eHealth: European Healthcare in a Time of Changing Demographics

June 2010

Report of the ‘High-Level Workshop on eHealth’. The workshop was organised by Atomium – European Institute for Science, Media and Democracy together with the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and El País in order to create a constructive and realistic debate on the current situation of the European Healthcare systems, the future scenarios and the new technologies that eHealth presents in order to meet some of these challenges.


Changing demographics and changes in the pattern of healthcare needs (from emergency to chronic) is challenging our current healthcare systems. In order to respond to the inefficiencies of the system and ensure sustainable and quality healthcare in the future we need to move towards a new model of healthcare. Studies show that this transition is feasible from a technological and economic perspective but requires purposeful steering by key stakeholders in society as well as regions and states. There is a growing perception of the need for coordinated efforts in EU regarding implementation in order to rationalize and to improve the overall process, i.e. to avoid duplication and fragmentation risk and to facilitate systems interoperability.

This Report, prepared for the High-Level Worksop on eHealth, wants to offer a comprehensive vision on the future of eHealth and the European Healthcare sector in the context of changing demographics. The content is directed to support a debate on basic questions concerning what a modern healthcare system will look like in the future, how it can be achieved and the role of eHealth in that transition. Focus will be placed on understanding the challenges and opportunities associated with the governance of large-scale transitions. Key governance issues, specific to certain technologies as well as more general in nature, are identified.

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