On July 11th, the free-to-join Digital Health And Care Alliance (DHACA) will be holding it’s first members’ day. The primary aim of DHACA-Day is to kick start operational activity within the Alliance. DHACA will respond to members’ priorities through the vehicle of Special Interest Groups (SIGs), which members are free to join in accordance with their interests. DHACA SIGs will generally follow the requirements gathering processes, leading to the generation of assets in the form of Interoperability Profiles, Guidance, Informational Briefings, and Reference Material.
Key to getting off to a good start will be the optimum selection and scoping of SIGs, and so during DHACA-Day we want firstly to hear from members, and then collectively to propose and define the priority SIGs from the key issues emerging.
To begin the process, the morning will comprise a range of motivational speakers talking on key topics such as integrated care, citizen identity, technology enabling care services and future challenges.
The event is being held in the DTG offices very close to Vauxhall tube station and is free to attend – sign up here for a great day!
Names again! E-Health Insider today has published a typo-prone summary of a Technology Strategy Board survey of the public’s understanding of “‘health and safety devices”. Unsurprisingly, just as most people would not know what acetylsalicylic acid is (though would be happy to take it when it was called aspirin), so only 10% knew that “‘health and safety devices” meant telecare and telehealth. Not sure I’d get that one right either.
There is better news though. The article also quotes the survey as finding that “38% of people said they did not understand the benefits for both self-care technologies and for health and care apps for smartphones and tablets” which I reckon is fantastically marvellous because it means that 62% of the population did understand the benefits of these technologies, which is a heck of a lot more than I suspect a random sample of GPs would, and shows we have been successful beyond our wildest dreams, especially if those happen to be concentrated in the oldest 62% of the population.
Sadly not all was quite so good as “…the research found that 43% of people would not consider telehealth because they would prefer to be seen by their clinician face to face.” Just as whenever in conversation someone tells me they wouldn’t share their health data, and I’ve asked whether they’d still feel like that if they were lying dying in the street and could be saved only if a clinician had instant access to that data, so I wonder if the question had been posed, as with our local surgery for non-urgent consultations, “would you prefer to wait 28 calendar days to see your clinician face to face or would you be consider remote consultation within 24 hours”, the answer might be slightly different.
The good side of course is that (more…)
Overloaded with Horizon2020 proposal adjudication and conference management (including the first DHACA members’ day on 11th July), this editor has been unable to do much Telehealth & Telecare Aware blogging. However the interesting items have continued to attract my attention and Prof Mike short (especially), Alex Wyke and Nicholas Robinson have continued to add further to the pile (huge thanks to all). So much seems worth highlighting: where to start? Perhaps with the 18 factors to make telemedicine a success, enumerated by the EU-funded Momentum project. Telecare Aware readers will be unsurprised by all 18, which look pretty basic. However many will notice obvious absences, such as the need to adduce evidence of the success of the intervention. Gluttons for punishment will find much more (more…)
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…)
A couple of recent articles have given me hope, after a really depressing session at my local surgery today for an NHS Health Check. It began when I spotted two adjacent notices in the waiting room, the first encouraging patients to access the surgery’s online facilities, and the second banning the use of mobile devices. It descended further when after producing the form I’d been asked to complete about height, weight, alcohol consumption, family history of disease etc., I was asked every question all over. When I protested, I was told that as most patients don’t fill in the form, or forget it, they ask patients anyway. (Discretion suggested it probably wasn’t the right time to suggest that perhaps that was why people don’t fill in forms…)
However the first article, by Zahid Latif, who heads up healthcare for the Technology Strategy Board, indicates a restlessness with the current use of patient data that appeals to me. He goes on to explain how the projects in the TSB’s dallas programme (more…)
As the dallas programme approaches its halfway point, one of its four projects, i-focus, has formed an organisation to continue the promotion of interoperability across the health & care sector beyond the end of dallas. The Alliance, with the acronym DHACA, will help NHS organisations, local authorities and third-sector providers collaborate and share information about new digital services. This will significantly help members reduce costs, remove duplication of effort and improve support for independent living and self-management projects, resulting in much-improved patient outcomes. DHACA will operate across the full health and social care spectrum. Targeted at forward-thinking, engaged, health and care professionals as well as technology suppliers, DHACA will provide experienced assistance, trusted processes and in-depth knowledge to:
- Define and share best practice services, technologies and business models
- Define and share business requirements for future procurement and roadmapping
- Better use existing investments, assets and infrastructure
- Ensure quality, interoperability with other systems and future-proofing
Membership is currently free – more information and joining arrangements here. (Disclosure editor Charles Lowe has been recruited by ADI, as interim director of DHACA, to establish it – the medical apps work previously published on TTA will now be taken forwards in DHACA)
This series of posts covers 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.
Part I briefly summarised the EU regulations covering health-related apps. The point was made that any health-related app must comply with data protection and consumer protection requirements, irrespective of whether the risk level is sufficient for it to be classified as a ‘medical device’. Where an app is classified as a ‘medical device’ it also has to be classified so that the appropriate adjudication work can be determined for it to receive a CE mark (Class I, lowest risk, requires least investigation; Class III, highest risk, requires greatest investigation).
Part II summarised the principal findings from discussions with a very wide range of potential stakeholders, from patients to consultants, and from individual app developers to chief executives of app curation companies. The key findings were:
- There is currently little academically-endorsed evidence of medical app efficacy, though much anecdotal evidence;
- There are too many bogus apps around;
- There are safety worries – for example where clinicians are using unregulated apps to manage medication dosage;
- The process for obtaining certification is unclear;
- Some app developers are ignoring data privacy legislation;
- The business model for achieving sales via the NHS is not well understood.
In addition, a theme running through both posts is that there is an international dimension to this issue, with some countries, notably the US, well advanced in certain aspects.
From these findings, four key conclusions emerge: (more…)