Events dear boy, events…

Here is a selection of events you may wish to engage with that have crossed this editor’s PC recently:

Nominate someone for a Digital Pioneer Award – nominations close on 2 December.

DigitalHealth.London in collaboration with NHS England is hosting the Digital Pioneer Awards. They are seeking out within the NHS individuals at any rank and in any role, who are deserving of an award for any of:

  • Digital leadership
  • Digital Innovation, or
  • Sustainability through digital (which means that they have been instrumental in making sure a digital implementation has been sustained enough to a point of delivering benefit).

Med-e-Tel, the Luxembourg event,  has a call out for abstracts with a deadline of 4 December.

The NHS England Clinical Entrepreneur Programme have launched recruitment for their second year cohort. Applications for all doctors will close on 9 December 2016. This intake apparently “will have limited places” (don’t they all?). Interviews will be held in March 2017 and the programme will commence in autumn 2017.

The West Midlands Health Informatics Network (WIN) will be holding its third (free) annual digital healthcare conference on 24 January 2017 at the University of Warwick. The keynote and guest speakers are:

  • Professor Theodoros N. Arvanitis, Chair in eHealth Innovation and Head of Research at The Institute of Digital Healthcare
  • John Crawford, Healthcare Industry Leader, Europe, at IBM
  • Noel Gordon, Chairman of NHS Digital
  • Harpreet Sood, Senior Fellow to the CEO at NHS England
  • Jenny Wood, Director of Adult Social Care at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

The aims of the conference are to:

  • showcase innovation and research in digital health, care and wellbeing;
  • enable the sharing of good practice and experience from those working in this area; and
  • promote collaboration across various settings.

The day will consist of exhibitions, poster presentations, talks/panels delivered by stakeholders, and networking sessions. With the keynote/guest speakers they have lined up, this is set to be their highest profile event to date, therefore, they ask that people should register as soon as possible here.

The Royal Society of Medicine is holding its highly popular Recent developments in digital health conference on 28 February. Speakers this year include Ali Parsa, Dame Fiona Caldicott, Shafi Ahmed,  and Sir Mark Walport – it’s going to be another great event. Last year there were disappointed late bookers because it sold out, so worth getting in early by booking here, now!

Hat tip to Prof Mike Short for some of the events.

 

You wait for ages for a new meaning for JAM then two come along together

Anyone tuning in to the Chancellor’s Autumn statement will be only too well aware of the JAMs – just about managing. However there also another JAM – the JAM Card and app which is a brilliant idea to flag to impatient people that you just need a little more time – Just A Minute, in fact – whether due to age, infirmity or disability. Now there’s an app to go with it too so you can record whether people responded well or not to you flashing the card at them.

So simple…so brilliant!

Hat tip to Prof Mike Short.

Last call for London Health Technology Forum Thursday, early bird RSM mHealth 2017

On the evening of Thursday 24th November, the London Health Technology Forum holds its last event of the calendar year on “Intellectual property & licensing”. This is a really critical area that this editor has seen more people lose money on because of not handling properly than in any other aspect of early start-up management – it truly is vital to think through very early on, to stop people stealing your ideas and paying an appropriate price to license them. Attendance is free; booking is here.

(The RSM’s mHealth app conference on 4th April 2017 is just about to end its early bird prices too – worth booking here anyway now, at it’s usually a sellout).

When is an app not an app? (When it’s a conundrum)

It all started so simply. In DHACA under the leadership of Rob Turpin (BSI) we produced the definitive guide to app regulation in the UK. Sure it was 44 pages long (and will shortly need updating) however we all knew that an app was standalone software and that none other than MEDDEV 2.1/6, the ultimate definitive guide to when an app is a medical device defined software as:

…a set of instructions that processes input data and creates output data.

However doubts began to creep into this editor’s mind when he heard that app developers in the US were avoiding (US/FDA) medical device classification as that would rule them out as service providers, which can reduce future  reimbursement benefits – as we quoted Ralph-Gordon Jahns of research2guidance in 2014 “profitable developers… rely on service sales as their primary source of revenue.”

