Activity report 2018-2019

ETSI Project (EP) eHEALTH

Chairman: Suno Wood, Cadzow Communications

Responsible for coordinating ETSI’s activities in the eHealth domain, identifying gaps where further standardization activities might be required and plugging those gaps which are not the responsibility of other ETSI bodies.

eHealth offers numerous potential benefits. It can improve the quality and cost of healthcare and help to foster independent living. But the success of its implementation relies on the widespread digitization of all sectors of society and, although an increasing number of patients enjoy access services such as telecare and telemonitoring, the use of Telemedicine is still very limited. One of the problems currently hindering the development of the ‘virtual’ clinic is a lack of interoperability. Standards therefore have a key role to play in assisting the development of new eHealth products and the growth of Telemedicine.

In 2018, the activities of EP eHEALTH were often restricted by low participation in plenary meetings. This was reported to the ETSI OCG and ETSI Board by the EP eHEALTH Chairman who received their encouragement for her efforts in maintaining the work of ETSI in promoting standardization for health.  Following this the determination and energy of the active participants of EP eHEALTH has led to renewed cooperation with TC CYBER, TC SmartBAN and TC SmartM2M in the areas of IoT Security, Privacy, Safety and SAREF mapping to eHealth developments. 

EP eHealth committed to cooperate (via participation to SmartM2M meetings) on SAREF mapping to eHealth developments with TC SmartM2M (STF 556) “SAREF extensions for Automotive, eHealth/Ageing-well, Wearables and Water” funded by EC/EFTA in the 2018 Rolling Plan for ICT Standardization which began on 19 December 2018 and is scheduled to close on 31 July 2020.

In 2018 this was key to the focus on the writing and editing of a White Paper, entitled “The argument in favour of eHealth standardization in ETSI”. This raised the awareness of the eHealth community and presented EP eHealth as a useful coordination body for eHealth issues in ETSI. The White Paper further demonstrates to ETSI members and other stakeholders the rationale for creating new standards and improving on existing standards in order to support the current, rapid development of technology-driven, medical services. 

The hot topic of 2018 that raised the most attention of new stakeholders was the EHR/Electronic Health Records needs/standards requirements as described in ICT Standardization Rolling Action Plan. This raised interest and discussion and led to the creation of an EP eHEALTH New Work Item on “eHEALTH data recording requirements for eHealth.” EHR requirements have also been identified as a new source of eHealth Use Cases to be added to the draft of DTR/eHEALTH-007 (TR 103 477) "eHealth standardization use cases for eHealth”. This work is ongoing.

Both work items continue to be discussed actively with other groups within ETSI, as in-depth liaison is seen to be essential to eventual consensus and implementation.

Look out for in 2019 – eHEALTH work in progress:

  • ETSI Standard (ES) on data recording requirements for eHEALTH
  • Technical Report (TR) on standardization use cases for eHEALTH