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28 August, 2014

e-Health Action Plan 2012-2020

The European Commission has launched a call for tender for a study to assess the progress of the e-Health Action Plan in every objective. This will steer the preparation and design of the post-2015 programming period. This action plan outlines the vision for e-Health in Europe, in line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Digital Agenda for Europe.
It aims at addressing and removing barriers to the deployment of e-Health. Its operational objectives are:
• Achieving wider interoperability of e-Health services;
• Supporting research, development and innovation in e-Health and wellbeing to address the lack of availability of user-friendly tools and services;
• Facilitating uptake and ensuring wider deployment;
• Promoting policy dialogue and international cooperation on e-Health at a global level.
The evaluation of the e-Health Action Plan 2012-2020 will contribute to the e-Health strategy of DG CONNECT and could support the same exercise by 2020.
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10th Annual Meeting and 5th Conference of European network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity
More than 200 participants gathered on 27th of August in Zurich in order to discuss and exchange their views on the “Physical activity Promotion in Health Care Settings” through the lenses of research, policy and practice. In addition to keynote speakers, the conference features plenary sessions on health care, research and policy, parallel sessions on current topics, and poster sessions.
The European Health and Fitness Association as an independent European umbrella of the health fitness and wellbeing sector monitors European health developments is attending to help shape a better understanding of health enhancing physical activity and also to foster the development of efficient strategies and multi-sectoral approaches in the promotion of physical activity.
Update sent via EuropeActive Twitter account: @Europe_Active

An EU funded project plots new pathways to health
An EU-funded project based in Dublin is analysing multiple types of data to determine which factors most influence health and how new policies can help to reduce “health inequalities”. Devhealth’s target is to improve lifecycle health care from the cradle to the grave for future generations of Europeans. The project team is analysing a number of major international datasets looking into the factors influencing health over a person’s lifetime. One of the main datasets being used is the National Child Development Study (NCDS) which follows the lives of over 18 000 children who were born in the UK during one week in March 1958. Another database includes information that was collected from the 1960s onwards from children who participated in different early childhood programmes in the US and Ireland, such as the Perry Preschool Program and the Nurse Family Partnership programme. This data shows the long-term impact of childhood development, parenting and health programmes – which specifically targeted disadvantaged families – on children’s health later in life. It also examines how the programmes changed the children’s cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural skills and how, in turn, these affected their health.
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EU merges milk and fruit school scheme to combat child obesity
According to the WHO, overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop non-communicable diseases such as too much bad cholesterol, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. To promote healthier lifestyles and combat obesity among school children, the European Commission has proposed to bring two separate EU schemes on milk and fruit together under a joint framework. The aim is to address poor nutrition more effectively, to reinforce the educational elements of the programmes and to contribute to the fight against obesity, as the consumption of these products have been declining among young people. The new scheme will have a budget of €230 million per school year - €150 million for fruit and vegetables and €80 million for milk. The Commission argues that the joint framework will ease the management and organisational burden for national authorities, schools and suppliers, making the EU scheme more efficient. Participation in the scheme will be voluntary for EU member states, which will also have flexibility to choose the products they wish to distribute.
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When longevity rhymes with health and physical activity
Dietary supplements or other lifestyle choices, such as exercise, are already recommended for the benefit of the whole population. The DO-HEALTH project, which is funded under the Framework 7 Research Programme and involves 20 partners from 5 EU Member States, looks beyond one specific condition or type of treatment and see the combined effects of dietary supplements and exercise. Involving over 2 000 people aged over 70 years old across 5 countries and 7 cities, this is the most comprehensive study to be conducted into ageing and health so far in Europe. They have designed their project to focus on the 3 types of intervention that have shown the most promising results in previous trials and large cohort studies: vitamin D supplements, omega 3 fatty acids and home exercise. The DO-Health study can monitor the impact of each intervention individually and the cumulative result of 2 together and all 3 of them. While vitamin D is linked to building bone and muscle, omega 3 has anti-inflammatory properties. Giving just vitamin D yields positive measurable results and adding omega 3 to this shows additional benefits. This is consolidated by regular exercise.
The trial is being set up to follow patients closely and regularly, with yearly follow-up visits and quarterly phone calls between visits. The European health and Fitness Association as an independent European Umbrella of the health fitness and wellbeing sector monitors European health developments and maintains close links with key stakeholders so as to ensure that healthy and sustainable diets and physical activities considerations are taken into consideration within the EU policies.
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If you would like further information on any of these topics, please contact;
José Costa, EU Policy Officer:
Alexandra Micha, EU Policy Officer:

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