Europe inches forward on IT integration

The IHE initiative has been working hard to introduce interoperability in clinics, hospitals and national health information exchanges. IHE profiles, which act as implementation guides, have now become mandatory in eHealth Projects in an increasing number of European countries. As yet, this is not the case for clinical research, but is this all about to change?

Since the IHE initiative started in the late 1990s, healthcare professionals and industry experts have been trying to improve the way healthcare IT systems share information. According to the IHE their goal is to enable, “seamless and secure access to health information whenever and wherever needed”. The Secretary of the IHE International Board, Chris Carr, believes that integrating medical research could bring real benefits: “Clearly, reducing the barriers to re-using data gathered in clinical care for research purposes can lower the cost of conducting research, can greatly expand the volume and kinds of data available to researchers and can open new areas of study that are currently not practical. Defining ways to gather clinical data and communicate it to systems used for research, with appropriate controls for patient privacy, security and consent, is an important mission of IHE”.

Read the full article here.

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