With e-health applications playing a growing role in a doctor’s practices in Europe, about 80% of European Union (EU) general practitioners increasingly store and send patients’ data like lab reports electronically.
According to a pan-European survey on electronic services in healthcare by European Commission, 87% of European doctors use a computer, of which 48% have a broadband connection.
In using such eHealth applications, doctors and medical services have already improved healthcare throughout the region, as it leads to more efficient administration and shorter waiting times for patients, reports ePractice.
The survey, however, observed significant country differences as regards the availability and use of information and communication technology (ICT). In addition, the survey suggested the further development of certain areas such as tele-monitoring, electronic prescriptions and cross-border medical services.
The commission is planning to make recommendations on cross-border interoperability of electronic health record systems. Besides, it is also planning to launch, in several countries, a project on cross-border e-Health services for patients travelling within the EU.
The survey found that lack of training and technical support as major barriers posing for doctors not using ICT.
In order to spread e-Health, the doctors under the survey asked for more ICT in medical education, increased training and better electronic networking among healthcare practitioners, who are willing to share clinical information.