Scotland recognized by EC on innovative tech, practices for healthy aging

Scotland recognized as ‘reference site’ for innovation in healthy aging. The European Innovation Partnership Commission on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA), an initiative of the European Commission, since 2012 has awarded select regional and local areas ‘reference site’ status. To quote from their site, “Reference Sites are highly inspirational ecosystems, delivering creative and workable solutions that improve the lives and health of older people. These solutions can be scaled-up and replicated across the EU.”

This year, the 74 sites include Scotland. Previously, Scotland had been a three-star evaluation site twice for the national telecare programme and the joint improvement team’s work on anticipatory care planning. The reference site solutions include digital solutions via NHS 24 and the Health and Social Care Alliance in Scotland. The Reference Sites Award Ceremony is will take place in Brussels at the next European Summit on Innovation for Health and Active Ageing, 6-8 December 2016. Holyrood, Alliance Scotland release  Hat tip to Mike Clark via Twitter

‘Tis the season of mellow fruitfulness..and consultations

Suddenly it seems there are consultations all over the place that are important to the digital health world. If you can spare some time, you will be doing society a great turn by responding to as many as possible. They include:

The Accelerated Access Review (disclosure, which is editor is very involved with) is holding a consultation on pricing & reimbursement schemes. This is important because in the area of digital health (one of three areas covered by the AAR, the other two being medicines and medtech), selling at scale almost always involves a competitive tender (either at the time or previously in establishing framework contracts, or sometimes at both stages). We therefore have much to learn from the pharma sector in particular who have established a wide range of price-setting, and thus tender-avoiding, mechanisms. We are very keen for the digital health and medical technology voices to be heard.

Deadline for submissions is Friday 20th November.

Next we have an EC consultation with a characteristically long-winded title Public consultation on the preliminary opinion on ‘Disruptive Innovation. Considerations for health and health care in Europe’. For this, the EC is partnering with an organisation previously unknown to this editor: the Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health (EXPH). Having learned about disruptive innovation at the feet of the man himself, Clayton Christensen, this editor gets just a little uncomfortable when experts seek to impose order on the process (especially ‘taxonomies’), as by definition it is chaotic and opportunistic. However the four areas that the survey seeks views on are:

1. New models of person-centred community-based health delivery that allow a decentralisation from traditional health care venues like hospitals to integrated care models (e.g. transfer of records to patients);

2. New technologies that allow early diagnostics, personalised medicine, health promotion, community-based therapy and care and the empowerment of patients/citizens, as well as potential curative technologies (e.g. regenerative medicine, immunotherapy for cancer);

3. Person-oriented approaches for the treatment of patients with multiple chronic diseases, situations of frailty and/or of loss of functionalities in a multi-cultural context;

4. Education of the health workforce and transfer of skills and tasks from highly trained, high cost personnel to personnel that have less specialised trained and are more affordable; (e.g. from specialists to generalists, from generalists to nurses, from nurses to health care assistants and to other care providers such as pharmacists, and ultimately to citizens themselves.)

The preliminary opinion is just 95 pages long, and here. The consultation closes on 16th December.

Closer to home and potentially of more immediate significance is the consultation on the draft EU Code of Conduct on data privacy for medical apps which is now being opened up for general consultation prior to a meeting in Brussels of the group producing the Code (of which this editor is a member) on December 7th. Please send your comments directly to charles.lowe@DHACA.org.uk and I will pass them on.

Finally, London’s Southbank University is planning to establish a set of qualifications for digital health-related topics and is keen to understand the likely willingness to pay for them. They are currently in discussion with the Royal Society of Medicine regarding use of educational material. They have produced this short survey which they would appreciate as many TTA readers as possible completing.

Hat tip to Dee O’Sullivan for alerting me to the disruptive innovation consultation.

 

“Mainstreaming medical apps; reducing NHS costs; improving patient outcomes” – a brief summary

What follows is a brief summary of the presentations given at the Royal Society of Medicine’s third “Appday”, held on 9th April 2015. All three events have been sell-outs.

Anne Hayes, Head of Market Development at BSI, opened the event with an excellent presentation on the then shortly-to-be-finalised PAS 277 on mHealth apps (now available, free, here). She particularly welcomed the opportunity to present to clinicians, as too often her audience was primarily technologists. The presentation was especially impressive because Anne had only agreed to do the presentation the previous Friday, following realisation by both MHRA & NICE that proximity to the election meant neither could present. Anne explained that PAS 277, as a Publicly Available Specification, is not mandatory – it is essentially a checklist for developers and purchasers of medical apps to consider.

Julie Bretland, CEO of OurMobileHealth, then presented on the preliminary conclusions of the NIB Workstream 1.2 on how best to approve medical apps. (more…)

Something for (almost) everyone – a digital health gallymaufry

The Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) is looking for companies to share the British Pavilion at the CMEF trade show from 15th – 18th May 2015 in Shanghai, China. It is apparently the the leading Healthcare trade show in China and is now the largest Medical Equipment exhibition in the Asia Pacific region attracting over 60,000 visitors. Details here.

Still need to see some more predictions for 2015? – try these 12 for telecoms, which does include the odd interesting nod towards subjects we cover, including interconnection of wearables and connected homes.

Prompted by our mention of V-Connect in our review of our 2014 predictions, MD Adam Hoare has pointed out that his company also won the Medilink ‘partnership with the NHS’ award for their renal project with The Lister Hospital in Stevenage. Congratulations!

Accenture has produced an interesting (more…)

EU green paper on mHealth – VERY IMPORTANT

This week the European Commission published its green paper on mHealth previously announced in the eHealth Action Plan 2012-2020, kicking off a broad stakeholder consultation on existing barriers and issues related to mHealth deployment and helping to identify the right way forward to unlock mHealth potential. To accompany it, a very short video by Neelie Kroes is available. An accompanying short (10 page) paper by the EC on the current legal position for people using health & wellbeing apps is also well worth a read. Finally, to complete the set, the EC has produced an mHealth infographic as well.

Responses to the Green Paper are required to the European Commission by 3rd July at the latest.

In view of the potential for mHealth to benefit everyone if correctly regulated and supported, all readers are urged to respond, either individually or collectively via an industry body (eg DHACA – see below), or both.

The document, at only 19 pages long, is hugely impressive, making an excellent case for (more…)

EU Accessibility Legislation: boring but very important

According to the EC Workplan for 2014, item 21 is the European Accessibility Act.

“The initiative will improve the market of goods and services that are accessible for persons with disabilities and elderly persons, based on a “design for all” approach. This business friendly initiative will include binding measures to promote procurement and harmonisation of accessibility standards. The initiative is currently in a consultation process with industry and stakeholders.”

One such consultation covers electronic equipment.  It is being managed by the organisation with the acronym BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications). A workshop was led on 15/10/13 – details are here. There has been word of a further more significant meeting involving the EC in early December. (Note that leading the consultation are DG Enterprise and DG Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship (not DG Connect)).

Why are we flagging this up? Well there seems little evidence to date of much engagement from the eHealth and telemedicine-related activities in the UK, so this is a call to appropriate readers to get engaged with BEREC, before decisions are taken that without appropriate UK involvement.