Telemedicine is streamlined in the EU’s policies through the 2008 Communication on Telemedicine, the Active and Healthy Ageing Innovation Partnership, the Horizon 2020 programme, the Digital Agenda, etc. The objective is foster the use of telemedicine and remote monitoring solutions to address societal challenges such as the rise of chronic conditions, the ageing population, the shortage of healthcare professionals and healthcare rising costs.

The 2008 Communication on telemedicine for the benefits of patients, healthcare systems and society identifies three pillars for action:

  1. Building confidence in and acceptance of telemedicine services 
  2. Bringing legal clarity
  3. Solving technical issues and facilitating market development

As a follow up to the second pillar (bring legal clarity), the European Commission adopted on 7 January 2012 a staff Working paper on the applicability of the existing EU legal framework to telemedicine services. It outlines how current EU legislations apply to the provision of cross border telemedicine services (such as teleradiology, teleconsultation or telemonitoring). 

The Active and Healthy Ageing Initiative proposes to support the development and scaling up of innovative solutions for the management of chronic conditions.

The European Commission is also funding a number of large scale pilot projects to collect evidence of the economic and clinical outcomes of telemedicine solutions and to support the scaling up of telemedicine pilots: