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Regions in Europe: Incubators for sustainable eHealth deployment

The EHTEL session at eHealth Week 2011 - colocation of the European Ministerial eHealth Conference and World of Health-IT - took forward the momentum and lessons learned at the Symposium "eHealth in Europe's Regions: Acting for Citizens’ Health"- jointly organised by EHTEL and the networks of the regions (AER &EUREGHA) in autumn 2010:


Healthcare and welfare delivery take always place in local or regional settings and thus regions have at least some level of autonomy in the administration of healthcare and health promotion.

Regions play an essential role in deploying innovative services. Thus,the agenda for innovation in health care should be better balanced between the European, National and Regional level. This session will be demonstrated what can be done concretely to strengthen the impact of the regions on the development and deployment of eHealth aware health strategies.


Agneta Granström gained a master’s degree in Nursing Science, Gerontology and Public Health from Umeå University. She is County Council Commissioner of Public Health in Norrbotten County Council, Sweden. Among her responsibilities she is a board member of the Norrbotten County Council, the president of e-Health network within the Assembly of European Regions, AER, a Swedish board member of Nordic Telemedicine Association, NTA, and a board member of e-Health Innovation Centre at Luleå University of Technology, EIC. She has professional background as Chief Community Nurse, Nurse of Public Health, and as Lecturer at the Department of Health Science at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. She has a long clinical experience in primary health care and elderly health care in rural areas.


Abstract: It is all very well having a good idea. It is good if you can find funding. But how do you turn opportunity into delivery? How do you not simply deliver a time limited pilot, but a sustainable, scalable redesigned service supported by technology? Scotland has walked the road and learnt some important lessons along the way.

Dr George Crooks is currently the Medical Director/Chief Operating Officer for NHS 24 and Director of the Scottish Centre for Telehealth. He is also Medical Director for the Scottish Ambulance Service where he is responsible for the quality, safety and effectiveness of all clinical services and the development of new services in partnership with other NHS organisations. NHS 24 is the national provider of telehealth services for the whole of Scotland currently providing the majority of its services via telephony or the web. The Scottish Ambulance Service provides accident and emergency and patient transport services for the whole of Scotland, covering a population of circa 5 million people.

George was a General Practitioner in Aberdeen for 22 years and his past appointments have included Director of Primary Care with NHS Grampian with responsibility for all community-based independent contractor services. George has a particular interest in the appropriate use of technology to support the delivery of high quality patient care, using it as a vehicle to empower patients to actively participate in their care. He also is involved in the development of common assessment and triage processes across the NHS in Scotland as a better way to manage unscheduled and emergency care provision. He was awarded an OBE in the Queens New Years Honors List 2011 for services to healthcare.

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