PCHAlliance Calls on European Commission to Advance Member States Collaboration on Health Data

Oct 14, 2017

PCHAlliance among invited stakeholders for Commission discussion on GDPR implementation

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, and ARLINGTON, VA, 16 OCTOBER 2017 -- The Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHAlliance) asked the European Commission today to help clarify the rules for the processing of personal data for health and wellness.  Writing ahead of a European Commission consultation meeting in October 2017 with stakeholders on the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and health data, PCHAlliance urged the Commission to support the Member States of the European Union to collaborate on the interpretation of those sections in the GDPR that could impact the health and wellness sector. 

While a European Union regulation is a binding legislative act that is directly applicable in all Member States, the GDPR has a number of provisions that allow individual Member States to enact laws and regulations that vary or build on the GDPR.  This is important in allowing Member States to ensure the law is workable within their health and wellness systems, but it also poses a risk that Member States could adopt substantially different rules, leading to a fragmentation of the nascent European market in digital health services and solutions.

“With the GDPR and its implementation process we have an opportunity to advance a European effort to cooperate on the use of health data,” said Elinaz Mahdavy, Chair of the PCHAlliance European work group and Director of European Affairs and Partnerships at Orange Healthcare.  “The Commission, working with stakeholders, should provide guidance and documents to ensure greater legal and regulatory certainty, so that Europe remains an innovation hub for digital health, especially for small and medium enterprises.”

The full letter is available here.

“PCHAlliance believes that its members should meet both legal requirements and other reasonable market expectations as to privacy and data protection within their efforts to develop and implement life-saving technologies and innovations,” said Patricia N. Mechael, PhD, MHS, Executive Vice President, PCHAlliance. “In discussions related to privacy, we should not lose sight of the improved health outcomes generated through the use of digital and personal connected health technologies.  PCHAlliance and our members are committed to contributing to an appropriate and balanced regulatory regime for the benefit of European citizens that preserves both the right to good health as well as privacy and data protection.”

PCHAlliance’s goal is to help people make health and wellness an effortless part of daily life. The Alliance is convening the global personal connected health community – technology companies, healthcare providers, payers, governments and the public – to accelerate the technical, business, policy and social initiatives necessary to advance the field. PCHAlliance is developing and promoting technical standards, facilitating collaboration, convening conferences, sharing research and advocating policy to help drive personal connected health forward.

Personal Connected Health Alliance

The Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHAlliance) aims to make health and wellness an effortless part of daily life. The PCHAlliance, a non-profit organization formed by HIMSS, believes that health is personal and extends beyond healthcare. The Alliance mobilizes a coalition of stakeholders to realize the full potential of personal connected health. PCHAlliance members are a vibrant ecosystem of technology and life sciences industry icons and innovative, early stage companies along with governments, academic institutions, and associations from around the world. To support its vision, PCHAlliance convenes the global personal connected health community at the annual Connected Health Conference, the premier international event for the exchange of research, evidence, ideas, innovations and opportunities in personal connected health. The Alliance publishes and promotes adoption of the Continua Design Guidelines. Continua is recognized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as the international standard for safe, secure, and reliable exchange of data to and from personal health devices. PCHAlliance accelerates technical, business, policy and social strategies necessary to advance personal connected health through its Healthy Longevity initiative to promote lifelong health and wellness.