Edited from the HHS release. US Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and UK Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt on Thursday 23 January signed a bi-lateral agreement for the use and sharing of health IT information and tools. The agreement strengthens efforts to cultivate and increase the use of health IT tools and information designed to help improve the quality and efficiency of the delivery of health care in both countries. The two Secretaries signed the agreement at the Annual Meeting of the HHS Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology. It concentrates on four key areas identified at the joint June 2013 summit:
- Sharing Quality Indicators
- Liberating Data and Putting It to Work
- Adopting Digital Health Record Systems
- Priming the Health IT Market
Collaboration efforts will be showcased at the Health Innovation Expo conference at Manchester Central 3-4 March (two weeks before HC2014) and the Health Datapalooza on 1-3 June in Washington, DC. A possible good sign for telehealth as there’s a great deal of mention of ‘preventive interventions’, ‘accessing and sharing data’ and the ‘health IT marketplace’.