Europe – Data protection in the blood sector: challenges for European blood establishments

A live, interactive webinar held on 17 February 2021 addressed the challenges that data protection presents for blood establishments (BEs), as a follow-up to the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM) Blood Quality Management (B-QM) conference “Keeping up with Reality and Quality: A Challenge for European Blood Establishments” (27-29 October 2020). Participants were provided with a forum to discuss data protection requirements in the blood sector, highlight challenges, and reflect on practical approaches and ways forward for implementing data protection measures in BEs.

Blood systems have been facing an increasing number of challenges in the rapidly evolving environment of recent years. They are now managing greater amounts of data, including sensitive health and personal data on blood donors, and data related to activities, traceability and quality management, which necessitates the use of secure computerised systems.

In Europe, the rapid expansion of information technology in recent decades, together with the increasing amount of data available, has made the establishment of new legal instruments for personal data protection necessary, prompting the modernisation in 2018 of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (Convention 108+) and the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR)…