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CALL for InterOPErability (CALLIOPE)

Published on: 25/10/2009

CALLIOPE stands for "CALL for InterOPErability" with the focus on eHealth.

CALLIOPE is a network of collaborating organisations mandated with the planning and implementation of eHealth. CALLIOPE has today a membership of 34 organisations representing national governments and eHealth competence centres and 11 EU-level stakeholder organisations of health professionals, patients, health insurers and industry.

By the end of 2008 the founding members have set up a network governance.
The broader eHealth community is also associated to CALLIOPE through the establishment of the CALLIOPE forum and is invited to contribute to the debate and benefit of the
best practice exchange

  • CALLIOPE creates an open forum to support the implementation of interoperable eHealth infrastructures and services across Europe.
  • CALLIOPE builds a unique cross-stakeholder platform aspiring to covering principles and supported by a communication infrastructure and knowledge management tools.
  • CALLIOPE - as part of its current work plan -will review and advance the EC interoperability recommendation, add value to eHealth standardisation initiatives and propose a European roadmap for eHealth interoperability.

This collaboration aspires to create the highest possible degree of confidence in the CALLIOPE proposals and hence their potential to be adopted in national and European level eHealth strategies and implementations.

Policy Context

Today, in Europe we can see more and more eHealth projects being launched at a national, regional or local level. They aim at enabling health professionals to access medical and medication history of their patients. This access is however often limited by any type of borders.

From a high quality medical care point of view, these borders have little value and mechanisms are needed to enable crossing them, with all the necessary quality and privacy guarantees. European national governments have taken important steps towards a collaborative approach or resolving this cross borders issue; the European Commission is supporting such collaboration initiatives through both its policy initiatives and funding instruments.

Currently, through the CIP Programme, the Commission co-funds two projects aiming at moving forward the agenda for interoperable cross border eHealth: epSOS, (Smart Open Services for European Patients) and the CALLIOPE "Thematic Network". /p>

Both projects are joining forces in a unique collaboration whereas

  • epSOS is developing interoperable Patient Summaries and ePrescription services to be piloted within the three years life time of the project; a long term perspective is guaranteed by the commitment of the participating Member States, and 
  • CALLIOPE is supporting this process by providing a European platform for open dialogue
    and strategic collaborations with relevant stakeholders to further advance the development and deployment of interoperable eHealth services.

Furthermore, these projects are working in close collaboration with the eHEALTH INTEROP project launched by three European Standardisation organisations with the support of the European Commission with the view to enable the market to deliver interoperable solutions.

Patient mobility concerns every European citizen. However, best medical treatment is only possible when the challenges in interoperability can be overcome. Therefore, the need for initiatives and projects like epSOS and CALLIOPE is very high.

Description of target users and groups

Health care authorities Policy decision makers, public administrations / governments 

This is probably the most relevant target group within CALLIOPE.  Considerable effort is devoted to produce and disseminate a clear and consistent message tothe authorities about the objectives, the progress and the results of CALLIOPE.  Not just to the ones involved, or represented, inthe project, but also to those not yet participating.  The main goal of CALLIOPE is to build consensus, and eliminate barriers for an effective uptake of eHealth interoperability. Awareness on Network activities is a necessary step in order to include its goals on the agendas of European governments.

Contacts with health care authorities are established mainly with those in charge of health policy development and research, and those having the responsibility for assessment and evaluation of new services.


Health professionals

Health professionals can play a key role, especially in what concerns organisational aspects of eHealth interoperability. We approach them primarily through the EU professional organisations that are members of CALLIOPE and also through national and European congresses and exhibitions.


Industry is an important stakeholder with major contribution especially in the technical interoperability domains. Three large industrial fora participate in CALLIOPE and industry is again reached throughthe CALLIOPE members, as well as specific targeted conferences and events


Description of the way to implement the initiative

Membership: New CALLIOPE Network Members (short: New Members) may join the CALLIOPE Network under equal rights and obligations to existing members. Typically, a New Member is an organisation active in the domains addressed by CALLIOPE and represents either a national public authority, a Competence Centre or an EU level stakeholder non-governmental organisation.  CALLIOPE Network Members have the responsibility to ensure appropriate liaison with their own networks.

The Open Forum:  is the constituency of the CALLIOPE Subscribers, who  may be either organisations or individual persons who belong to the broader eHealth community. Subscribers receive CALLIOPE Newsletters and other notifications, notices to attend CALLIOPE Open Events and are  invited to participate in any open debates and consultations held by CALLIOPE, on the CALLIOPE reports as well as those of collaborating initiatives, including the epSOS Large Scale Pilot.

