11

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What if we could 3D-print our own body parts

10-11-2017

The 3D-printing sector has proven its commercial viability in recent years, reaching the high street and, indeed, many homes. The technology is already used in some medical domains, such as dentistry and prosthetics, and many scientists are now exploring methods of printing biological materials – even if reports about lifesaving 3D-printed hearts are certainly premature.

The 3D-printing sector has proven its commercial viability in recent years, reaching the high street and, indeed, many homes. The technology is already used in some medical domains, such as dentistry and prosthetics, and many scientists are now exploring methods of printing biological materials – even if reports about lifesaving 3D-printed hearts are certainly premature.

What if your personal health tracker could save your life?

09-06-2017

Through advances in technology, big data has become a major asset and can open up numerous opportunities in all areas, but how can we use this in the context of health care and ensure it benefits everyone?

Through advances in technology, big data has become a major asset and can open up numerous opportunities in all areas, but how can we use this in the context of health care and ensure it benefits everyone?

Understanding European Reference Networks: Cooperation on rare diseases across Europe

09-06-2017

European Reference Networks (ERNs) are newly established virtual platforms for voluntary cross-border collaboration between specialists in rare and complex diseases. ERNs were set up under Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare, and go back to a 2009 Council recommendation on an action in the field of rare diseases. Since specialist knowledge of rare diseases is both scarce and scattered across countries, the EU-level cooperation afforded by ERNs is ...

European Reference Networks (ERNs) are newly established virtual platforms for voluntary cross-border collaboration between specialists in rare and complex diseases. ERNs were set up under Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare, and go back to a 2009 Council recommendation on an action in the field of rare diseases. Since specialist knowledge of rare diseases is both scarce and scattered across countries, the EU-level cooperation afforded by ERNs is regarded as bringing added value through maximising synergies. Currently, 24 thematic ERNs involve more than 900 specialised healthcare teams in over 300 hospitals in 25 EU Member States plus Norway. A public consultation fed into the establishment of the ERNs, and a number of stakeholder views were presented on the occasion of their launch. The ERN initiative has generally been well received. According to stakeholders, its strengths include opportunities for carrying out research and new treatments, breaking the isolation of specialists and patients, reducing inequalities in care, and fostering patient involvement. Among the challenges that need to be addressed, stakeholders mention questions concerning reimbursement, interoperability and data confidentiality, and legal issues. The ERNs are currently in their deployment phase, and expected to reach full capacity over the next five years.

ICT in the developing world

21-12-2015

Over recent years, there have been increasing opportunities for inhabitants of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) to use information and communication technologies (ICT). ICT can potentially help LMICs tackle a wide range of health, social and economic problems.By improving access to information and enabling communication, ICT can play a role in achieving millennium development goals (MDGs) such as the elimination of extreme poverty, combating serious diseases, and accomplishing universal primary ...

Over recent years, there have been increasing opportunities for inhabitants of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) to use information and communication technologies (ICT). ICT can potentially help LMICs tackle a wide range of health, social and economic problems.By improving access to information and enabling communication, ICT can play a role in achieving millennium development goals (MDGs) such as the elimination of extreme poverty, combating serious diseases, and accomplishing universal primary education. This study is aimed at examining the nature and extent of impact of ICT on poverty reduction in LMICs. A specific focus is developed for the health sector, elucidating which support ICT may provide to reduce inequalities and strengthen health systems in LMICs. In addition, present EU actions in the area of improving ICT diffusion in LMICs are assessed.  Building on three literature reviews, the study first describes the conditions hampering or facilitating the support of ICT to poverty reduction in LMICs, then focuses on the specific opportunities and obstacles in the use of ICT in the healthcare sector and, finally, it illustrates the EU policy approach for promoting ICT in LMICs. Evidence from desk analysis is complemented by the opinions of 145 surveyed experts, ten of which were also interviewed.  Experts’ opinions confirm the evidence of desk analysis pointing to health and education as the main areas in which ICT can play a significant role in LMICs development.  Building upon the evidence collected, the study provides policy options for future action which the EU could undertake to help LMICs profit from all the opportunities that ICT offer.

Autor externo

External authors: Laura Delponte (lead author), Matteo Grigolini, Andrea Moroni and Silvia Vignetti (Centre for Industrial Studies - CSIL, Milan, Italy). Massimiliano Claps and Nino Giguashvili (International Data Corporation - IDC, Milan, Italy).

The EU rules on network neutrality: key provisions, remaining concerns

05-11-2015

Network neutrality can be described essentially as a non-discrimination principle, requiring that all electronic communication passing through an internet service provider (ISP) network is treated equally. After a lengthy debate, on 27 October 2015, the European Parliament adopted the Telecoms Single Market (TSM) Regulation which includes, inter alia, new rules to safeguard open internet access in the European Union (EU). The TSM Regulation enshrines a right for end users to access and distribute ...

