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The TEHDAS project develops joint European principles for the secondary use of health data. The work involves 25 countries.

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What are we doing?

Our goal is that in the future European citizens, communities and companies will benefit from secure and seamless access to health data regardless of where it is stored.

TEHDAS, the joint action Towards the European Health Data Space, helps EU member states and the European Commission to develop and promote concepts for the secondary use of health data to benefit public health and health research and innovation in Europe.

Our goal is that in the future European citizens, communities and companies will benefit from secure and seamless access to health data regardless of where it is stored.

The project will focus on:

  • engaging other European projects and policymakers in a dialogue about the European Health Data Space;
  • ensuring sustainability of the secondary use of health data in Europe;
  • developing a governance model for cross-border co-operation in the secondary use of health data between European countries;
  • promoting the reliability and compatibility of and access to health data for secondary use;
  • clarifying the role of individuals in the secondary use of health data and including them in dialogue about the use of health data for research and policymaking.

The results of the TEHDAS project will provide elements to the European Commission’s legislative proposal on the European Health Data Space as well as support the pan-European dialogue that will follow the proposal.

What is it about?

The cross-border sharing of health data has so far been project-based and there are no legal bases or common practices for the secondary use of health data in Europe. A lack of clarity and differing interpretations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) means that health data is being underused in research and decision-making.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for European-wide health data sharing and co-ordination.

The primary use of health data is the use of health information, such as patient records, to treat a person. The secondary use of health data means using health data for purposes other than the primary reason for which they were originally collected. The secondary use can be, for example, research, decision-making, development and innovation, and education.

The benefits of the secondary use of health data include providing better healthcare services and personalised care for people, and thereby saving lives, increased business opportunities for companies and cost savings for societies.

Who is involved?

The TEHDAS project involves partners from 21 EU member states and four other European countries. The project is co-ordinated by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

TEHDAS is funded by the Health Programme of the European Union and the European countries involved.

Where are we now?

The project started on 1 February 2021 and runs until 1 August 2023.

TEHDAS leaflet