Rounding Off 2021: What to Expect in Health Policy?

September 28, 2021
Health Policy

Covid-19 brought momentum for action and change throughout the EU block, stirring more health initiatives and proposals than we’ve seen before. Entering the fourth quarter of the year, there are still important EU health policy updates coming our way – many of which are key for health startups innovating across Europe. Here’s what you can expect rounding off 2021 in terms of EU health policy:

The European Health Data Space (EHDS)

All eyes are set on the European Commission’s development of the European Health Data Space (EHDS). This initiative aims to promote better exchange and access to different types of health data and support healthcare delivery, research, and policy making. The EHDS would help reduce regulatory fragmentation and introduce common standards to facilitate an environment that empowers startups and other digital health innovators to scale. With the most recent public consultation finalised before the summer holidays, Q4 will see the debates on health data flows move into a higher gear and the adoption of the plan by the end of the year. We are optimistic about the benefits an EHDS can have for startup innovation and growth in the EU. We urge policymakers to consider startup perspectives in the creation of the EHDS and help reduce regulatory barriers in digital health innovation across Europe!

The European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA)

The HERA has recently entered into force on September 16th, echoing the need for coordinated EU level action to respond to health emergencies in light of Covid-19. The HERA serves as a step towards building a stronger European Health Union with better EU preparedness and response to serious cross-border health threats. With the Commission’s adoption of HERA the current talk of the town, we would like to centre the conversation on the role of startups and entrepreneurs in developing the  knowledge and technologies crucial in addressing today’s health challenges and anticipating tomorrow’s health threats. Voicing and including their needs in the rollout of HERA will be key. 

A Startup Standard for Digital Health 

All too often digital health startups invest time and resources navigating complex regulatory measures across Europe. This, in turn, hinders digital health solutions from reaching their full potential. Allied for Startups DTx is compiling a best practice repository identifying the best policies and measures supporting the introduction, adoption, promotion and distribution of digital health startup initiatives. This flagship document is an open consultation to continuously learn and set benchmarks of policies that work, and encourage policy makers and Member States to adopt similar practices that eases the process of starting and scaling across the EU. Keep your eyes out for the rollout of this initiative at the DTx Startup Congress in December of this year!

Amongst other key health files, Q4 will mark important policy developments at the EU level. We look forward to bringing the startup perspective to these conversations and ensuring health entrepreneurs are empowered to continue innovating across Europe.