September 2015


This issues's comprehensive EU affairs update includes news about EU cancer initiatives, application for membership of the Multidisciplinary European Low Dose Initiative (MELODI), the European Commission's call for scientists to join the non-food Scientific Committees for the term 2016-2021, and news about Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) Europe Profiles.


Update on EU’s cancer initiatives

In 1985, the European Council first launched a European action programme against cancer.
To this day, the EU encourages cooperation in relation to cancer by providing a partnership for a wide range of stakeholders across the EU.

One of the most important initiatives in this regard is the EU Joint Action on Cancer Control, which was initiated by the European Commission (EC) with the core aim of developing the European Guide on Quality Improvement in Comprehensive Cancer Control. The ESR has been a collaborating partner in this Joint Action since its launch in 2014. Whilst the ‘Joint Action’ is an initiative co-funded by the EU and led by Member States’ health authorities and non-governmental bodies, the EC also established a formal ‘expert group on cancer control’. The expert group assists the Commission inter alia in the drawing up of legal instruments and policy documents, guidelines and recommendations on cancer control. The ESR successfully applied for membership of the EC expert group on cancer control and already participated in the first meetings, held in Italy and Luxembourg.

Another important action was the establishment of the EC’s initiative against breast cancer (ECIBC), set up by the EU’s Joint Research Center (JRC). As part of the initiative, a working group on quality assurance scheme development has been launched recently; the group involves experts from various fields including radiologists. The ECIBC plenary meeting will take place in December in Ispra, Italy. To mark the 30th anniversary of the EU’s first action on cancer, the European Commission and the Luxembourg Presidency jointly organised a high level event titled "30 years of EU action against cancer", which took place in Brussels this month. Given the essential role of imaging in cancer control, it is important for the ESR to ensure that the radiology profession's input is adequately reflected in the EU’s initiatives.


ESR to apply for membership of Multidisciplinary European Low Dose Initiative (MELODI)

The MELODI Association was set up in 2010 by several scientific and regulatory bodies dedicated to low-dose radiation risk research. The three core aims of the initiative are to prioritise, promote and coordinate low dose risk research in Europe through an open and integrative approach; to create a platform for dialogue with EU institutions and stakeholders; and to interface with international partners. MELODI has a key role in influencing the EU’s research agenda. For example, by proposing priorities for the Horizon 2020 research programme. In 2013, MELODI approached medical societies, including the ESR, and signed a memorandum of understanding to initiate collaboration in the area of medical radiation protection research. In order to further strengthen collaboration and to increase the visibility of the medical field in the radiation protection research arena, including potential future research funding, the ESR decided to apply for membership of MELODI.

Call for Experts: European Commission to renew membership of Scientific Committees 

The European Commission recently published a call for scientists to join the non-food Scientific Committees for the term 2016-2021. Interested scientists can apply for membership of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) and the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER). The Commission relies on independent Scientific Committees to provide it with sound scientific advice and draw its attention to new and emerging problems. The Scientific Committees can call on additional expertise from a pool of scientific advisors and a database of experts. Further information on the call for experts to apply for membership of the SCCS or SCHEER committees can be found in the links section below. The deadline for applications is slated for November 2, 2015.

Further information:

Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) Profiles recognised by the European Commission for procurement

In July 2015, the European Commission announced that 27 IHE Profiles (please see the links section) are eligible for referencing in public procurements as technical specifications. This is following extensive consultation and evaluation of the European Multi Stakeholder Platform on ICT Standardisation and sectoral experts.

Prof. Peter Mildenberger, User Co-Chair of IHE-Europe, highlighted, that “IHE has been developing detailed specifications over the last 15 years in the field of healthcare IT. IHE optimises the selection of well-established standards with a view to defining interoperability solutions for exchanging or sharing medical data. This has now been fully recognised by the European Commission in coming to their decision”. He added that “most of the Profiles address generic IT infrastructure; this is important for telemedicine and eHealth. However, some specific Profiles for Radiology have also been included; these are SWF (Scheduled Workflow) and XDS-I (Cross Enterprise Image Sharing). The ESR will follow further developments and aims to add more profiles for radiology”.

Public procurements and most likely private procurements will now specify compliance with IHE Profiles. Hence, participation in the annual IHE-Europe Connectathon is crucial for healthcare IT vendors, who should already plan for attendance at the Connectathon 2016 in Bochum (please see the links section), on April 11-15, 2016 - Registration starts on December 1, 2015.