The National Health Information Council of the Netherlands, led by Health, Welfare and Sport Vice Minister Erik Gerritsen, will visit Orlando and Boston this week for a mission revolving around E-health and health information technology.

The mission will first visit the Health Information and Management System Society’s conference and exhibition (HIMSS) in Orlando February 19-22. The annual exhibition is one of the biggest international health IT conferences that brings together more than 40,000 health IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors from all over the world.

The mission will then take the council to visit Boston February 23-24 to continue meeting with partners and exchanging knowledge.

The National Health Information Council is a public-private partnership in which national and local government, patient organizations, medical insurers, hospitals, and care providers work to improve the interoperability and exchange of health information.

The Netherlands has one of the best developed healthcare systems in the world and a highly developed infrastructure for E-health and health IT. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport is working to make the Netherlands the world’s foremost platform for E-health and innovations.

A first-rate digital infrastructure, an IT-skilled population, world-leading research institutes, a vibrant startup community, and excellent healthcare make that possible. The Netherlands aims toward a sustainable, trustworthy and secure health information infrastructure for both patients and professionals.

By 2020, everyone should be able to receive a digital copy of their own medical data, and safely and securely use these in their healthcare. Also, patients should be able to talk to doctors remotely over the internet.

In addition to 20 representatives from the National Health Information Council, 170 participants from several innovative Dutch companies will attend the HIMSS conference in Orlando, including Philips, Forecare, 3M Health Information System, Accenture, and App Sens.

For example, Philips’ “The Connect Healthy” demonstration enables patients to control their health data, while ForCare presents software to improve patient care.

In Boston, the National Health Information Council will meet with several partners — such as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, MIT Hacking Medicine, Partner Health and Harvard Business School — to exchange knowledge and continue promoting the Netherlands’ health information and E-health approaches.

This visit follows the mission that Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports Edith Schippers led to Boston in 2015 during the visit of their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima.

With this mission, the National Health Information Council will further develop its objectives on health information governance, implementation practice with regard to prescribing drugs, standards and applications, enrollment, interoperability, technological improvements, patient empowerment, and safety.