The European Union Legal Framework on E-Health, Telemedicine, and Privacy

The European Union Legal Framework on E-Health, Telemedicine, and Privacy

Pedro Pina (Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9978-6.ch072
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Electronic Health Services And Data Privacy

Telemedicine, e-health, telehealth or health telematics are terms often used as synonyms which were coined to describe the provision of healthcare and medical services at a distance. According to the World Health Organization’s broad definition of telemedicine, such activities consists in the

delivery of health care services, where distance is a critical factor, by all health care professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health care providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities. (1998, 10)

However, in a narrow sense, the term ‘telemedicine’ regards only the provision of clinical services at a distance by the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another through electronic communications regarding the improvement of a patient’s clinical health status. The terms e-health and health-telematics are umbrella concepts that cover all the activities involving the provision of remote health care services, clinical or not – like the ones carried out by nurses, social workers or therapists –, tele-education for health or telematics for health services management or health research.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Healthcare: Health services provided by health professionals to patients to assess, maintain or restore their state of health, including the prescription, dispensation and provision of medicinal products and medical devices.

Health Professional: A doctor of medicine, a nurse responsible for general care, a dental practitioner, a midwife or a pharmacist, or another professional exercising activities in the healthcare sector which are restricted to a regulated profession, or a person considered to be a health professional according to the legislation of the Member State of treatment.

Informational Self-Determination: The capacity of the individual to determine the disclosure and the use of his/her personal data, to control and to determine what others can, at every moment, know about his/her respect.

Medical Records: All the documents containing data, assessments and information of any kind on a patient’s situation and clinical development throughout the care process.

Telemedicine: The delivery of clinical services at a distance by the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another through electronic communications regarding the improvement of a patient’s clinical health status.

Data Concerning Health: Any information which relates to the physical or mental health of an individual, or to the provision of health services to the individual.

E-Health: Umbrella concept that covers all the activities involving the provision of remote health care services, clinical or not – like the ones carried out by nurses, social workers or therapists –, tele-education for health, telematics for health services management or health research.

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