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Smart Open Services - Open eHealth Initiative for a European Large Scale Pilot of Patient Summary and Electronic Prescription

Project description

Experience sharing and consensus building in eHealth

SOS project becomes Smart Open Services for European Patients (epSOS) to better reflect the focus on patient needs.

Patient summaries and ePrescriptions

Patient summaries and electronic prescriptions (ePrescriptions) are two key services that enable high quality medical care. Such health records provide health professionals with essential information on the medical and medication history of the patient. In many situations access to such information can save lives (for example in case of allergies to medications, chronic conditions, blood disorders).

The epSOS project is a first step in addressing problems faced by doctors treating patients who seek health treatment when abroad. These problems include re-supplying essential medication that a patient has lost or forgotten, communicating medical situations to foreign-language doctors, diagnosing illness and prescribing proper medication with little knowledge of patient history.

Several Member States have implemented these services in their national healthcare systems and several others are about to do so. However, many of them cannot currently communicate with each other.

These services will only be widely used if they are trusted by both patients and healthcare professionals. Appropriate data protection, system security and performance criteria need to be included in any cross border application.


The objective of the epSOS project is to ensure that these national solutions can “talk to each other”. epSOS aims at enabling health professionals to electronically access the data of a patient from another country in their own language, using different technologies and systems. It will also make it possible for pharmacies to electronically process prescriptions from other Member States, so that patients travelling within the EU can obtain the essential medicine.

The approach

The project follows a bottom-up approach; it builds on existing technical solutions, and develops a set of specifications to ensure the interoperability of solutions, including security and identification systems and performance criteria.

The project will examine the level of maturity and deployment of patient summaries and ePrescriptions in the participating countries, and explore legal questions and develop technical specifications covering all basic components for a secure use of personal health data. In a second phase, the project will define, test and validate these solutions in real-life situations.

The approach will form the basis for a longer term, pan-European approach to building service solutions that will be able to work with each other.

The project responds to the commitment of Member States and the European Commission to achieve full interoperability of eHealth services. It will benefit from guidance provided by the Commission on how to make electronic health record systems work together.

Electronic patient record systems, with their initial focus on both patient summary/emergency data sets and medication record/ePrescribing solutions, are being driven forward by European member states. While all are committed to doing this in principle, some regions and countries are more advanced than others in terms of their capacity to implement proposed solutions. To enhance the possibility of these services being provided across national or regional borders, interoperability among systems and services must be achieved between the national and/or regional systems. To ensure trust in the use of these systems on the part of patients and healthcare professionals, appropriate data protection, system security and performance criteria need to be included in any emerging cross border applications. The national regulatory authorities and competence centres for eHealth that are cooperating in this large scale pilot to implement interoperability for the two proposed focal applications aim to test them out in pilot applications in a range of member states. The approach, which is based on well-developed and distinct use cases, and associated infrastructural components, aims to deliver both a methodological process and durable implementations (termed 'building blocks'). These will form the basis for a longer term, pan-European approach to building interoperable service solutions.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

PA - Pilot Type A

Coordinator Contact



Hornsgatan 20
118 82 Stockholm

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Östra Sverige Stockholm Stockholms län
Activity type
Administrative Contact
Fredrik Lindén (Mr.)
EU contribution
€ 2 109 898,00

Participants (58)