Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Electronic patient records accessible abroad with innovative new technology

Pre-commercial procurement has enabled an EU-funded project procurement to develop new technology that will allow patients to access health data when they are in any other EU country.
Electronic patient records accessible abroad with innovative new technology
Travelling abroad for business or pleasure is a common and perhaps increasing feature of our modern lives. But as our international travel increases, so does the need for healthcare when abroad.

One EU-funded project is working on new technology that will give healthcare givers and patients access to a patient’s personal health information, if necessary, when he/she is in another EU country.

DECIPHER is developing a mobile application which can display a patient’s health data and can be used as a tool allowing the patient to better manage his or her health when abroad.

‘The DECIPHER health application will help patients in various situations ranging from acute care episodes to the management of chronic diseases,’ says Rossana Alessandrello of the Catalan Agency of Health Quality and Assessment, DECIPHER Project Coordinator.

If a patient becomes acutely ill when abroad, the project’s mobile application would allow caregivers to access the essential health history of the patient. ‘This data can even be lifesaving in the event of urgent cases such as a stroke or heart attack,’ Alessandrello adds.

Access to health data when in another EU country is especially important for individuals with chronic diseases needing frequent medical attention, such as diabetes, since it can contain data on medication and vaccinations.

The application being developed by the project will securely identify the user, archive and retrieve data created by the patient’s home-based healthcare provider or when the patient is abroad. It will allow the different health care providers to share information. Crucially, it will also translate patient records when interaction with foreign health care providers is required.

To achieve its vision, DECIPHER is using innovative pre-commercial procurement methods. ‘This works by pooling the efforts of several public procurers in procuring R&D services so that they can then access new products and services,’ explains Alessandrello. ‘By sharing risks and benefits with suppliers, the best conditions for a wide commercialisation and take-up of R&D results is created,’ she adds.

Currently, electronic health services are not widespread across the EU. There are some regional public health record initiatives – including Catalonia in Spain, Tuscany in Italy and Manchester in the UK. However, patient take-up of mobile health records has been low.

‘Ideally, the technologies developed by DECIPHER will be valid for all existing and future electronic patient record initiatives, using EU-wide and EU-recognised interoperability standards,' explains Alessandrello.

The project, which was completed in May 2016, is now testing its technology with Diabetes Type 2 patients. It hopes the solutions it will create will boost patient adherence to treatments, reduce the need for healthcare and support the use of secure electronic patient health records.

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DECIPHER, patient, health data, mobile application, chronic diseases, healthcare provider, pre-commercial procurement, PCP, diabetes, electronic patient record
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