Continua Alliance to help Denmark with telemedicine standards
The homeland of Hans Christian Andersen, Tivoli Gardens and Hamlet is considered one of Europe's leaders in telemedicine. Now Denmark is relying upon the Continua Health Alliance to make sure that effort follows a uniform set of standards.
Officials at Continua, the Beaverton, Ore.-based non-profit organization focused on end-to-end, plug-and-play connectivity for personal health devices and services, say Denmark will be using Continua's design guidelines to develop an "Action Plan for Telemedicine." That plan will establish reference architectures and national standards for health IT "in areas including the secure collection, transmission and storage of personal health data from patients’ homes, sharing medical documents and images, and the management of health records, medical appointments and other related information."
[See also: Continua expands its global reach]
“Denmark already leads the world in its national telemedicine program. With the adoption of Continua’s Guidelines, Denmark has become the first country to establish national standards for interoperability of personal health technologies," said Chuck Parker, Continua's executive director. "This is adoption on an unprecedented scale and marks the beginning of a new era in Denmark’s healthcare system.”
“Our partnership with Denmark validates Continua’s mission to develop a global ecosystem of plug-and-play devices in personal connected health. We are proud to have them as a partner and share this exciting moment in healthcare history,” he added.
According to a study released in May by the European Commission's Joint Research Center, Denmark – along with England and Scotland – is seen as a pioneer in the use of telemedicine in standard patient treatments.
“The Danes have succeeded in deploying telehealth, because all relevant stakeholders have been encouraged to join in. One cannot hope that the market alone can push the use of telehealth into care practice," said Fabienne Abadie, a scientific officer at the center, in the report. "A good model of governance, at regional or national level, is crucial to support telehealth in order to reap the benefits it offers. In this process, stakeholders such as the healthcare professionals play a vital role."
That study further pointed out that the future success of telemedicine and telehealth programs depends on a number of factors, including funding for mainstreaming, an integrated governance model, stakeholder engagement and a strong set of legal and clinical standards.
That's where Continua's guidelines come in.