In December 2010, the US/HHS and the European Union’s (EU)/Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG-CONNECT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to galvanize cooperation surrounding health-related information communications technology. ONC is the US/HHS lead agency representative for this MOU. The focus was on transatlantic cooperation on both eHealth and health IT.
Activities through this MOU are within three work streams:
- Interoperability: focuses on health data standards development to foster transnational interoperability of electronic health information and communication technology.
- Workforce: focuses on the skills needed to develop and expand the health IT workforce in Europe and the US.
- Innovation: focuses on encouraging innovation in the eHealth and health IT industry.
Transatlantic eHealth-Health IT Cooperation Roadmap
The roadmap sets out the vision, challenges, scope, and description of each of the work streams. Collectively, the vision for the document centers on supporting an innovative, collaborative community of public-and private-sector entities. These entities include suppliers of eHealth solutions, working toward the shared objective of developing, deploying, and using eHealth science and technology to empower individuals, support care, improve clinical outcomes, enhance patient safety, and improve the health of populations.
International Patient Summary
An interoperability and standards project of interest that stemmed from this US/HHS and EU/DG-CONNECT collaboration is the International Patient Summary (IPS). The IPS is an electronic health record extract that was developed with the primary use case of providing support for unscheduled, cross-border patient care. Interoperability allows patients to be able to access their health data when and where it matters most, and the IPS works towards this. The IPS is based on global vocabularies and language that are usable and understandable in any country. This means that key pieces of patients’ health data can be transferred between the US and the EU, such as medications, immunizations, allergies and intolerances, etc. so emergency care providers can use this data to provide patients with personalized care. The full list of the IPS’ composition is available through the HL7 IPS Website: