TMA-Bridge represented at MEDICA 2004
|TMA-Bridge represented at MEDICA 2004|
9 December 2004
The Telemedicine Alliance and the TMA-Bridge project were recently represented at the MEDICA, the World's Largest Forum for In-Patient and Out-Patient Medicine.
TMA Vision and Challenges to Realization
The opening session on eHealth in Europe of one of the two major congresses, Medica-Media, at this event, saw a presentation on TMA-Bridge, amongst 5 other invited speakers, including representation from the EC’s Information Society Technologies Directorate (DG INFSO).
In his talk, titled “European and Global Dimension - Telemedicine-Alliance (ESA, WHO, ITU)”, Dr. Kass summarised the findings of the first phase, where a vision of citizen-centred healthcare was formulated, and which identified the most serious roadblocks to eHealth implementation in Europe. A key conclusion of the work underlined the issue of Interoperability, which was identified by many key experts interviewed across the continent as being the most critical challenge and barrier to eHealth implementation. If the various healthcare systems and services cannot sensibly connect with each other, then the advantages for the citizen that could be achieved via eHealth cannot be realized. Interoperability: The Critical Issue Facing eHealth Implementation
Thus, the main thrust of the work of TMA-Bridge was chosen to be in the critical arena of Interoperability. In line with the holistic approach of the TMA, it was decided to look at all aspects or frameworks of interoperability, so that in addition to the technical basis, the organisational & social, and policy frameworks, all of which must function in order that eHealth has a chance of being successfully implemented, are also addressed.
In keeping with the mandate and the international nature and strengths of the TMA partners, the general focus of their work is on the difficult issue of trans-national interoperability. It is well understood by all that if this issue is not adequately addressed at the early stages of development of national eHealth systems, it will be much more costly to address it at a later stage, not to mention that Europe may lose its chance to establish a lead in this potentially lucrative domain.