ICUK – The Innovation Center of the Ústí Region hosted another meeting of the Platform for Healthcare Digitization. An interesting group of people from government offices, academia, the Ministry of Health, and the business sector gathered, all eager to make progress in healthcare digitization. Our ‘Josef Dvořák shared our experiences in bringing various medical technology products to market, despite the challenges.
It was an inspiring yet saddening meeting. Great projects such as Preventivka, LongevityForum.eu, and the Ministr zdraví were presented. However, the dream of Czech patients, which has long been a reality in other countries – having online access to their medical records without the need to request printouts and act as messengers carrying sealed envelopes between different clinics – seems out of reach for us.
Without top-down regulations, it seems impossible, and there are no major initiatives from “above” regarding the digitization and accessibility of patient data. This is true even though the EU is preparing legislative changes, such as the regulation on mandatory electronic access to personal health data for patients within the European Health Data Space (EHDS), expected to be effective sometime between 2027 and 2030. Our country is not focused on how to implement the new legislation but rather preparing for a situation where we become non-compliant as the Czech Republic. It is a great shame and a missed opportunity.
Therefore, we hope that at least in the private sector, more projects like these will emerge and healthcare will be digitized from the grassroots level. However, it is clear that without significant steps from the government, a revolution may not be possible.