The European Commission’s ICT for Health unit has released a report from its November ‘procuring for health benefits’ telehealth workshop.

Determining the state of the art and lessons learned in e-health procurement were the focus of the workshop, with particular regard to deploying telemedicine services. The workshop was run as part of the World of Health IT e-health conference, held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The European Commission says it plans to use the findings of the workshop to inform their planned development of large-scale telemedicine deployments in 2009. The findings will also be incorporated into a "guide to procurement" for telemedicine.

Focusing on the perspective of professional users, the workshop looked at concrete, routine experiences and the challenges encountered in daily endeavours to improve patient experiences and the quality of care, whilst simultaneously servicing the strategic and efficiency goals of the users’ hospitals.

The workshop examined different approaches followed across Europe for the large-scale procurement for telemedicine equipment and services. This included examining the approach of NHS Connecting for Health in England, the approach taken by Northern Ireland, scaling up local developments in Catalonia, and creating an electronic marketplace with local call-off in Odense, Denmark.

Topics discussed included: why, and under what framework conditions, do physicians and nurses support investment in innovative e-health and telemedicine?

A 29-page document, prepared by the consulting firms TanJent and empirica includes a list of workshop participants and can be downloaded here.