A fistful of topical events

The London Health Technology Forum has just announced the details of its Christmas evening meeting on 13th December. Star turn will be the seasonally-appropriate Andrew Nowell, CEO of Pitpatpet who has a brilliant story to tell of how an activity tracker can unlock so many revenue sources. Attendees will also unlock mince pies, courtesy of longstanding host Baker Botts, and a roundup of key digital health changes in 2017 from this editor.

NICE Health App Briefings: NICE has finally published the end result of its review of three health apps on their Guidance & Advice list. Given that digital health is so much faster moving than pharma, it is disappointing that these apps appear to be being judged to a very high level of evidence requirement.

For example Sleepio, whose evidence for  effectiveness “is based on 5 well-designed and well-reported randomised controlled trials and 1 large prospective unpublished audit” is still judged, in terms of clinical effectiveness, as “has potential to have a positive impact for adults with poor sleep compared with standard care. There is good quality evidence that Sleepio improves sleep but the effect size varies between studies, and none of the studies compared Sleepio with face-to-face cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT‑I).”

This editor is unaware of any other app that has five good RCTs under its belt so (more…)

Friday fun spot (UK)

In case any UK reader is unaware of the NHS Networks Editor’s Blog, we just thought we’d draw your attention to this Friday’s excellent example. Every week Julian Patterson comes up with a wonderfully amusing take on some aspect of the NHS; this week’s is particularly good. Sadly the intricacies and absurdities of the UK’s NHS are so great as perhaps to make many of the references incomprehensible to those from overseas (for this week, a working knowledge of the BBC’s internationally-viewed Dr Who series helps as well).

The item is nothing directly to do with telecare or telehealth (where there’s been enough excitement elsewhere this week), although occasionally, if you sign up for the NHS Networks weekly letter, you will catch a useful item on some aspect of digital health…as well as not missing next week’s Editor’s Blog.