EU plans to cut unneeded medical tests with data health plan

pharmafile | May 3, 2022 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

The EC has announced plans to make health data easier to access for patients, medics, regulators, and researchers, to improve diagnoses, cut unnecessary costs from duplication of medical tests and boost medicine research.

The EU document, seen by Reuters, outlines the EU executive’s plans for a European health data space which Brussels estimates would lead to large savings and economics gains of more than ten billion euros ($10.51 billion) in ten years.

According to the document, EU patients spend 1.4 billion euros every year on unnecessary medical images alone. It also estimates that one in ten X-rays or ultrasound tests are not actually needed because they are usually duplications of existing valid images.

The document also stated that wider use of easily accessible electronic prescriptions is also estimated to lead to large savings, through reducing errors in dispensing medicines. Many states still use paper prescriptions. The increase in unneeded tests and prescribed drugs is caused mostly by problems in accessing health data, as health information is often not accessible to patients themselves.

“People cannot always easily access their health data electronically, and if they want to consult doctors in more than one hospital or medical centre, they often cannot share the data with other health professionals,” the document said.

The EC has proposed a solution and said that the problem could be addressed by making data more accessible to patients through the creation of databases which are freely accessible online.

Lina Adams

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