High-Level Workshop on eHealth

On June 9, 2010 the High-Level Workshop on eHealth: European Healthcare in a time of Changing Demographics opened in Madrid.

To see the programme please click here.

The High-Level Workshop on eHealth was organised by Atomium – European Institute for Science, Media and Democracy, the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and El País, in order to create a constructive and realistic debate on the current situation of the European Healthcare systems, the future scenarios and the new technologies that eHealth presents in order to meet some of these challenges.

The HLW brought together pre-eminent researchers in Europe, experts on the focus area, representatives from industry, policy makers and media.
The Sharing Session of the event, that took place on the afternoon of the 10th of May, was organised in cooperation with El País to create an Expert Panel Session – the ATOMIUM – EL PAÍS DEBATE- to discuss the outcomes of the event in light of the current situation.

The open-ended report (see pdf above) was the background on which the discussions were based.


Healthcare is a complex domain, where a range of players – providers, practitioners, patients/consumers, payers, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare product manufacturers, and others – interact to deliver and use the public and commercial goods of ‘healthcare’.

The organisation of healthcare varies considerably across countries in Europe, but all share common challenges and objectives to satisfy future population needs, especially those emerging from an ageing society. Current trends in life expectancy and cost of health care per capita as well as changing expectations are putting a lot of stress on our current systems.

This is particularly pertinent in light of the recent budget cuts announced by most European governments. How do we coordinate this transition?


The objective of the workshop was to explore and analyze the barriers and possible governance solutions involved in making the transition to a modern healthcare system taking advantage of the new technologies developed by eHealth.

The future of the European healthcare system, where equality and university are not only important values but necessities, will be one of the bigger challenges facing our continent in the near future. Experts on this issue from university, businesses, government and NGOs discussed this issue for the Report on eHealth: European Healthcare in a Time of Changing Demographics.

There was an agreement that there are two transitions that need to occur in the current healthcare system; the first is the transition to a modern integrated health (life) system, the second the implementation and deployment of eHealth technologies. What the modern healthcare system should look like and what it needs to respond to will obviously be different in different countries but the need to share information pro-actively across Europe and create a clear long-term vision at a European level were highlighted as imperative.

Panel Composition

During the presentation of the results of the High-Level Workshop the expert panel outlined the real role that Europe can play in this field strongly lead by national and regional governments, the impact of the current economic crisis in this transition and the role that industry can play.

Moderated by the Deputy Director of El Pais, Ms Berna Gonzalez Harbour, the Expert Panel included:
– Mr Pablo Rivero Corte, Director General de la Agencia de Calidad del Sistema National de Salud, Ministerio de Sanidad e Politica Social;
– Mrs Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines, Member of the European Parliament;
– Mr Jan Mühlfeit, Chairman of Microsoft Europe
– Dr. Carmen Martín Muñoz, Head the Health department of the Spanish Red Cross;
– Professor José Luis Monteagudo, Head of the Scientific Coordination of the HLW and Report, Unidad de Investigación en Telemedicina y e-Salud, Instituto de Salud Carlos III;
– Mr Santiago Moreno, Director General of Vodafone Foundation Spain;
– Ms Erika Widegren, Executive Director Atomium – European Institute for Science, Media and Democracy.

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