Within Europe and globally, national health systems face similar issues. Thus, cooperation is a powerful tool for supporting countries in achieving their health objectives, and fostering the development and competitiveness of a growing eHealth industry. A more structured approach to integrated, interoperable eHealth systems and services will be a great step forward. Work towards development of such an approach. has increasing support from European authorities and stakeholders.
To take fuller advantage of the potential of eHealth, the European Commission published its Action Plan for a European eHealth Area in April 2004. It comprises three target areas:
eHealth also forms an important part of the European Union’s new strategic framework “i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment”. It focuses on the three crucial areas of a European health information space, innovation in all eHealth initiatives, and enabling greater access, involvement and inclusion of Europe’s citizens and other stakeholders in healthcare provision through electronic means.
The WHO followed suit in 2005 by agreeing on a long-term strategic plan for eHealth.