The internet has experienced an information explosion on cancer and related issues. In 2006, ‘cancer’ was even the third-most searched-for word on Google News. As an increasing number of people search for cancer information online, social websites become more and more relevant as a source of information. However, finding accurate and reliable cancer information is crucial. Especially Wikipedia is a key player in this context.
This is why Cancer Research UK, the leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research, has started efforts to improve the quality of cancer information available on Wikipedia. The organization’s primary goal is to save as many cancer patients as possible. First steps to clarify the huge amount of information available have been made with the help of the Wikimedia’s UK branch through advice and training. So far, the edits made by the Cancer Research team have been well received by the Wikipedia community.
NOPA – the WHO European database on nutrition, obesity and physical activity has been created in cooperation with national health ministries and the European Commission in order to provide information on national policies regarding these issues and stimulate policy-makers. Today, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) present the greatest threat to health in the WHO European Region. The database aims at assisting decision-makers in combating NCDs by identifying gaps and needs in data collection and the development of policy.
John Dalli, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, was keynote speaker at TeleHealth on 1st March 2011 in Hanover. He stated what great importance TeleHealth has on the health care sector as it could reduce health care costs and also empower “sufferers of chronic diseases to better manage their own health”. But he also describes the still existing challenges Europe is facing concerning TeleHealth. Read his speech for more information.
The eHealth Action Plan was affirmed in 2004 and had several targets it wanted to reach by 2010. These targets are documented in the final progress report which has been published recently.
There have been and no doubt there will be more challenges in the future but a lot has already been achieved concerning eHealth and “Europe is the global leader in nation-wide implementation of eHealth solutions”. Not only the member states of the European Union were in involved in the actions but also Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. E-Prescriptions, teleHealth and eHealth infrastructure are not merely policy debates but have been implemented to a certain extent or are on the agenda for the near future.
E-health solutions are becoming more and more visible in our day to day life. Telephone companies are already offering a service that reminds one to take the medicine. New technologies are being developed, like measuring blood pressure or sugar level and monitoring systems.
Very soon the E-Health solutions will contribute not only to a serious reduction of costs and patients time, but most of all to improvement of quality and quantity of health care. In an ageing Europe, where more and more citizens live with chronic diseases, it can prove very useful, stresses this recent study.
This part of the industry sector is already worth over 15 billion Euros, in Europe only (!). It will be successively increasing, as by the year 2050 nearly one third of Europeans will be over 65.
The E-Health industry will play a critical role in the European Union’s digital agenda and innovation union, as well as in the European Commission’s new Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing.
The 3rd Innovation Day conference hosted by ETNO (European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association) called for stronger cooperation between all stakeholders in the European Union. Leading telecom operators appealed to remove legal and organizational barriers and accelerate take up of E-Health by medical communities and users.