Europe needs to shift from closed technological “walled gardens” inhabited by national healthcare organizations, to a global ecosystem based on an open health platform, where software vendors, institutions and citizens of different countries may securely collaborate, to improve healthcare and medical research, thanks to common technologies.
Let's take a hypothetical situation, in which any of us might find ourselves in the course of our lives: you have a medical condition, you receive a diagnosis, and you want to find out a second opinion. But the doctor is in another country. He asks for your medical files, in which he expects to find everything - x-rays, ultrasounds, and the results of medical tests for the last years. However, you cannot provide this data, because there is no protocol between countries, in which the data can be shared using the same technical standard.
A common standard could mean that a doctor can open your electronic health record – securely and with your consent, of course - from any other EU member state. So, instead of walking around the file with the doctors, and then carrying a stack of very sensitive, highly personal documents in your suitcase, you could keep the file in an app that everyone can access - the patient, the doctor, the insurance company.
The HCP-App software application, under development in Romania within the InteropEHRate project, is intended for doctors, nurses, medical laboratories, the aim of the project being to create the standard, the data exchange protocol at European level using the medical record file, located in the phone the patient and the doctor's laptop. It is a data viewer and editor for the patient's file, which allows the exchange of data not only between doctors, but also between countries.
„The patient is directly interested in keeping his file in order. A disciplined person could very well manage his entire medical history, the medication he took over time, his reactions to certain medication", says Adrian Bradu, InteropEHRate Project Manager at SIMAVI.
Software Imagination & Vision, in short SIMAVI, is a Romanian company with experience in digital management of the health system, as it directly contributed to the development of software applications for the National Health Insurance House (the Electronic Health Record among others). Within InteropEHRate, SIMAVI was involved in the development of the HCP-App software application for medical professionals, and in its integration with hospital systems, for testing. SIMAVI has also contributed to the specification of the standard communication protocol, for all medical organizations, and the security of communication through this protocol.
The HCP-App application is developed within the InteropEHRate project. It is a research and innovation project funded by the European Union through the Horizon 2020 Program, under agreement no. 826106, and in an advanced stage of implementation. This year, a module is also being developed for the exchange of data for research - the patient can send the data from his phone to European research institutes, anonymously, of course. Why would you do this? Because, if this function in the application were used en masse, we could have real and constantly updated statistics at European level about various diseases. Or about the side effects of some drugs.
InteropEHRate will address the current lack of standardization and security, by defining a set of integrated protocols and conformance criteria for mobile apps, supporting secure and portable local storage and backup, released as open specifications. Moreover, the project will integrate these new protocols with technologies for information extraction and translation, to reduce the difficulties in health data exchange related to the different terminologies and languages adopted in different European countries and by different healthcare providers.
The project is due to December 2022. After that, the standard can be acquired and implemented by the medical industry - for example, in Romania, the national health insurance organizations or the networks of private clinics are the ones that manage the electronic health file. If implemented at country level, the project will allow citizens to transport their health data in digital format and easily manage it even abroad.
More details here: https://www.interopehrate.eu/
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