ARGOS Examines Global Health Policy Challenges, Socioeconomic Impact of eHealth Solutions

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

EU-U.S. cooperation identifies common methods for health information and communication technologies

Washington, DC – The ARGOS project has released a volume of proceedings, "Transatlantic Cooperation Surrounding Health Related Information and Communication Technology," that promotes shared methods and collaborative solutions for responding to eHealth challenges in the European Union (EU) and the United States. The ideas and papers featured in the new volume are the result of a series of three focused policy meetings held over the last two years. ARGOS, a project established and funded by the European Commission to advance transatlantic collaboration on eHealth challenges was led by Principal Investigators Professor Georges De Moor, EuroRec Institute for Health Records, Saint-Chamond, France, on behalf of the EU; and Nancy M. Lorenzi, PhD, professor of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, on behalf of the U.S. AMIA, the association for informatics professionals, served as the U.S. convenor of the ARGOS project. Dr. Lorenzi serves as Chair of the AMIA Board of Directors.

The ARGOS volume is a collection of policy briefs written by stakeholders in the EU–U.S. partnership who participated in the transatlantic exchange. Each brief addresses a key topic in health informatics:

  • ARGOS Policy Brief on Semantic Interoperability (discusses the challenge of sharing electronic health records among heterogeneous systems)
  • Policy Needs and Options for a Common Transatlantic Approach towards Measuring Adoption, Usage and Benefits of eHealth
  • Policy needs and options for a common approach towards modeling and simulation of human physiology and diseases with a focus on the Virtual Physiological Human
  • Policy Brief on the Current Status of Certification of Electronic Health Records in the U.S. and Europe
  • A Proposed Vision: The Transatlantic Observatory for Meeting Global Health Policy Challenges through Information and Communications Technology-Enabled Solutions (ARGOS)
  • Accelerating the Deployment of a Health Information Technology and Informatics Workforce through Education, Training, Research, and Evaluation
  • eHealth Informatics Workforce Challenges for Europe
  • eHealth Information Management and Informatics Workforce Challenges for Europe

Abstracts and downloadable pdfs of each of the above briefs, plus subject and author indices are online at

Dr. Lorenzi, lead author on two of the policy briefs--the ARGOS vision, and expansion of the HIT and informatics work force--says that "AMIA is proud to have served as the U.S. convener for the ARGOS project because the effort succeeded in bringing important partners to the table to address issues critical to developing global health policy and broadening effective use of technology-enabled health information and management solutions. Though the ARGOS project has concluded, we look forward to continued collaboration with our EU colleagues and to new initiatives that may continue collaborative policy discussions in an even broader forum. Where health care is concerned, a world more closely connected through health information and communication technology, is a world safer for patients."

The EU–U.S partnership at work in ARGOS sent a strong signal to national and regional ehealth stakeholders that a more global approach is necessary to maximize opportunities and meet challenges that health information and communication technology (ICT) present, while emphasizing the common belief that health ICT can have benefits for patients, health systems and eHealth economies of scale.

ARGOS, formally called the Transatlantic Observatory for Meeting Global Health Policy Challenges, was created as an international platform for dialogue and collaboration on health policy issues. ARGOS is funded by the EU, one of seven projects under the pilot project called "Transatlantic Methods for Handling Global Challenges in the European Union and the United States." The ARGOS proceedings, published by IOS Press, the Netherlands, can be ordered online at

AMIA represents a global community of 4,000 informatics professionals from more than 65 countries. AMIA members are subject-matter experts dedicated to expanding the role informatics experts play in patient care, public health, teaching, research, administration and related policy. AMIA strives to assure that biomedical and health informatics professionals and their frontline knowledge are part of the equation for healthcare systems that deliver high-quality, affordable care.

For more information:
Nancy Light