The final report of the 'Business Models for eHealth study' funded by the ICT for Health unit of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Information Society and Media was released on 15 May 2010.
The study explored business models for the implementation of value-creating and sustainable eHealth systems in Europe. It was coordinated by an independent non-profit research organisation named RAND Europe, in partnership with an IT services and business consultancy private company.
The final report presents the analysis of the study. It also introduces a set of operational guidelines and policy recommendations for the European Commission and other stakeholders, having as a first objective to improve through eHealth the overall quality and efficiency of the health services; Its second main objective is to consolidate the eHealth services in a mature market where European industry can play a leading role via the provision of innovative technological and organisational solutions.
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According to the document, senior management and staff involvement are the key aspects to make sure that business models "do not fall short of reflecting the interactions of those actors who are to use them in their day-to-day professional activities."
Public policy actions need to support the development of 'value-creating business models' for eHealth, the study remarks. National healthcare authorities, health professional associations, healthcare delivery organisations, the industry and the research community need to share perspectives on applicable best practice and experience.
The authors furthermore identified specific public policy options targeted to the European Commission, which is invited to act as the coordination actor for:
The European eHealth market was estimated at â‚¬14.2 million in 2008 and is projected to reach â‚¬15.6 million by 2012, with a compounded annual growth rate of 2.9Â %. eHealth is one of the six market areas in the European Commission's Lead Market Initiative.