Bucharest–the next hot European digital city? 170 startups say ‘da’. (RU)

It certainly came as a surprise that the second fastest growing economy in the EU is–Romania. Identified in your Editor’s mind with the monstrous dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, grinding poverty and the lost orphans (who are now lost and underground–see this horrific Daily Mail article), it has a burgeoning tech startup scene and a superior digital infrastructure including the fastest internet in Europe, achieved through a combination of post-Ceaușescu entrepreneurship and state avoidance. The Communist emphasis on what we call STEM also has paid off for both young men and especially for women as techies and developers. There are even accelerators: Innovation Labs and MVP Academy. Where Romania lags versus similarly situated Estonia and Bulgaria is native investment–angel investors are almost unknown. Being also an EU member, most of the best are lured away to attractive opportunities in other countries (including the US) at least for some time. But the low cost of development versus other digital cities like London and Berlin, educated workforce and a robust infrastructure are factors favoring Romania. Hat tip to reader Jerry Kolosky. One of the poorest countries in the EU could be its next tech-startup hub (Quartz) and the Digital City Index. (We note the photo at the top of the Quartz article is Google Chicago, not Bucharest)

Successful large-scale deployment of Telehealth: a “cookbook”

Following a two and a half year evaluation of data from different connected health programmes in five European regions, a report [grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ACT-programme-logo.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]was released this week described as a “cookbook” for large-scale deployment of coordinated care and telehealth. The work was carried out by a consortium led by Philips Healthcare and included participants from The Netherlands, Greece, the UK, Spain, Italy and Germany.

After monitoring coordinated care and telehealth initiatives in five EU healthcare regions – Lombardy (IT), Basque Country (ES), Catalonia (ES), Northern Netherlands (NL), and Scotland (UK) – the EU-funded Advancing Care Coordination & Telehealth Deployment (ACT) Programme has produced this ‘cookbook’ of good practice to facilitate their deployment across Europe. (more…)

‘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.

 

National UK Telehealthcare Awareness, KFC & Wayra – three recent items

On June 3rd, UK Telehealthcare is holding their first National Telehealthcare Awareness day with events all over the country – follow the link to see what’s happening close to you!

This editor was alerted by a poster from the recently rehoused CUHTec who are supporting the  Mascot event at Merton. Other events that particularly caught this reviewer’s eye were at Welbeing/West Sussex, NEAT (remember when the N used to stand for LB Newham – now it’s Norwich) and Cair.

Next, who can resist a heading that reads KFC Tray Typer keyboard is finger clickin’ good. It turns out that KFC have created a wipe-clean tray mat that doubles as a Bluetoothed keyboard so you can continue typing without gumming up your mobile device with grease whilst enjoying their delectable fare.  Sadly these were only available in Germany, and then only for a set of new KFC openings. The plan apparently was that the mat was durable enough to get wiped down and re-used however (more…)

UK, Nordics lead best EU countries for mHealth business: survey

Respondents to research2guidance’s fifth annual mHealth Economics survey rated UK and the Nordic countries the best for mHealth market success, based on factors of market readiness and maturity including doctors and consumers. Other top countries were Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland. Germany and France were significant because of market size and investment in healthcare. According to the survey where over 5,000 healthcare app publishers and health professionals ranked countries on multiple points, “In UK, Sweden, Denmark and Netherlands doctor’s acceptance of apps and high level of digitalization are seen as main drivers. Germany is attractive mainly because of its substantial market size and its big number of potential users.”[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/EU-segments.png” thumb_width=”400″ /]

Findings were presented this week at the mHealth Summit in Riga, Latvia and is the first part of a larger study on developer economics and future healthcare delivery. As a media partner, TTA participated starting in March in inviting respondents to the survey. A free download of the report is available to our readers here (minimal registration required). Release

BSI publishes medical apps code of practice – PAS 277

After some six months of consultation and hard work, the BSI has produced PAS 277, which can be downloaded free, here. The purpose of the code, which is not mandatory, is to provide guidance to app developers on the key issues to be aware of when developing and delivering medical apps. This editor, as Managing Director of DHACA, was a member of the team developing the code.

PAS stands for Publicly Available Standard – to quote Wikipedia, the objective of a Publicly Available Specification is to speed up standardization. PASs are often produced in response to an urgent market need.

Again representing DHACA, this editor is now also a member of the drafting committee of the EU’s voluntary code focusing (more…)

Will there be more remote consultation pilots than BA has, as well?

News comes via Prof Mike Short of another remote consultation pilot planned – this time the ELECTOR project involving Denmark, UK and the Czech Republic. As it seems to have no website yet, we can only offer a Twitter handle. There’s also info on the Brit in the video on the above link, Dr Anthony Leeds, on the University of Surrey website, (explaining that he has recently been appointed a Visiting Professor at the University of Copenhagen).

