The first session of the Forum focused on an online consultation run by TEHDAS to find out what European citizens think about how their health data could be used in the future. The goal of this consultation was to consider public preferences and values when building an ethical and social basis for secondary use of health data in Europe.
One main finding so far is that while citizens recognise the benefits of the secondary use of health data, they are also concerned about the potential risks related to it. The key approach to citizen-centric health data sharing may lie therefore in finding the appropriate balance between risks and benefits. There is as yet, however, no consensus on how the public want to be engaged in this process.
EHTEL at TEHDAS
EHTEL was invited to share its views during the third session of the forum. EHTEL’s Secretary General, Marc Lange, represented the association.
On how to engage citizens in data sharing, he advocated the importance of communication and citizen engagement/involvement:
“Can we make citizens actors in health data sharing? In addition to trust, we need communication on why we need the data and how individuals will benefit from the use to make them part of the sharing process".
EHTEL at HIMSS22
EHTEL believes the next step after achieving citizen engagement in health data sharing is collaboration and shared learning. Watch Marc Lange explain why collaboration among European countries is essential in eHealth. During HIMSS22, Marc gave this short interview to Norwegian EHTEL member, the Norwegian Centre for E-health Research . For plenty more coverage of HIMSS22, have a look at and follow our Twitter and LinkedIn channels!
EHTEL was also present throughout the whole of the conference. The association ran a dedicated pavilion right at the heart of the exhibition area of HIMSS 2022 Europe. Over the two days, EHTEL members, friends, and staff presented the results of several European projects such as: vCare, InteropEHRate, and OPEN DEI.
The InteropEHRate project was also present in the "Activating Citizens Through the Power of Data & Technology" session. Francesco Torelli, representing EHTEL Italian project consortium member, Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, talked about how InteropEHRate is creating new ways for managing health data: from the traditional clinical-centric data sharing to the emerging platform-centric, through a citizen-centric approach.
Interested in learning about the outcomes of these projects? A series of final conferences is being held on all three from summer 2022 onwards. The first in the series is the vCare final conference, which will wrap up the project’s conclusions. The event will take place in Brussels and remotely on 29-30 August 2022. Register here.
Visitors to the EHTEL pavilion also had a chance to learn about the Talisman project. In it, Italian EHTEL member, AReSS, the Regional Strategic Agency for Health in Puglia, is involved in researching and defining new models and technologies to support fragile people, and with them volunteers/associations, and operators of social and health services.
What’s next? The next TEHDAS Stakeholder forum will take place in November 2023. For the coming four months, EHTEL will follow up-close TEHDAS’ efforts to support further work related to the EHDS proposal and connect and engage with European stakeholders.
Read about EHTEL’s latest work on the EHDS and citizen-centricity.
Read a summary of the TEHDAS Forum sessions.