Self-determining handling of data from electronic health files


Today the health data of EU citizens are distributed across various IT systems in different healthcare organizations. Notwithstanding the growing number of central-ized infrastructures on the basis of digital health files, the adequate exchange of data is hardly possible within the framework of regional, national, and in particular cross-border healthcare in the EU states (continuity of care). Current initiatives to overcome these hurdles depend to a high degree on the participation and coordina-tion of national authorities. Consequently, the value-added potential of health data cannot be fully utilized yet at this time, neither for healthcare nor for clinical re-search.



The challenge

A key objective of the project “InteropEHRate” is the expansion and integration of current infrastructures for the exchange of health data (between states) with new, patient-centered technologies. A bottom-up approach is pursued, which does not require coordination by a higher-level authority and also promotes the control of citizens over their data.

To this end, open specifications compatible with the General Data Protection Regu-lation (GDPR) are being developed and implemented on the basis of existing Euro-pean infrastructures. New components and communication protocols are being established at the same time. The interpretation of data exchanged using the proto-cols plays a major role and can only be accomplished through a uniform data struc-ture and semantics.

Our contribution

Based on the Health Level 7 (HL7) and Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standards, we are developing interoperability profiles used in the communi-cation protocols for the structuring and semantic description of data. Portability to various languages is also taken into account. The interoperability profiles and the new communication protocol for the exchange of health data using Bluetooth, with-out using a cloud, are being submitted to European standardization bodies with the goal of approving them as European standards.

The specification of security conformance levels is another task. They establish the criteria that have to be met by the Smart-Electronic Health Record (S-EHR) mobile app and the S-EHR Cloud – components to be developed in the course of the pro-ject – to be considered secure and reliable according to the GDPR.



S-EHR: A new model for secure mobile applications to store, control, anonymize, and exchange health data using smart devices (such as a smartphone or tablet) without having to use a cloud.

Healthcare Interoperability Services (IHS): An extension of existing health file sys-tems, enabling the cross-border, secure exchange of data between health file sys-tems and Smart-EHRs. Data are exchanged on the basis of two communication protocols that are to be specified (remote Internet protocol and device to device protocol).

Research Interoperability Services (IRS): An extension of existing research institu-tion systems enabling the voluntary, cross-border, secure exchange of data be-tween research institutions and Smart-EHRs. Citizens can donate their anonymized or pseudonymized, certified clinical data and wellness data on a voluntary basis for research purposes and projects.



You will find the entire consortium here.
The following organizations among others are part of the project:

  • Engineering Ingegneria Informatica (IT)
  • A7 Software (BE)
  • Diagnostikon kai therapeftikon kentron athinon ygeia anonymos etaireia (EL)
  • Università degli studi di Trento (IT)
  • Universitat Wien (AT)



  • Subsidized by: InteropEHRate is subsidized under the EU research and innovation program Horizon 2020 within the framework of the call “Digital transformation in Health and Care”.
  • Project number: SEP-210506606
  • Term: 01/2019-07/2022