Coverage from World of Health IT 2010, Barcelona

The European Commission has called for a change in the "mentality" that leads to thousands of small scale pilots being run in eHealth.

Speaking in Barcelona, at the World of Health IT conference and exhibition, Zoran Stan&#269i&#269, deputy director general of the European Commission’s DG INFSO, said that while the Commission is committed to support for eHealth in the future, smaller pilots need to be stopped.

Stan&#269i&#269 said: “We need to think in terms of new mechanisms and instruments to foster innovation and deployment rather than just relying on small pilots. In order to do this, we need the strong political commitment, which has to be driven by deployment and a clear leader framework.

“At the same time, the prevailing mentality on eHealth, which has resulted in thousands of small scale pilot,s is uncertain and should be stopped. We have to see how to bring together all different Stan&#269i&#269keholders and boost our activities in this domain even more.”

The European Commission signed a declaration that committed member Stantes to a more concrete eHealth strategy earlier this week. Stan&#269i&#269 went on to say it wants all industry players to work together.

He praised the “silent heroes” of eHealth and commended the small and medium size enterprises that are “holding on” in the difficult eHealth market.

“They take a chance and a risk on a daily basis, and very often they do not see how fast this spark is growing," he said. "So my message to them is ‘don’t be discouraged’. We are working on making the market more innovation friendly, transparent and defragmented and SME’s can only benefit from that."

Stan&#269i&#269 einforced the EC’s commitment to eHealth by saying it has financially supported and contributed to more than 400 projects and increased its spending from roughly €10m annually 20 years ago to more than €100m today.

Stan&#269i&#269 added: “E-Health is not just a market of its own; it can boost and revive the innovation in traditionally very strong European health industries such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices.”