The Estonian Government this week approved of the package of regulations which paves the way to the introduction of digital health records.

In a press release issued today Estonia’s Minister of Social Affairs Maret Maripuu said that the regulations adopted on Thursday will create preconditions for the gradual transition to e-health.

“Now it depends on the service providers, the permits issued by the Data Protection Inspectorate and on technical preparedness, when exactly could the transition realistically take place,” explained the minister.

Estonia’s e-health developments focus on two main areas: clinical systems for doctors and the introduction of a national electronic prescribing system.

In May, Estonia’s first patient portal was launched, initially linked to East Tallinn Central Hospital.

Estonia’s national e-health strategy calls for the full implementation of these programmes by 2013.