Network neutrality can be described essentially as a non-discrimination principle, requiring that all electronic communication passing through an internet service provider (ISP) network is treated equally. After a lengthy debate, on 27 October 2015, the European Parliament adopted the Telecoms Single Market (TSM) Regulation which includes, inter alia, new rules to safeguard open internet access in the European Union (EU). The TSM Regulation enshrines a right for end users to access and distribute content of their choice on the internet in EU law and imposes a non-discrimination obligation on ISPs to ensure all internet traffic is treated equally in a way that safeguards the end user's rights. However, ISPs can still depart from the non-discrimination principle in exceptional cases and to implement reasonable traffic management measures. The possibility for ISPs to offer innovative services, i.e. 'specialised services' such as telemedicine services (e.g. health services carried out at a distance), which usually require guaranteed service quality and traffic management has been approved. ISPs and end users also remain free to conclude commercial agreements (e.g. on prices, volume and speed) on the features of the internet access services delivered. However, safeguards have been put in place to ensure that ISPs do not circumvent the non-discrimination principle through the use of specialised services and commercial agreements. While the compromise text is seen by many commentators as a major step towards ensuring network neutrality in the EU, some remain critical of outstanding loopholes and ambiguities. Concerns have been expressed in particular on how to implement the rules on reasonable traffic management, specialised services and price discrimination practices such as zero rating. Common guidance is needed to avoid diverging approaches throughout the EU.

The regions in the Digital Single Market – ICT and digital opportunities for regions and cities

01-10-2015

The digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of the economy. The European Commission estimates that completing a Digital Single Market could contribute €415 billion per year to Europe's economy, create 3.8 million jobs and transform public services. Local and regional authorities may well benefit from many of the opportunities which the digital era offers. The European Commission has presented different initiatives in order to boost the use of information and communications ...

The digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of the economy. The European Commission estimates that completing a Digital Single Market could contribute €415 billion per year to Europe's economy, create 3.8 million jobs and transform public services. Local and regional authorities may well benefit from many of the opportunities which the digital era offers. The European Commission has presented different initiatives in order to boost the use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in Europe. The Digital Agenda for Europe, which was announced in 2010 in the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy, aimed to promote economic recovery and improve social inclusion through a more digitally proficient Europe. The Digital Single Market strategy, introduced in 2015, complements the Digital Agenda for Europe. Achieving a Digital Single Market will ensure that Europe maintains its position as a world leader in the digital economy, helping European companies to grow globally. Equally, enhanced use of digital technologies can improve citizens' access to information and culture, and can promote open government, equality and non-discrimination. Although many of the Digital Single Market priorities are dealt with primarily at national level, various initiatives can be explored at the local and regional level, and regions and cities can become active in planning and pursuing their own digital strategies.

The silver economy: Opportunities from ageing

15-07-2015

The 'silver economy' covers a host of different but interlinked strands; together these can improve the quality of life and inclusion in society and involvement in economic activity of the ageing population through developing innovative policies, products and services to meet their needs, bringing more growth and jobs. The concept has been emerging over the years, and recently gathered momentum with the European Commission's first paper on the topic. The population in the EU is ageing due to increasing ...

The 'silver economy' covers a host of different but interlinked strands; together these can improve the quality of life and inclusion in society and involvement in economic activity of the ageing population through developing innovative policies, products and services to meet their needs, bringing more growth and jobs. The concept has been emerging over the years, and recently gathered momentum with the European Commission's first paper on the topic. The population in the EU is ageing due to increasing longevity and low birth rates. The Commission's 2015 Ageing Report forecasts that the EU will move from having four working-age (15-64) people for every person aged over 65 years in 2013, to just two by 2060. Whilst population ageing brings challenges, it also presents opportunities. Euromonitor forecasts that the global spending power of those aged 60+ will reach US$15 trillion by 2020. Annual age related government expenditure on older people (currently nearly 20% of GDP in the EU) is forecast to rise by 1.8 percentage points by 2060. The silver economy concept seeks to look holistically at ageing and the opportunities it presents, bearing on the future direction of a broad range of polices such as those on the built environment, 50+ employment, life-long learning and preventative healthcare. Moreover, it seeks to embrace new technologies (e.g. health monitoring, smart homes, driverless vehicles, and care robots) and use them to lower the costs of ageing and improve the lives of older citizens whilst simultaneously helping to boost the economy.

