Technology will be key to tackling Europe's burgeoning health service spending.
EU countries need to look to IT systems to deliver "tools for health authorities" and "personalised health systems for patients", according to a European Commission report.
The Commission's Lead Market Initiative report forecasts budget-breaking growth in EU health costs fuelled by an ageing population, from nine percent of GDP (gross domestic product) today rising to 16 percent by 2020. Savings delivered by e-health will be crucial, says the report.
But it claims European e-health systems are lagging behind other service sectors, despite substantial research and development investment.
The report suggests different systems on the market need to be joined up through "standardisation of various exchange formats, certifications of systems and large-scale demonstration projects".
An Commission spokesman for enterprise and industry said: "The intention is to develop e-health through modern policy that will drive innovation in the area."
The report states: "European citizens would greatly benefit from cost reductions, coupled with better efficiency of the healthcare systems through the wider development of e-health."
In a related measure, the first hospital staff across England to gain access to GP records via the national summary care record system (SRC) will do so within a matter of weeks.
The NHS says only 0.6 percent of people approached have so far opted out of the SCR system, despite revelations last year that patient information had been lost by nine NHS trusts.