The health sector today faces great challenges. Health is an information‐intensive sector where Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) could significantly contribute to efficiency and productivity gains. European Union is looking at the different facets of eHealth and mainly at the following three:
a) Research and development, in particular to support the development of several regional health information networks, telemedicine services, and personal health systems for patients and citizens.
b) Regulatory framework and standardisation, which ensure competition, interoperability and, at the same time, the confidentiality of personal data.
c) Promotion of eHealth best practices through various eEurope 2002 and 2005 initiatives.
After the pharmaceutical and radiology industry, eHealth is now the third industrial pillar for health. This emerging sector forms the backbone for the reengineering of health systems. It actually improves the access to and quality of care and places citizens at the very centre of its concern.
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