Over 2,000 eHealth experts from the 28 EU Member States and from across the globe have gathered in Amsterdam to exchange knowledge and share best practices as part of the annual eHealth Week conference and exhibition.
The three-day event was officially opened this morning with a symbolic “gong” moment, followed by the eHealth Week Opening Plenary and a VIP Exhibition Tour. The three representatives were present for this opening: Edith Schippers, Dutch Minister for Health, Welfare and Sport, Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety and Stephen Lieber, President and CEO of HIMSS. The overarching theme of this year’s eHealth Week is “You, at the heart of transition”.
Commissioner Andriukaitis highlighted the importance of this years’ theme: “eHealth Week places great emphasis on putting patients centre stage in the developments and discussions on eHealth. We live in a time where the shift from doctor-centred to patient-centred healthcare draws ever closer. In less than a decade, digital applications and digital solutions have found their way into our daily lives – including in the area of healthcare”.
Minister Schippers said: “The countless technologies made possible by the omnipresence of the internet are improving the lives of billions of people globally. These digital innovations are transforming our healthcare as we know it and its greatly impacting the lives of patients. People with chronic diseases are now able to receive care within the comfort of their own homes and no longer need to spend hours in waiting rooms or in a doctor’s office. It’s allowing them to once again lead active lives, maintain a job and fully contribute to society. In addition, the digital collection of medical data and its analysis is improving treatments and making personalised care a reality. It holds great promise for the near future”.
We live in a time where the shift from doctor-centred to patient-centred healthcare draws ever closer. In less than a decade, digital applications and digital solutions have found their way into our daily lives – including in the area of healthcare”.
Lieber reinforced the importance of the global eHealth Community gathering in Europe every year: “eHealthWeek gives health and care professionals, policy makers, innovators, and patients the chance to share best practices, ideas and find solutions together in their quest to transform health and care through IT. It is truly a unique opportunity to look to our peers from across Europe to discuss, debate and even replicate some of the great innovation that is occurring across Europe to improve patient outcomes and care”.
The HIMSS Europe eHealth Leadership Award was also announced during the Opening plenary. Lieber presented the award to Daniel Forslund, Commissioner for Innovation and eHealth at Stockholm County Council, for his outstanding achievements throughout his eHealth career (see full press release here).
During eHealth Week, conference delegates will benefit from several sessions which provide in-depth expert presentations from around the world, including: “Cyber Risks in the Healthcare Sector”, which will address current cyber security threats, the presentation of the “Privacy Code of Conduct for mHealth apps”, by the European Commission and targeted at app developers and sessions addressing current eHealth challenges on the topic such as of eMental health and mHealth. Attendees are also encouraged to use the various networking opportunities on offer to generate meaningful global business opportunities between companies, health providers and other stakeholders.