Things got more complicated when it emerged at the UK Health Show this autumn that PHE was considering listing digital GP services as (more…)

Accelerated Access Review published – well worth a read

The Accelerated Access Review is published today. Readers with long memories will recall that it kicked off in the Spring of 2015 aimed at accelerating the uptake of innovation in to the NHS. It had three technical streams – pharma, medtech & digital health, plus a patient stream. This editor, as Managing Director of DHACA, was the digital health champion.

DHACA members were heavily engaged in the consultation, so it is gratifying to see that all DHACA recommendations were accepted. Most important were recommendations that:

  • NICE broaden its reach to include more medtech & digital health recommendations, and consider other means of funding;
  • there be closer alignment of regulatory and NICE data requirements and processes (currently, there can be duplication);
  • a strategic commercial unit is established in the NHS;
  • a small amount of funding is offered to support the commercialisation of disruptive innovative technologies that significantly change care pathways;
  • products not referred to NICE should be assessed only once by NHSE;
  • the route for digital products should build on the “Paperless 2020” simplified app assessment process;
  • the Crown Commercial Service, in partnership with NHS Digital, NHS England, the Department of Health and other system and technology partners, should consider how best to develop an accessible, simple and swift competitive process for procuring digital products from SMEs;
  • NHS England, working with NHS Digital, should develop a generic framework for app prescription.

When implemented, these and all the other recommendations in the report will go a long way to (more…)

Breaking news – an NHS innovation failure

As a sad indication of the NHS’s – and the UK health & care system in general’s – inability to innovate, v-connect, previously known as Red Embedded, has made the following announcement:

“It is with great regret that we are discontinuing the v-connect service as of the 31st October 2016. I am sure that the reasons will be understandable to you but here is a short summary. The video technology has been in development for more than eleven years. The efforts to commercialise the technology, in care, have been in progress for more than seven. In that time we have developed many features that support people to live independently at home supported by a personalised set of connections and facilities matched to their needs. We were guided by the continual calls for integrated care, personalisation and care closer to  home. We have been somewhat successful in obtaining project and grant funding to facilitate this. (more…)

Call for project presentations for the King’s Fund Digital Health & Care Congress 2017

The King’s Fund is looking for projects to be presented at the Digital Health and Care Congress 2017.

To be accepted, projects must show progress and improvements in at least one of these areas:

  • enabling patients to take an active role in their health and care;
  • improving data sharing and interoperability across the health and care economy;
  • demonstrating the benefits and improving productivity;
  • using technology and data to improve experience and quality of care.

Acceptance is via submission of an abstract, which should not be a sales pitch. Presentations should focus on digital health and care in practice. If you’re a commercial organisation working in partnership with an NHS organisation, you should ensure your NHS partner is available to present.

Note that in a change from previous years, single speakers will not be required to pay congress fees; for projects accepted for presentation, there will be one free speaker place allocated.

More details here.

The Congress will be on 4th & 5th July 2017.

The deadline for abstract submissions is Friday 9 December 2016.

Disclosure: this editor is on the organising committee of the Congress.

A couple more grant opportunities for SMEs

This editor was recently rendered temporarily speechless by an entrepreneur who complained that there was no money available any more to help him start his business. Upon recovering my power of speech I suggested he read Telehealth & Telecare Aware more avidly as we publicise many grants, awards, accelerators and other types of assistance. Here are two more:

mHabitat

mHabitat are launching a Digital Development Lab to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies in mental health.

They anticipate working with around six to eight Digital Development Lab participants over approximately seven months who will have access to a share of a £400k grant to accelerate their technology towards endorsement and adoption by NHS services and service users.

