Whether it is for business, leisure, visiting friends and family or education, Europeans are frequent travellers – making hundreds of millions of trips abroad each year. This sort of mobility – of people, products and services – is enshrined in European Treaties. It is good for economies and good for everyone.
But one area in particular still causes headaches. Getting healthcare while travelling can still be tricky for many Europeans, despite a long-standing legal framework for healthcare provision across Member States.
The situation got better with the launch of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), entitling European citizens to equal access to healthcare in another Member State if needed.
But EHIC’s arrival in 2004 has proven to be no silver bullet. Awareness of its benefits is still quite low among Europeans. Meanwhile, support systems – administrative and technological – have struggled to keep pace with growing leisure travel and labour mobility.
But European initiatives are keen to do something about that. Two projects developing IT-based services for cross-border healthcare provision, TEN4Health and NetC@rds eEHIC ID, have agreed on common European messaging standards that link hospitals and other healthcare providers with health insurance organisations, and with national healthcare IT infrastructure.
The common web services agreed by the EU-funded projects are specified in WSDL, a web-services description language, and messaging is communicated through XML, a software mark-up language for documents containing structured information, like healthcare records.
The agreement is considered a major step towards full interoperability of web services throughout the European healthcare sector.
"With this agreement, we are paving the way for a European standard supporting the necessary communication and data exchange processes for cross-border healthcare in Europe," commented an EU official close to the projects.
It means if an Austrian or German breaks his leg on a jet ski in Italy or the Netherlands, he can get equivalent healthcare to what he might expect in his home country. And now the healthcare provider can reliably and quickly determine that the patient has valid health insurance, making reimbursements faster and less painful.
TEN4Health and NetC@rds are both co-funded by the EU’s eTEN programme for market validation and initial deployment respectively.
Christian Nielsen | alfa
Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin
24.01.2017 | Carlos III University of Madrid
Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine