EP and Council negotiators agreed on the creation of a European Health Data Space to ease access to personal health data and to boost secure sharing for the public interest. The provisional political agreement on a European Health Data Space (EHDS), reached early on Friday by Parliament and the Belgian Presidency of the Council, outlines that patients will be able to access their personal health data electronically across the EU’s different healthcare systems. The bill also gives health professionals access to their patients’ data, based strictly on what is necessary for a given treatment, and patients will also be able to download their health record free of charge.

Electronic health records (EHR) would include patient summaries, electronic prescriptions, medical imagery and laboratory results (so-called primary use). Each country would establish national health data access services based on the MyHealth@EU platform. The law would also create a European electronic health record exchange format, and outline rules on data quality, security and the interoperability of EHR systems that will be monitored by national market surveillance authorities.

Data-sharing for the common good with safeguards
The EHDS would allow anonymised or pseudonymised health data, including health records, clinical trials, pathogens, health claims and reimbursements, genetic data, public health registry information, wellness data and information on healthcare resources, expenditure and financing, to be shared for public interest purposes (so-called secondary use). These reasons would include research, innovation, policy-making, education and patient safety purposes.

The sharing of data for advertising or assessing insurance requests will be prohibited. During negotiations, MEPs ensured that secondary use would not be allowed concerning decisions on labour markets (including job offers), lending conditions and other types of discrimination or profiling.

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Source: European Parliament

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