€3.6 million in EU funding for digital health infrastructure

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Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly affirmed Ireland’s commitment to delivery of the European Health Data Space (EHDS) when he announced an investment in digital health infrastructure.

Stephen Donnelly
Stephen Donnelly

The EHDS will be the first common European data space delivered under European Data Strategy. It is designed to increase access to and support the flow of health data for the benefit of patients, healthcare providers and researchers.

The Department of Health has been awarded €3.6 million in EU funding to support establishment of a Health Data Access Body (HDAB). The HDAB will connect researchers and policymakers with anonymised health datasets enabling insights which will improve the delivery healthcare services in Ireland.

The grant-funded project has a total budget of €6 million (€2.4 million national contribution and €3.6 million in EU funding) and will be delivered in collaboration between the Department of Health, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Health Research Board (HRB).

Minister Donnelly said:

“I am delighted to announce that my department has been awarded EU funding of €3.6m for EHDS implementation. This funding decision enables us to develop the infrastructure needed for a health data access service in Ireland. Better analysis of health data facilitates powerful insights into how services are delivered nationally and supports research on new innovative treatments.”

The EHDS will:

  • Provide faster and easier access to personal electronic health records in Ireland and across the EU;
  • Empower individuals with increased digital access and control of personal health data;
  • Develop a secure, electronic platform for healthcare providers to access patient data across EU for the purposes of improved patient care.

EU member state ambassadors have agreed on the European Council’s mandate for new regulation which will enable the establishment of the EHDS. Discussions have begun between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission to agree on the progression of this regulation.

To support implementation of the EHDS, The Department of Health is progressing a national Health Information Bill.