The Internet of Things: Opportunities and challenges

19-05-2015

PDF Version The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a distributed network connecting physical objects that are capable of sensing or acting on their environment and able to communicate with each other, other machines or computers. The data these devices report can be collected and analysed in order to reveal insights and suggest actions that will produce cost savings, increase efficiency or improve products and services. The IoT is growing rapidly, with an estimated 25 billion connected objects throughout ...

PDF Version The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a distributed network connecting physical objects that are capable of sensing or acting on their environment and able to communicate with each other, other machines or computers. The data these devices report can be collected and analysed in order to reveal insights and suggest actions that will produce cost savings, increase efficiency or improve products and services. The IoT is growing rapidly, with an estimated 25 billion connected objects throughout the world by 2020, and added value from the IoT of US$1.9 trillion by the same year. The IoT can thus be a key contributor to achieving the EU's Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. However the IoT also poses important challenges to society. Open standards and interoperability may need to be encouraged, in order to widen choices for consumers and ensure competition and innovation. Sufficient radio spectrum must be allocated for future needs. With so many interconnected devices, security is a major concern. A balance needs to be achieved between the rights of citizens to keep personal data private and protected, and to consent to its use in other contexts, and the significant benefits that can accrue to enterprises and society from the analysis of such rich data sources. The European Union is supporting the development of the IoT through funding for research as well as competitiveness and innovation. While EU institutions have taken a notable interest in the IoT, the balance between too much and too little regulation may need to be carefully managed if the full benefits of the IoT are to be realised.

eHealth – Technology for health

12-03-2015

'eHealth' is a recently-coined term for the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in health, and refers to an interdisciplinary field with multiple uses. It aims to improve the quality of healthcare and make health systems more efficient and effective. For patients, eHealth has the potential to bring them improved awareness of their condition and foster their involvement in the care process. It will also facilitate access to healthcare for certain groups of people, help the elderly ...

'eHealth' is a recently-coined term for the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in health, and refers to an interdisciplinary field with multiple uses. It aims to improve the quality of healthcare and make health systems more efficient and effective. For patients, eHealth has the potential to bring them improved awareness of their condition and foster their involvement in the care process. It will also facilitate access to healthcare for certain groups of people, help the elderly live independently for longer and help adults with dementia to stay mentally fit. More generally, eHealth will support patient mobility and facilitate cross-border healthcare. eHealth will allow health professionals to interact remotely with patients and other professionals, access specialised knowledge and facilitate research. Moreover, it has the potential to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare, thus alleviating the burden on European health budgets, and should foster growth in the areas of research, health, medicine and ICT. Among the limitations and drawbacks of eHealth are the risks of impersonality and isolation, which may be detrimental to the importance of preserving a human dimension in healthcare and contrary to the desire to reinforce the patient-doctor relationship. eHealth tools will not bring the expected benefits if they are not user-centric, user-friendly and universally accessible. Furthermore, there is a need to enhance self-confidence in eHealth use and to raise awareness of, and training in, eHealth. There are also reservations regarding privacy and confidentiality. And lastly, it is essential to guarantee the security and protection of health-related data, to build confidence and to ensure patients consent to the use of their data. The outlook for eHealth covers several perspectives: political, technological, economic, research, international cooperation and stakeholders.

Public Health in the EU: State-of-Play and Key Policy Challenges for the Hearings of Commissioner-Designates, Brussels, 24 & 25 September 2014

15-10-2014

Citizen’s health is a core value of the EU (Art.168, TFEU). While EU public health policy complements national policies, it encourages cooperation across countries and facilitates coordination. Particularly, EU public health policy generates economies of scale by pooling resources to tackle common challenges, such as pandemics or the risk factors associated with chronic diseases. The EU brings added value in fostering research and improving health outcomes through frameworks such as Horizon2020 and ...

Citizen’s health is a core value of the EU (Art.168, TFEU). While EU public health policy complements national policies, it encourages cooperation across countries and facilitates coordination. Particularly, EU public health policy generates economies of scale by pooling resources to tackle common challenges, such as pandemics or the risk factors associated with chronic diseases. The EU brings added value in fostering research and improving health outcomes through frameworks such as Horizon2020 and the third multi-annual Health Programme. This document was provided by Policy Department A in view of the Hearings of Commissioner-Designates of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI).

Autor externo

Yoline KUIPERS CAVACO (Milieu Ltd) and Vinciane QUOIDBACH (Elleze)

Próximos actos

01-12-2020
FISC Public Hearing on 1st December 2020
Audiencia -
FISC
01-12-2020
Inter-parliamentary Committee meeting on the Evaluation of Eurojust Activities
Otro acto -
LIBE
02-12-2020
Public Hearing on AI and Health
Audiencia -
AIDA

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