The Lab is open to applications from innovators (more…)

A clutch of interesting digital health events

DHACA is holding its tenth DHACA Day on October 6th, three minutes’ walk from Leeds station. We have a wide array of fascinating speakers, with a keynote by Bethany Gildersleve, Head of Operations at NHS Digital. Membership of DHACA is free, though we have to make a small charge for lunch. For more details, and to book, go here.

The Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) is holding an event on Point-of-Care-Testing, a technology that enables radical improvement to care pathways that improve patient outcomes and can dramatically reduce costs. Keynote will be Prof Chris Price, Visiting Professor in Clinical Biochemistry, University of Oxford, widely recognised as the leading authority in the world on the topic. For more details, and to book, go here.

The RSM has an earlybird (ie even lower cost) offering for our mHealth app conference on April 4th 2017 – these rates will last until 29th November. For more details, and to book for this event, now in its fifth year & which has serially sold out, go here.

The RSM is also has another long-running and regularly very well-attended event on 28th February entitled Recent Developments in Digital Health. Last February’s presentation by Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of Google DeepMind, is still being talked about. Details and booking here.

Finally the London Health Technology Forum has its first Autumn meeting on 20th October, covering the true story of how a start-up made its first sale to the NHS from both the point of view of the seller and from that of the NHS buyer. Attendance is completely free – book here. (While you’re at it, you may want to book for the Christmas Pitch too, as it’s certain to be fully booked before it takes place on 24th November.)

Disclosure: all the above have had some involvement, to a greater or lesser extent, from this editor.

Work for a UK LA? Apply for housing & technology improvements for people with learning disabilities

The Department of Health (DH) has announced an investment of £25m over the next two financial years (£10m in 2016/17 and £15m in 2017/18) in technology and housing for people with learning disabilities.

Half of the population of adults with learning disabilities in England live with their families; most of the remainder (33%) live in residential care. Only 15% of adults with learning disabilities have a secure long-term tenancy or their own home.

Having a home guarantees a place in the community, and is part of how people are accepted as equal citizens. People with learning disabilities are one of the most socially excluded groups in our society with limited life chances.   Investment in technology and housing to support independent living will provide the opportunity to make of reality of extending rights for people with learning disabilities.

The availability of appropriate housing is integral to the Transforming Care programme which aims to move people out of inpatient care into the community.  The additional DH funding announced is intended to have a broader focus aimed at those receiving support for their learning disability and is not restricted to those who are currently inpatients.

The DH is not looking to identify a single ‘winning’ approach.  DH expects innovation and impetus to come from local authorities, working closely with people with learning disabilities and family carers. Those areas interested in expanding their supported housing stock should note today’s announcement that it will remain exempt from the Local Housing Allowance cap until April 2019, from which point a new ‘local top-up’ model will be introduced. For more information on this specific point, click here.

The DH will apparently be looking for proposals that increase the capacity to deliver assistive technology and housing arrangements that provide innovative, person centred and flexible approaches to supporting independent living and maximising individual rights.

This capital funding will be deployed to enable local authorities to lead the way in bringing about a real change in how assistive technology and housing for people with learning disabilities can improve quality of life and outcomes for individuals and their families.

We would like information about the availability of the fund to be disseminated as widely as possible.  We would be grateful if you could circulate this information to your networks and contacts.

For further information and the application form please go here.

The closing date for applications is 28 October 2016. Any queries should be sent to: H&TC-Fund@dh.gsi.gov.uk.

Asthma UK recruiting for a new digital health role – interested?

Asthma UK has decided on a most exciting initiative to educate the tech industry on how they can best support the condition with new technology. Spearheading this activity will be this new role which is also expected to bring expertise to developing those digital health solutions: part stakeholder management, part UX designer.

If you want to know more, Joe Clift, Senior Policy Officer at Asthma UK, who is working alongside this new role, will be talking at the next DHACA Day in Leeds on October 6th (book here).

Details of the application are here. Applications close on 9th October.

