European Reference Network

European Reference Networks (ERNs) are virtual networks involving healthcare providers across Europe. They aim to tackle complex or rare diseases and conditions that require highly specialised treatment and a concentration of knowledge and resources. To review a patient’s diagnosis and treatment, ERN coordinators will convene ‘virtual’ advisory boards of medical specialists across different disciplines, using a dedicated IT platform and telemedicine tools. The knowledge will travel rather than the patients or doctors. This will facilitate equal access to expert advice and best treatment options. It will increase patient’s chances for better, more effective and more efficient treatment.

The first ERNs were launched in March 2017, involving more than 900 highly-specialised healthcare units from over 300 hospitals in 26 Member States. A total number of 24 ERNs are working on a range of thematic issues including bone disorders, rare cancer and craniofacial disorders.

More information on European Reference Networks (ERNs)

 

ERN video clip (all languages)

 

Network Name Description
ERN BOND European Reference Network on bone disorders
ERN CRANIO European Reference Network on craniofacial anomalies and ear, nose and throat (ENT) disorders
Endo-ERN European Reference Network on endocrine conditions
ERN EpiCARE European Reference Network on epilepsies
ERKNet European Reference Network on kidney diseases
ERN-RND European Reference Network on neurological diseases
ERNICA European Reference Network on inherited and congenital anomalies
ERN LUNG European Reference Network on respiratory diseases
ERN Skin European Reference Network on skin disorders
ERN EURACAN European Reference Network on adult cancers (solid tumours)
ERN EuroBloodNet European Reference Network on haematological diseases
ERN eUROGEN European Reference Network on urogenital diseases and conditions
ERN EURO-NMD European Reference Network on neuromuscular diseases
ERN EYE European Reference Network on eye diseases
ERN GENTURIS European Reference Network on genetic tumour risk syndromes
ERN GUARD-HEART European Reference Network on diseases of the heart
ERN ITHACA European Reference Network on congenital malformations and rare intellectual disability
MetabERN European Reference Network on hereditary metabolic disorders
ERN PaedCan European Reference Network on paediatric cancer (haemato-oncology)
ERN RARE-LIVER European Reference Network on hepatological diseases
ERN ReCONNET European Reference Network on connective tissue and musculoskeletal diseases
ERN RITA European Reference Network on immunodeficiency, autoinflammatory and autoimmune diseases
ERN TRANSPLANT-CHILD European Reference Network on Transplantation in Children
VASCERN European Reference Network on Rare Multisystemic Vascular Diseases

 

The ERN initiative receives support from several EU funding programmes, including the Health Programme, the Connecting Europe Facility and Horizon 2020. EU Member States lead the ERN process: they are responsible for the recognition of centres at national level; they endorse the applications; and a Board of Member States is responsible for developing the EU ERN strategy and approving the networks.