Sophia Antipolis, 19 May 2014

The ETSI eHealth Workshop on 6-7 May 2014 attracted interest from around the world. Participants came not only from Europe, but from Indonesia, Russia, and the United States to the new amphitheatre at Sophia-Antipolis to discuss Telemedicine.

The multi-disciplinary interests of the audience reflected the importance of the future development of telemedicine. Doctors, technical specialists and project managers took part in this healthcare debate with a global reach that raised many interesting and provocative questions.

Background to the discussion was the Digital Agenda for Europe. Telemedicine rollout, regulation, standards, security, privacy, legal aspects and use cases were the subject of 21 presentations and live demonstrations during this two day event.

Speakers agreed on the power of standards to level the playing field for market entry for small producers whilst improving services to the patient-user. An improved level of medical care may be achieved if medical practitioners and the ICT industry work closely together. This belief underpins strategy discussions in the ETSI EP eHEALTH group.

Suno Wood, Chair of ETSI EP EHEALTH noted that “the patient-centric approach to medicine is clearly seen to be influencing research and development of telemedicine and related use of medical apps.”

At the end of the conference, the workshop concluded, no matter the technology used, that standards can play a significant role in serving both patient and the doctor.

Ethics, privacy and security should underpin any new healthcare technology infrastructure just as traditional medicine has always required.