Making solid and up-to-date health information available for evidence based health policies
To make the most of health spending and investments at EU and national level, pro-active policy and decision making should be based on thorough research outcomes. This research should be derived from solid and up-to-date data resulting in a good and timely understanding of the dynamics of population health and health system performance. Health information systems play an important role in ensuring that reliable and timely health information is available for operational and strategic decision making, both inside and outside the health sector.
Collaboration and exchange of knowledge and expertise across Europe is key for preparedness and for addressing the major health challenges we face. The EU Health Information Unit facilitates the exchange of health information across Europe by leading and participating in major European projects in health information (see project list below). Over the years, the Unit has built its expertise in European data governance mechanisms and has created a wide network across Europe. With exchange as its core activity, and the set-up of the European Health Information portal, the Unit is shaping the future of Europe with regards to the secondary use of health data for research and/or policy making.
The EU Health Information Unit coordinated the Joint Action on Health Information called InfAct (2018-2021) and its predecessor BRIDGE Health project (BRidging Information and Data Generation for Evidence-based Health policy and research, 2015-2017). The results of both initiatives contributed towards streamlined health information activities, reduced data collection burden and worked for a sustainable and robust data collection in Europe that facilitates and supports country knowledge, health research and policy making. This is being taken forward by the Population Health Information Research Infrastructure for COVID-19 (PHIRI, started in November 2020). Coordinated by Sciensano, PHIRI facilitates and generates the best available evidence for research on health and well-being of populations as impacted by COVID-19.
In addition to the mentioned projects, the EU Health Information Unit also leads tasks within other EU initiatives. Regarding the European Health Data Space, for example, the Unit shaping the future of health data exchange in Europe by leading various activities in the Joint Action Towards the European Health Data Space (TEHDAS). In Healthy Cloud, the Unit contributes to defining the Strategic Agenda for the European Health Research and Innovation Cloud. Furthermore, in the BeYond COVID (BY COVID, 2021-2024) project, the Unit works together with 53 European partners, on creating a framework for making data on SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious diseases open and accessible for everyone.
- EGI-ACE — Advanced Computing for European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)
- TEHDAS — Joint Action Towards the European Health Data Space
- unCoVer — Unravelling data for rapid evidence-based response to COVID-19
- PHIRI — Population Health Information Research Infrastructure
- BY COVID – Beyond-COVID
- Healthy Cloud