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September 21, 2016

Dutch ministry invests 105 million euros in digital information hospitals

The Dutch Ministry of Public Health (VWS) is investing 105 million euros over the next three years in the digitization of information exchange between hospitals. Right now information exchange is fragmented, both between hospitals and between other stakeholders in the healthcare sector. This limits speed and quality of treatments.

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The initiative is part of the Policy Outlook 2017 the ministry presented this week. Focus points in the healthcare policy the coming years are facilitating personalised care, reducing costs, improving quality and preventive care through healthier lifestyles. New regulation and digital technology both can facilitate this. Sensors, smart bandaids, mobile devices can help people giving or receiving care when they want or need it wherever they want it.

Minister Edith Schippers points out that hospitals should embrace digital technology instead of holding back, as happens to often.  ‘We have big  opportunities here to improve on care and reduce costs. If we want more quality, personalised care and service in healthcare and reduce costs at the same time, we need to embrace new, smart Technologies.’

Digital initiatives and new regulation are also on the forefront when it comes to equiping healthcare professionals and patients with tools they need to improve care and to prevent ilness, writes Schippers. Entrepeneurs in the smb will be supported in scaling up good ehealth initiatives, starting in the fall of 2016. The program ICT in Hospitals, starting in 2017, will provide standards all hospitals can use to share information within the organisation, with patients and with other caregivers.

Last June Schippers announced at the eHealth Week that her department is investing 20 million euros in the coming four years in smb-initiatives focused on ehealth solutions.

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