European Community Embraces Lab Tests Online
February 12, 2008
February 12, 2008--Representatives from the European Commission voiced their support for Lab Tests Online at a ceremony to formally acknowledge the six European versions of the site. The event also marked the launch of a new web page (www.labtestsonline.info) aimed at promoting the globalization of Lab Tests Online, the non-commercial, patient-centered website produced by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC).
The ceremony in Brussels on January 31 followed by days the announcement of the inclusion of the European Lab Tests Online websites on the EU-Health Portal. Links to each linguistic version of Lab Tests Online will be posted on the main topics of the Commissions portal related to laboratory testing.
Recognizing that Lab Tests Online meets both a public need and the highest quality standards on health information, Andrzej J. Ryś, Public Health Director at the European Commission said during his remarks, People are demanding to know more about their health, and 41% of Europeans think the internet is a good way to get information about health. Ms. Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, member of the European Parliament, added, The patients right to accurate, reliable and easy-to-understand healthcare information is a crucial right. Lab Tests Online aims at promoting this right by helping European citizens to understand better what happens with their blood samples in clinical laboratories and what the results of the laboratory tests actually mean.
Lab Tests Online, originally developed by a collaboration of laboratory professional societies in the US and Canada, reaches 1.5 million users per month world-wide, providing them with easy to understand, accurate and reliable information about laboratory tests, their related conditions, and screening recommendations in each country. The multilingual platform is now available in Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain and the UK, as well as in Australia and the United States.
The success of the European versions, visited by 300,000 users per month, has convinced new partners to join the project. During the Brussels ceremony, Christine Tarrajat, Director General of the European Diagnostics Manufacturers Association (EDMA), announced signature of an agreement with the Greek Scientific Society of Clinical Chemistry and Hellasmes, the Greek diagnostics trade association, to develop a Greek national version. Ms. Tarrajat also indicated that agreements with professional societies in the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, and Portugal were also pending or in advanced discussions.
EDMA, AACCs industry partner in Europe, hosted the event, which was held at the prestigious Biblíothèque Solvay, a scientific library that stands at the heart of Leopold Park in Brussels. EDMA has spearheaded efforts to bring the contents of Lab Tests Online to the multi-lingual European population. Representatives from each of the participating national sites attended the event, along with representatives of the European institutions, citizens and patients groups, the scientific community, and industry, as well as the news media.
D. Robert Dufour, MD, AACC member and international liaison for the US Lab Tests Online site, and George Linzer, AACCs Executive Producer of Lab Tests Online, traveled to Brussels for the ceremony and meetings the following day. Both agreed that the launch event and the next days discussions reflected the collaborative spirit of Lab Tests Online, and they applauded the efforts of their European partners in the ongoing process of translating content from the US site and promoting each of the national sites.