Although the potential of eHealth in terms of improving quality, safety, efficacy and efficiency of health systems is known, the development of these new tools remains insufficient in Europe and also in France — the focus of the present article — due to the legal status of telemedicine and state involvement. National legislation should be harmonized by directives or standardized by regulations. European unification would considerably reduce the burden of administrative formalities that hold back telemedicine in France, and would lead to the emergence of community-based, non-hospital-dependent eHealth projects, in line with recommendations in the literature. The creation of cooperation protocols and the formal recognition of the patient’s role via therapeutic education are valuable tools for achieving this goal. It would be an error to dismiss these tools because of the overly rigid regulations, especially now that financial incentives are shifting from cure to care.
This article has been published in the International Journal ‘Medicine and Law’ Volume 34 No. 3, page numbers 361-380 and is reproduced for this blog with the permission and by courtesy of the Journal and the World Association for Medical Law