A consultation was launched by the European Commission to help prepare a new EU Information Society strategy, to follow on from the current strategy. The initial Information Society strategy, known as the i2010 initiative, was first launched in 2005 and is set to expire at the end of 2009. The aim of the i2010 strategy was to create a single European information space, designed to strengthen a competitive internal market, increase investment and innovation in ICT research and better public services through the use of ICT. Identified as one of the key areas of focus, eHealth is to help in providing better public services. To supplement during the past four years, the EU has published a number of e-health studies and reports to support the objective as well as funding research in the area. However, the European Commission says that Europe collectively needs to ‘raise its game’ with a new digital agenda ‘to meet the emerging challenges, to create a world beating infrastructure and unlock the potential of the internet as a driver of growth.’
The new consultation continues to consider e-health as vital part of Europe’s Information Society’s strategy. The consultation period allows any person or organisation to contribute in any of the official EU languages and will close on the 9th October 2009. Contributions will be analysed and a summary of the outcome will be published on the i2010 website towards the end of the year.