Specific thematic issues within the CALLIOPE project are handled within so-called Thematic Work Groups (WG). These groups are result oriented, composed of experts designated by members and interact as appropriate with the Open Forum. The work in the work groups is co-ordinated by the Executive Committee (EXCO) composed of the chairs of each Work Group. It
reports to the Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee (SC) is set up as the highest decision making body in CALLIOPE and has the ultimate decision power, i.e. it adopts the deliverables and other documentation submitted by the EXCO and also endorses all other agreements in the framework of CALLIOPE.The SC is composed of one representative appointed by each of the CALLIOPE Network Members. It started as a CALLIOPE project steering body and has evolved into a CALLIOPE Network governing body, as new members have already joined CALLIOPE. 

The management of the project and the operational support of the CALLIOPE Network is provided by three main functions: the Secretariat, the Networking Activities Management (NAM) and the Financial Management.

The Secretariat is responsible for supporting the beneficiarie to implement the CALLIOPE Network Governance, and for the monitoring of compliance to it, including the consensus processes and procedures described in the "CALLIOPE Governance and terms of operation & consensus building activities manual".

The Networking Activities Management focuses on creating an efficient Forum and for this purpose, implements, maintains and runs the CALLIOPE knowledge infrastructures. It furthermore organises all the Dissemination Activities foreseen in the Dissemination Strategy including organising Open Events.

Main results, benefits and impacts

During the first year the project has delivered:

  • A network structure and capable infrastructures for sustaining its effective operation were in place at the end of 2008. The Network had an adopted Governance and had established two support functions, namely the Secretariat, dealing with Network membership and operationalisation of its Governance and the Networking Activities Management dealing with operationalisation of events, meetings and other networking activities as well as our integration into the broader eHealth Community.
  • A pool of networked experts on eHealth solutions and the full range of interoperability issues pertaining to cross border care.
  • A platform to (i) deliver a proposal for a Common European Interoperability Road Map focused on further deployment of current and emerging use cases, (ii) review and advance the EU Interoperability Recommendation and (iii) facilitate pre standardisation processes through liaison with SDOs.

The project has initiated work in all above mentioned areas and particularly:

  •  the Recommendations Work Group launched activities already in October 2008. The vision is that it should collect and process experiences from epSOS and other eHealth projects focusing on eHealth interoperability aspects to arrive at a set of Recommendations which could provide input to a next revision of the EC Inter-operability Recommendation.
  • The European Interoperability Road Map  takes as its point of departure the current national ehealth Roadmaps of MS together with the results of relevant EU level initiatives (such as epSOS, HPRO CARD, STORK and others) and engage in a discussion involving all stakeholder (authorities , professionals and the private industry sector) in order to arrive at a proposal for the needed EU level collaborative action of this constituency.  This activity shall aim at accelerating
    implementation by addressing challenges at the appropriate level and timing. Such a proposal will provide input into decision making of national bodies and EU level co-ordination mechanisms such as the i2010 ehealth subgroup nd the High Level eHealth Governance process initiated in Prague February 2009.  It has also the potential to provide the needed transparency and openness to the process of prioritization of needs and practical use cases for ehealth standardisation and therefore may establish strong links with the M403 initiative.
  • the Standardisation WG has a specific challenge to meet in terms of maintaining the coherence and co-ordinating the activities of CALLIOPE with those of the M403 initiative.  These are perceived to be relevant to the wholecycle of the 5 step process proposed by M403, although of differing intensity and strategic importance.  A specific need identified by M403 is for a single dissemination point of best practices in the area.  Such an activity is not foreseen in the current work plan and it may be an option to be considered together with WG2, as part of theNetwork sustainability.

In addition, CALLIOPE has successfully launched the collaboration with epSOS (CALLepSO), which has been formalised through a joint working agreement with the mission to ensure an appropriate level of involvement of MS competent organisations and key EU stakeholders not participating in the epSOS consortium in the various stages of the project. The CALLepSO
initiative serves three major objectives:

  • To enable interested European National Ministries and heirCompetence Centres not participating in epSOS t learn about and provide input to epSOS developments;
  • To allow key EU level stakeholders,members of CALLIOPE and not represented in the epSOS consortium - particularly those representing users such as health professional groups and patient organisations, to become actively and appropriately engaged especially in what concerns professional issues affecting the design of the epSOS system and its components (ex ante epSOS design validation).
  • To provide a platform for an ex postvalidation of epSOS outputs within broader constituencies represented by theCALLIOPE Network.


Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Lessons learnt

During the Secretaries of State Meeting on "European eHEalth Governance" in Stockholm on October 23rd 2009, our Network was appreciated as an open, transparent, competent and inclusive environment - by means of its representative multi-stakeholder partnership, its governance and its potential to pool a critical mass of expertise - and it was invited to the role of the co-operation platform that forms an integral part of the EU governance mechanism.  We were furthermore invited to present this Group with a proposal on an EU Interoperability Road Map already in their next meeting planned in association with the eHealth High Level Conference in Barcelona,March 2010.

This very important development gives us all great satisfaction for what we have achieved so far and a great responsibility to continue even stronger in the future.


Scope: Cross-border, Pan-European