Catch-up: what you may have missed whilst on holiday

This was the month when the UK Press seemingly finally woke up to the existence of STPs (Sustainability & Transformation Plans). This article by Derek du Preez and this in Digital Health are two one of a few that pick out the hope that digital health can help with making the NHS more sustainable. Sadly the headlines were grabbed with concern over closing hospital beds, which politicians in the UK still seem to consider to be a Bad Thing. Even though hospital beds have been reduced in most European countries over recent years, and those such as Denmark now trumpet reductions in hospital beds as progress, we have still to break the connection in people’s minds in the UK that beds are a good surrogate for health service delivery volume, (even though when pressed no individual seems keen to spend longer in hospital than absolutely necessary, or would prefer a treatment as an inpatient over treatment as an outpatient.)

Though not directly connected, the NHS offered over £100m to acute care trusts for “global digital excellence” – in line with the previous comments, perhaps the money could alternatively be spent on the UK building on its excellent primary care IT with the specific intention of moving more treatment out of hospitals…and follow that up with a proposal to put the hospital that is judged to be the least “globally digitally excellent” (more…)

Opportunity for developers – can you help asthma sufferers?

Asthma UK today unveils a key report that tells developers how mHealth could help asthma sufferers better. Entitled “Connected asthma: how technology will transform care”, whilst picking out a few excellent exemplars, it describes how poor the average asthma app currently is – for example only 6% of such apps provide pollution status, and only 8% cover inhaler technique.

Historically CHF, COPD & diabetes have been regarded as the key long term conditions to manage using telehealth. When, as this editor did a few years back, a suggestion was made to try it on asthma, clinicians tended to look askance. Yet as this report shows, mHealth can do a huge amount to improve the management of asthma especially now many people have smartphones. And, bluntly, asthma kills (more…)

A brilliant opportunity to learn from digital health experts, and get most of your T&S paid!

In this editor’s view rarely do opportunities as good as this come along for aspiring digital health innovators working on early warning systems for infectious diseases: I-Sense, in UCL, has announced that applications are now open for the 2nd round of I-Sense Mobility Fellowships – designed to support incoming researchers from academia and industry to work with I-Sense.

They are currently inviting incoming fellowship proposals from academia and industry in the following areas – (more…)

Digital health dates for Autumn 2016

Fancy a startup in Barcelona? Look no further than the NUMA Barcelona Accelerator. Note entries needed by 25th September.

The Biomedical Catalyst 2016 early stage award competition requires registrations by 7th September, applications in by 14th September.

The European Commission has opened a public consultation on the safety of apps and other non-embedded software as part of an effort to ensure a high level of health, safety and consumer protection. Be sure to respond by closing date of 14th September.

Baker Botts, the international firm of lawyers specialising in intellectual property has very kindly agreed to continue to support the London Health Technology Forum which has now agreed three evening events this autumn, on 15th September, 20th October & 24th November. The programmes are (more…)

Chris Lewis – the hyper-connected individual meets the healthcare system (guest blog)

Chris Lewis, a world-renowned telecoms expert and regular presenter on disability issues has kindly offered to share some further thoughts with readers. 

At the Great Telco Debate last year, one of the biggest laughs was when my co-host Graham Wilde was attacked for buying his wife a FitBit, implying she needed to lose weight! The success of these so-called health tracking devices, and their associated apps, is an indication of how wearables, combined with smart phones and tablets, are beginning to change our behaviour and our lives.

Outside the healthcare industry, these devices with their life-changing outputs are seen as wondrous. However, inside the healthcare sector, they are often dismissed as being toys providing inaccurate and misleading information.

The consumer electronics industry, with its dynamic gadget crazy geeks, coming up against the established healthcare profession, with its hospitals and insurance organisations, represents a key battleground for us all. Regulation in the medical area is rife, and so it should be. Consumer electronics is a considerably more liberal environment. So we have the challenge of making money and identifying new markets on the one hand, whilst accurately treating people with illness and disabilities on the other.

In previous articles (and here(more…)