This information comes a few days after the previous remote consultation pilot we covered that was featured in Pulse. Is this reviewer being unduly pessimistic in wondering whether we are about to suffer the same pilotitis that afflicted telehealth that led to the original “more pilots than BA” jibe? If so, what can be done?

Well one obvious cause of the problem is (more…)

Roundup: data breaches ’round the world

Following on our review of recent articles on why medical identity theft is so attractive, here’s our review of data breaches in the news, including a new (to this Editor) report from Europe.

  • It’s not Europe, blame the UK! That is one of the surprising findings of a meta-review of all types of data breaches released earlier this month by the Central European University’s Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS). While not specific to healthcare, it is the first study this Editor has seen on EU data breaches and is useful for general trends. 229 verified incidents were analyzed by the CMDS across  28 EU member countries plus Switzerland and Norway, 2005-3rd Quarter 2014, and includes unusual healthcare breaches such as Danish HIV patients’ personal information included in a PowerPoint presentation later published online. Key findings:
    1. 57 percent of breaches were due to insider theft, mismanagement or error; 41 percent were hacker-instigated
    2. It’s common: “for every 100 people in the study countries, 43 personal records have been compromised”
    3. In terms of impact, the UK by far, then Greece, Norway, Germany and Netherlands were the top five countries for incidents and numbers of records breached (report page 9) (more…)

A few observations from September’s Health Technology Forum London

On Wednesday 17th September, Health Technology Forum members gathered at Baker Botts’ office in London for a couple of key presentations on legal aspects of medical software.

The first, by Joe Hagan-Brown, Regulatory Affairs Specialist at the MHRA, covered the EU’s medical device-specific regulation. The second, by Alex Denoon of Lawford Davies Denoon, was a presentation on the EU’s data protection regulation.

Readers with long memories will recall that I summarised medical device-specific regulation a while back; much of what Joe said added colour to that summary. A few comments he made are perhaps worthy of repetition (more…)

Are you the SME that has developed the best eHealth solution in the past year? (EU)

If so, be sure to register for this great competition quick, as the closing date for registration is February 6th.

The competition’s objective is to support business success of EU SMEs by giving them visibility together with marketing opportunities to attract customers, partners and external capital. There are two separate categories, each with their own three prizes: those will turnover of under €500k and those with turnover over €500k.

Good luck!

Driving up medical app usage in the UK – part I

Our recent post on ‘the last mile’ for medical apps in the US is a great introduction to some work I have been doing over the past three months: attempting to answer the question of how best to improve the perception by clinicians and patients of the efficacy of health-related apps. This work has been done for the i-Focus project, part of the Technology Strategy Board’s dallas programme.

As the research is quite detailed, and as I’m keen to get as much feedback as possible, I have split the work into three parts, to be delivered over the week – comments to this article or a direct email to me (on charles.lowe@btinternet.com) on errors, omissions or additions would be hugely gratefully received.

This post aims to answer the question of what regulations affect the development, sale and usage of health-related apps and, in particular, when an app is a medical device. (more…)

When deciding which telemonitoring Code of Practice to adopt, do you use a TeleSCoPE?

As promised in our recent post, the European Code of Practice for Telehealth Services has now been published by the TeleSCoPE project. This directly responds to the European Commission COM2008:689 on telemedicine for the benefit of patients, healthcare systems and society. The particular definition of telehealth/telemedicine used here means that it covers both of what are often referred to separately as telecare and telehealth.

It therefore covers the same areas as the TSA Integrated Code of Practice.  As explained in our previous post, TSA codes are (more…)

Ambient Assisted Living Forum 2013

The AAL Forum is billed as an annual platform for the growing “ambient assisted living” – telehealth and telecare – community in Europe to meet and discuss AAL. It is also a showcase event for people involved in the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme which is an initiative involving 20 EU and 3 non-EU countries, with public funding from EU and partner states. This year the Forum meets in Norrköping in Sweden from 24th to 26th of September.

The full programme, a link to the online registration web page, information on the associated exhibition and archived information on the past 4 years’ AAL Forums can be accessed from the AAL Forum website.

 

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/EKTG-logo.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]European Knowledge Tree Group Workshop

A side event at this year’s AAL Forum, this workshop will be held on the 24th of September.  The EKTG is  an  ad-hoc group concerned with the real impact of R&D in the area of ageing and “brings together users, technologists, financiers and governments”. The workshop aims to review the technology of Apps from development, opportunities, appropriateness to costs and finance. To register for the EKTG workshop visit the registration page here.