As was reported in October 2010, the new wiki website Health in Europe: Information and Data Interface (Heidi) is designed to be a comprehensive search tool for European health information. Currently, Heidi is in the test and pilot phase, but when fully operational it will provide up-to-date data on a broad range of health issues free of charge.
Set up by the European Commission, the Directorate General (DG) for Health and Consumers, the content of Heidi is to be updated on a voluntary basis by experts and health authorities, agencies and institutions in EU countries. Topics covered include health status, determinants, diseases, health systems, trends, and institutional and policy aspects. Users can either search for specific keywords using the search box, or browse from the Keywords list A-Z or Contents page and find information about rare diseases or learn about the cancer burden in Europe.
For health experts, Heidi provides a tool for sharing, comparing and developing information across Europe. Ultimately, it could be used to help develop evidence-based policies to improve the health of Europeans.
As a dynamic platform, Heidi enables users to correct or adjust existing information quickly and give feedback of its usefulness. Although it is freely available to anyone to read, the access to edit and update information is reserved for health experts recognised in their field at European level. For this, Heidi is looking for health experts or people otherwise linked - through their organisation, for example - to a specific health field, and who would like to contribute to the site.
Currently, Heidi is still a work in progress, since although the technical system is functioning, the content still needs to be refined and made more user-friendly. During this test phase, the editors of Heidi are looking for user feedback and suggestions regarding Heidi's navigation, usefulness and the topics covered.
Source: This text is based on an article by John Brosky first published in EUROPEAN HOSPITAL issue 2/2010.