In another move to modernize the Greek health system, the Greek government has announced that patients’ health records will be digitized and available online by 2025.

Speaking at the BEYOND Expo on digital technologies and innovation in Thessaloniki, the Deputy Minister of Health Marios Themistocleous said the move will utilize the power of artificial intelligence in the health sector.

The project is called the “Single Digital Patient File” and will enable patients to have access to all of their files on their computer or through a mobile device, instead of having only hard copy files and having to shuttle back and forth to doctors with printed tests.

“In 1.5 to 2 years from today it will change completely the way medicine is practiced,” predicts Themistocleous.

The efforts in Greece are connected to a broader European-wide initiative that is part of the 2020 European strategy for data and the creation of a Common European Data Space (CEDS).

The CEDS aims to create a single European market for data and applies not only to the health sector, but also to agriculture, manufacturing, energy, mobility, financial, public administration, skills, the European Open Science Cloud, the green deal, media and cultural heritage.

Eventually, an Irish citizen will be able to go to a hospital in Greece and medical professionals will have access to all of their data, helping ensure their proper diagnosis, treatment, and safe prescription of medication.

Moreover, a citizen of Greece will be able to travel to the Netherlands and fulfill their prescription there, in theory.

The hope is that, at least in Greece, the Single Digital Patient File will avoid mistakes that may cost a patient his or her life, including the prescription of medicines that they are allergic to.

The Deputy Minster said that one of the biggest challenges to integrating the new technologies will be getting health professional to change the way the work. “The risk is that we will suddenly find ourselves with state-of-the-art systems, but have staff that lacking digital readiness and an inability to assimilate.”

The other side of the challenge will be helping patients themselves acclimate to the new systems.

Perhaps one of the biggest concerns for EU citizens about the creation of a Single Digital Patient File however is connected to the ability of EU Member States to adequately secure data from cyber-attacks, identify theft, and other malicious uses.