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  • EU draft health document has stakeholders gathering to respond

    Earlier this week, the European Commission and its independent Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in health launched a public consultation on its preliminary opinion, with results due in from stakeholders by 16 December. 

    The opinion explores the implications of Disruptive Innovation for health and health care in Europe.

  • Time to get clinical over much-needed guidelines

    Treating patients is often not an easy task – difficult decisions need to be made, often in the face of uncertainty.

    But clinical guidelines exist to help, including recommendations aimed at optimising patient care. They are based on existing evidence, systematically reviewed, but because there are so many, it can even then often be difficult to assess which are the best.

  • People’s’ health-data website launches in Europe

    Wednesday 25 November saw the launch of a new website that aims to run ‘citizen-owned personal data cooperatives’ to protect personal health data while allowing its use for vital health research. 

    The MIDATA cooperatives will enable patients to gather all their different data in one secure place, allowing them to decide to share it with physicians or to participate in research.

  • ‘Thanks’ for progress on lung cancer, but more is needed

    Tomorrow (the fourth Thursday in November, 26 November) is the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States as citizens show their appreciation for a good harvest and for having food on the table.

    But it seems that the very first Thanksgiving was actually celebrated on 21 February 1621 (rather than in the autumn, as it is today) when a group of starving pilgrims were saved at the last minute by the arrival of a ship – The Lyon – which had sailed from Ireland loaded with food.

  • Health security is as vital as havens from terrorism

    Everyone wants to feel secure, and the Brussels ‘lockdown’ over the weekend and the past few days has thrown that into sharp relief.  Closed schools, closed metros, closed shops and almost-empty bars have been in stark contrast a heavy army and police presence alongside more news crews than tourists in the city’s Grand’Place. 

    But security amidst the very real threat of terrorism isn’t the only arena in which it saves lives – health security is also vital in a Europe of 500 million potential patients across 28 member states. The European Commission’s Health Security Committee (HSC), which collects data on threats and risks from EU agencies, lists among its priority issues ‘detection and communication’, stating that ‘preparedness requires timely detection and rapid distribution of information to relevant stakeholders’.

  • Focus group tackles better outcomes for EU cancer patients

    The Brussels-based European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) has published a series of articles in an international online health magazine as part of the work of its EU Consensus Group on Clinical Trials.

    The articles have appeared in a special edition of Public Health Genomics under the title Getting Personal: The Future of Medicine and Clinical Trials.

  • Why all vital medical data cannot be anonymous

    Talks are hotting up in Europe over data protection and the use of personal information in medical research. And, despite MEP Jan Philipp Albrechts recent assertion that the European Parliaments position on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – currently being discussed under the Trilogue of the Parliament, European Council and Commission – allows more breadth for research, multi-stakeholder groups remain concerned.

    One of these, the Brussels-based European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM), is of the view that, in certain areas, the Parliaments position is not the correct one.

  • Data protection talks must make special case for research

    The Data Protection negotiations are currently in full swing within the ‘trilogue’ of the European Council, Commission and Parliament. The Brussels-based European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) and many other stakeholders are concerned that the proposed Data Protection Regulation may go too far, be too cautious and thus block the carrying-out and sharing of vital medical research.

    This would have a huge, negative knock-on effect on the well-being of the EU’s millions of citizens. We are in dangerous territory for the future of health. It is clear that patients believe it is vitally important to share their data for research. And there are already solid and effective safeguards in place to protect the public in these circumstances, including the obligation to submit usage to ethics committees.

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