3 October 2005
The Telemedicine Alliance has now successfully finished its second phase called TMA-Bridge - A Bridge Towards Coordinated eHealth Implementation in Europe - focusing on eHealth interoperability and mobility aspects of European citizens, and delivered a set relevant reports and recommendations to the European Commission.
The second phase of the TMA focused on building the bridge between the Vision and its realization, and was aimed at promoting the creation of a European eHealth Area, favouring the mobility of citizens and patients in the European Union. To do so, the TMA-Bridge project tackled the barriers to the achievement of a real mobility space for EU citizens, and to facilitating citizen-centred healthcare services. Emphasis was on all echelons of interoperability (such as technical, organisational, social and political) required for the interaction of different health systems.
The general objective of TMA-Bridge was to facilitate the achievement of political harmony for eHealth in Europe, e.g. to:
- To define the most relevant needs for trans-national services
- To provide examples of good practice of eHealth interoperability
- To facilitate the uptake of eHealth in Europe through the study of multi-level Interoperability Challenges (Policy, Social & Organizational and technical frameworks)
- To provide a strategy to policy makers to be informed on these challenges and be furnished with recommendations for implementation to overcome the interoperability hurdles for health systems in Europe
Interoperability was one of the main concerns identified in the 1st phase of TM Alliance. For this reason the emphasis in TMA-Bridge Specific Support Action was based on studying the various frameworks of interoperability identified above. The interoperability approach chosen in the TMA-Bridge was, first, to increase the level of a common understanding on the need for interoperability (important for the proper functioning and implementation of eHealth systems in Europe) and the thesis that it should be applied to eHealth in Europe. Further steps included the identification and analysis of interoperability issues, based on existing literature and information from key stakeholders. Challenges and proposals for overcoming barriers to achieving interoperability were highlighted.
The final result of the project was the delivery of a set of innovative strategic recommendations to the European Commission (available for download in the left column with the other TMA Key Documents) based on a thorough analysis of current European interoperability initiatives and stakeholder expectations for an interoperable eHealth environment in Europe, in particular to facilitate cross-boarder health services.
Last, but not least, thanks to a wide range of dissemination activities, such as publications, web news, and active participation in working groups, workshops, international symposia and exhibitions, the TM Alliance has achieved recognition and has become well known in the eHealth community in Europe.
Looking to the Future...
Although the TM Alliance project, as such is now closed, the partners are still active disseminating the results of the project and continue to be available to the eHealth community and the European Commission, to help, advise, or disseminate information.
This website will nevertheless remain open for the near future in order to permit the eHealth community to access the project’s documentation.
The TMA-Bridge Team would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the partners and contributors that have been involved in this successful project.