06 April 2022

European doctors discuss the challenges of health data in Europe

Doctors, data experts, and policy-makers met on 6 April to discuss the benefits and challenges of health data in Europe.
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The hybrid event ‘Challenges of health data in Europe – Are We Preparing? Building trust - Enabling Science’ was jointly organised by the Conseil National de l’Ordre des Médecins (CNOM) and the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) within the context of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (programme available here).

Recent years have witnessed the mass introduction of digital tools in the patient–doctor relationship, raising challenges over the privacy and security of health data. On the other hand, data sharing can significantly benefit research, services and improve healthcare outcomes, as highlighted throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

In January, the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union published European principles for ethics in digital health, which are at the heart of the roadmap for digital health for the next three years, feeding into future European regulation on the creation of a European Health Data Space, which is a key objective of the EU.

During this event expert speakers and panelists addressed the inclusion of digital health in a framework of ethical values and discussed what tools are needed to safeguard doctors' data and protect patients' personal data.

Dr Patrick Bouet (CNOM President) said “The production, analysis, hosting and usage of health data are fundamental challenges. The French Ordre des Médecins, in close association with the CPME and in the context of the French presidency, is proud to host this conference, which must translate these digital challenges in ethical and deontological terms.”

Dr Christiaan Keijzer (CPME President) said “Sharing patient data needs to go along with strong legal safeguards and security. Governance structures and transparency are essential to supervise the use and re-use of health data. It is vital to prepare our physicians in order to protect and build trust with their patients.”

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