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Introduction

eHealth includes the application of ICT (information and communications technologies) across the whole range of functions that affect the health sector.
 
eHealth systems include tools for health authorities and professionals, from national to international, from the doctor to the hospital manager, nurses, data processing specialists, social security administrators and - of course - the patients, as well as personalized health systems for individuals and community.

Examples include health information networks, electronic health records, telemedicine services, personal wearable and portable communicable systems including those for medical implants, health portals, and many other ICT-based tools assisting disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, health monitoring and lifestyle management (this description is based on text at the Europe's Information Society eHealth portal).

eHealth promises to improve the quality of healthcare, reduce costs 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.

Our Role & Activities

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

Vital aspects to be considered by EP eHEALTH are:

  • Security of systems and data
  • Quality of services
  • Interoperability and validation by testing
  • Usability

The role of our ETSI Project on eHEALTH covers these primary areas:

  • Collect and define Health ICT related requirements from relevant stakeholders, and input requirements to the concerned ETSI Technical Bodies
  • Identify gaps, where existing ETSI standards do not fulfil the Health ICT requirements, and suggest further standardization activities to fill those gaps
  • Develop Health ICT related deliverables in all areas not covered by existing system specific and horizontal Technical Bodies or other SDOs
  • Co-ordinate Health ICT related activities with other ETSI Technical Bodies (including SmartM2M, SmartBAN, CYBER, CIM, ERM and OEU) to avoid duplication of effort and deliverables
  • Co-ordinate activity with other European and international standards making bodies to avoid duplication of effort and deliverables
  • Represent ETSI positions externally on Health ICT related issues

EP eHEALTH is working on several issues carried out in the scope of a wider collaboration between the three European Standards Organizations, CEN, CENELEC and ETSI.

EP eHEALTH published an ETSI White Paper 'The argument in favour of eHealth standardization in ETSI' (September 2018) and a Technical Report [TR 103 477] on ‘Standardization use cases for eHealth’. EP eHEALTH co-operates in ETSI with ISG OEU, TC ERM, ISG CIM, TC CYBER, TC SmartM2M and TC SmartBAN, in areas including IoT Security, Privacy, Safety and SAREF mapping to eHealth developments.

The group launched preliminary investigations into use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in eHealth applications and works on data recording requirements (Electronic Health Record) for eHealth.

Standards

A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the eHEALTH committee page.