In a nutshell:
The EU aims at protecting the wellbeing of the population, safeguarding the rights of people with mental and neurological health problems and establishing accessible and affordable services, while at the same time implementing eHealth services that reduce the cost of treatment. Even though the proportion of the European population that suffers from brain related disorders increases every year, it is estimated that only about 50% of the suffering population receive professional help and treatment. These illnesses cause distress and disability and are not developmentally or socially normative, which lead to reduced employment opportunities, lack of control over one’s life, poor social relations and increasing welfare costs.
It is estimated that brain injuries, neurological and mental health disorders have broader economic consequences. Their cumulative global impact in terms of lost economic output will amount to US$ 16.3 trillion (approx. €12.05 trillion) between 2011 and 2030, according to the World Health Organisation. For example, it is estimated that for 2010 the global cost of dementia (of which Alzheimer's is the major cause), including medical costs and cost of formal and informal care, was US$ 604 billion (approx. €445 billion) – about 1% of the global gross domestic product.
The European Commission, for the years to come, has set a key priority to empower people with mental and neurological illnesses and brain injuries (e.g. strokes). EU policies in the field could be organised around four axes: develop per se activities for the diagnosis and treatment of there illnesses; provide training to cultivate relevant skills in the health care professionals; reduce suffering from functional limitations; improve social networks and support. The Commission perceives that eHealth and the broader application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) could be used as valuable levers to promote high-level services, to increase the reach of these services and to make them more cost-efficient.
A significant number of projects related to mental illnesses, brain injuries and neurological disorders have been initiated at the European landscape, with the support of the European Commission. The projects address a broad range of disorders from depression to neuro-degenerative disorders, epilepsy, autism and brain traumatisms, proposing solutions based on predictive modelling or on personal health monitoring systems. You can find an overview here.
In collaboration with ePractice.eu, the European Commission (DG CONNECT) organises a conference under the title ‘eHealth and the Brain - ICT for Neuropsychiatric Health’ on 5 November 2013, to inform a wide but targeted audience about what is being done by and around mental and neurological health related projects. The aim of the conference is also to engage practitioners to work with Members State health authorities and the Commission to use and further develop lessons learnt and to disseminate knowledge and treatment practices.
Event Topics & Questions:
The desired outcome from the conference is to impact on a number of levels:
- Share and improve dissemination of the projects' outcomes and wider reuse of the projects' tools and methods;
- Strengthen effective leadership and governance for mental and neurological health;
- Promote best practices; Comprehensive, integrated and responsive mental and neurological health and social care services that can be used in community-based settings;
- Implement strategies for promotion and prevention in mental and neurological health;
- Strengthen information systems, evidence and research for mental and neurological health.
Suggested conference topics include but are not limited to:
- What lessons have we learned from the finished and ongoing projects on the field?
- How difficult a challenge for health practitioners poses the fast ageing of the European population?
- How can ICT-led technologies improve treatment of mental and brain illnesses?
- Could we head for a pan-European space of eHealth services for mental and neurological illnesses?
- How should public administrations participate in relevant projects in order to enhance the processes?
- What barriers should be removed to further promote ICT-led treatment of mental and brain-related illnesses?
- Can a patient-empowering approach lead to economic benefits, besides the health benefits?
- How is it possible to guarantee equal treatment and engagement of patients in mental health related projects?
- Could mHealth be a catalyst for better service delivery and treatment in mental and brain-related illnesses?
This event anticipates robust participation by eGovernment experts, practitioners and stakeholders, across the public and private sectors, such as CIOs and other C-suite executives, civil servants, representatives of governmental authorities, academics, environmentalists and IT professionals. The event’s agenda will include presentations from high-level speakers from the EU and Member States administrations, international bodies and the private sector.
To register for this event, please create an ePractice account if you are not a current member. Subsequently, kindly login and once you are in this page, simply click on the yellow button on your right hand side that reads Participate in this event to activate your registration.
ePractice members can simply login and click on the same page as described above.
If you do not wish or are unable to register via ePractice, kindly fill in the manual registration form that you will find under Presentation & Documents below and send it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with a cc to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submission of summaries/PPT slides:
To be considered for a speaker placement for this event, kindly submit a summary of one page and three PPT slides of your intended presentation to email@example.com with a cc to firstname.lastname@example.org. Regarding your summary, please download and complete the "Proposal form" that may be found in the presentation and documents section below. Final presentations should not exceed 7 power point slides and should be concise and factual.
A few selected speakers will set the scene with a 15 minute presentation and the rest of the programme will be dedicated to roundtable discussions and networking purposes.
- Submission of summaries/ presentations: 20 October 2013
- Speaker confirmation: 25 October 2013
- Submission of final presentations: 2 November 2013
- Event date: 5 November 2013
- Publication of workshop proceedings: 16 November 2013
 European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Consumers (2010), “Fact sheets from European projects related to mental health and well-being in older people”, Supporting documents for the EU Thematic conference: “Mental Health and Well-being in Older People - Making it Happen”, 19th- 20th April 2010, Madrid.
 World Health Organisation (2013), Draft comprehensive mental health action plan 2013–2020, Sixty-sixth world health assembly, Provisional agenda item 13.3, May.
 Alzheimer’s Disease International (2010), World Alzheimer Report 2010: The Global Economic Impact of Dementia, 21 September 2010.