HINE network builds on HIST study to anticipate ICT needs in European health care market

Luxembourg 10 April 2002During 1999-2000, the Deloitte & Touche Health Centre of Excellence was commissioned by the European Directorate General for the Information Society with an analysis of the emerging European health telematics market, known as the Health Information Society Technology (HIST) study. As such, HIST is providing a review of all available statistics with regard to the use of ICT products and services in European health care. In a second phase running from 2001 to 2003, Deloitte & Touche, in collaboration with its British partner Silicon Bridge Research, has set up the Health Information Network Europe (HINE) project to meet the gaps in the European health ICT market, as unveiled in the HIST study. At the recent Telemedicine & Telecare International Trade Fair, held in Luxembourg, Véronique Lessens explained what HINE is all about.

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The HINE project was launched in tight co-operation with the European Commission's DG Information Society to create a permanent information knowledge based network and to develop a roadmap to the future based on solid market data which are collected in systematic reports. Deloitte & Touche representative Véronique Lessens insisted that the HINE project is market driven and is being funded through member subscriptions from both industrial players and health care organisations.

The HINE objectives are twofold. The network wants to anticipate which systems will be used in health care and how information and communication technologies (ICT) can contribute to their effectiveness. The second goal will be to provide information on products, services, tools, guidelines, accompanying measures, and best practices, either existing or to be developed, to realise the envisioned ICT implementation in the health sector, according to the speaker.

To this end, the HINE community network will function as a permanent practical market information exchange service to measure health ICT status, trends, and determinants throughout the European Union; to facilitate the planning, monitoring, and evaluation of public authority policies, programmes and actions; to offer appropriate information to health executives assisting them to develop their ICT strategies in the long run; and to provide the supplier industry with relevant key information to adapt to the market evolution for their product positioning and development.

Véronique Lessens pointed out that HINE aims to generate and stimulate an ongoing dialogue between all health parties, including the ICT industry, health professionals, public authorities, patient groups, and citizens. In this regard, an annual conference will also be organised. Initially, HINE will address seven specific country markets which are France, Germany, Belgium, The United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark, and the Czech Republic. In a later stage, the network will be extended to cover other important health care markets in Europe.

The speaker concluded that HINE is based on the continuum of care model with a strong focus on wellness and prevention. For more details with regard to the HIST study, you can consult the following VMW articles:


Leslie Versweyveld

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