The European Commission is constantly developing healthcare and eHealth policies through various programmes. IHE-Europe is actively engaged in these efforts both by supporting the Commission with knowledge and expertise as well as by taking part in various projects.
The European Commission seeks the improvement of citizens’ health, the increase of healthcare quality and citizens’ access to healthcare and the development of healthcare tools and solutions that will be more effective, more user-friendly and widely accepted. In order to reach these goals, the Commission seeks cooperation with various bodies comprising IHE-Europe.
The European Affairs Committee of IHE-Europe liaises with the Commission and its Directorates to bring IHE's expertise on standards-based interoperability specifications, testing strategies and testing methods as well as evaluation processes to the table. There are quite a few notable examples of IHE’s contribution to European eHealth.
The epSOS Large Scale Pilot for example, that not only developed but also piloted an infrastructure for the exchange of patient information, serves as a blueprint for cross-border eHealth information exchange. While epSOS set out to demonstrate that cross-border eHealth in the EU is now adopted on both local and global scale, IHE Profiles form the heart of the epSOS design, which assured scalability and expandability, and instant adoption by healthcare users and vendors alike.
Another achievement has been the official identification by the European Commission of 27 IHE Profiles for public procurement. The implication is that in procurement processes for eHealth systems on all levels, local to European-wide, IHE conformity will be required. That will act as a catalyst for vendors to adopt these IHE Profiles, making eHealth across Europe ever more interoperable.