journal of biomedical informatics
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United in Diversity: Legal Challenges on the Road Towards Interoperable eHealth Solutions in Europe

Author(s): Karl A. Stroetmann, Jörg Artmann, Jos Dumortier, Griet Verhenneman

The use of IT enabled health services such as an electronic patient summary, ePrescription or telemedicine (commonly called eHealth services) are subject to differing degrees of legal regulation across Europe. This article presents the legal challenges facing further diffusion of eHealth services across Europe, based on the results of a study funded by the European Commission. Challenges of electronic identification and authentication are examples, alongside questions regarding healthcare professional liability, patient consent and data storage. The answers EU Member States have found to these challenges are illustrated in this contribution. In addition, efforts by the EC funded large scale pilot project epSOS concerning cross-border patient summary and ePrescription services are described, notably the ep- SOS approach of framework agreements to address challenges resulting from different legal systems at national level.