BETTEReHEALTH project initiated to support eHealth solutions, improved outcomes in low-income African nations

The BETTEReHEALTH initiative has kicked off with partners in both Europe and Africa, with the objective of coordinating and supporting the deployment of what they term “sustainable eHealth solutions” in low and lower middle income countries (LLMICs) in Africa. The group of 11 project partners from Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Malawi, Tunisia, Ghana, and Ethiopia aim to create better health outcomes through better healthcare accessibility and higher quality, leveraging eHealth and healthcare technology.

The initiative will map and identify various human, technical, and public policy factors in eHealth implementation, and from there derive strategies and policies for successful eHealth leading to improved population health. Another objective is to develop new and existing strategic partnerships in Africa, plus European and African stakeholders in healthcare, research, education, business, and government. It is also creating open access registries on eHealth policies and solution information to identify best practices.

BETTEReHEALTH received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101017450, going to December 2022.

Organized around “Better eHealth is Better Health,” project coordinator partner spokesperson Morten Dalsmo, Executive Vice President at SINTEF and Head of SINTEF Digital, one of Europe’s largest independent research organizations, said: “BETTEReHEALTH is an important contribution to improve the quality of health services and increase access to health for underserved populations in Africa. This project is very much in line with SINTEF’s vision “technology for a better society” and our commitment to the sustainable development goals. SINTEF has valuable experience from projects in eHealth and digital health and in addition to coordinating BETTEReHEALTH, we aim to share these experiences with the consortium and the health authorities in African countries. Furthermore, SINTEF and our partners have an extensive network in Africa. BETTEReHEALTH aims for stakeholders in Africa and Europe to connect and make new partnerships with the overall purpose of better health outcomes.” 

The initiative is setting up four regional hubs in Tunisia, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Malawi, endorsed by each country’s Ministry of Health, an important factor in their effectiveness.  The four host countries will implement policies, roadmaps, and strategic plans first to serve as models for all other African countries in the project.  Release.  Hat tip to Frederic Lievens of Ets. Lievens-Lanckman, Belgium, and the International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth (ISfTeH).

Weekend reading: ISfTeH’s ‘A Century of Telemedicine’, featuring the UK

The International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH) recently published “A Century of Telemedicine – A World Wide Overview, Part IV”. This edition includes the UK. The author is our occasional contributor Malcolm ​Fisk, Professor of Ageing and Digital Health at the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility at De Montfort University in Leicester. The UK history starts before the Great War and moves towards the UK’s future in just under 100 pages. In addition to the UK, this compendium of telemedicine and eHealth initiatives also includes Armenia, Côte D’Ivoire, Pakistan, and Tunisia. The full text is a PDF download located here.

Three earlier overviews, plus Part IV, are indexed on ISfTeH’s Telemedicine and eHealth History page in their Media section. The introductory volume reviews the global history of telemedicine starting about 1859 when doctors and engineers fixed heart pulse as a curve and sent the data via a telegraph. Part I starts the history by country series with Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, India, Nigeria, and Russia. Part II covers Chile, Finland, Georgia, Japan, Peru, and the US. Part III includes Bolivia, Denmark, Iran, and Poland. Two additional histories on the page are on telehealth in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil plus 25 years of telemedicine in northern Norway.

These are extensive studies, but well worth your time. Hat tip to Malcolm Fisk.

News roundup: CVS cashing out notes, catching up with ISfTeH, India’s Stasis Labs RPM enters US, Propeller inhaler with Novartis Japan, Cerner gets going with VA

CVS Health is pricing out a tender offer for some notes. If you are holding one of a potpourri of notes with due dates of 2023 and 2025 from CVS, the company is making a cash tender offer, meaning they are cashing these notes out. This is usually done as part of rearranging financing, especially appropriate in the wake of the Aetna acquisition. The details are here in their release of 12 August. The collective value for both note years is approximately $3 bn each. An update is here on Seeking Alpha.

We have been remiss in not maintaining our following the Swiss-based International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH) so we will direct your attention to their August update which features the effect of COVID on teledermatology, women’s health, teleurology, and news on members and developers. Their Journal, still edited by Professor Maurice Mars of South Africa, has published once this year in January.

India’s Stasis Labs, developer of a remote patient monitoring (RPM) platform utilizing a smartphone, vital signs devices, a bedside monitor connected into a platform, is entering the US market. It monitors six vital signs in a single monitor: heart rate, blood oxygen, electrocardiogram, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and temperature. Awarded a 510(k) clearance in April, Stasis, out of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator program, has had a limited deployment at Texas-based emergency-care provider Hospitality Health ER and California-based Glendale Surgical Center and Orthopedic Surgery Specialists. It has also deployed to 50 cities in India. Mobihealthnews

Smartphone-connected inhaler sensor company Propeller Health has inked a deal with Novartis in Japan. Patients prescribed Novartis’ drugs for uncontrolled asthma, the Enerzair or Atectura Breezhaler, can now enroll in Propeller’s digital-management program. Data about their inhaler use will be transmitted from the sensor on the inhaler to Propeller’s smartphone app. The app also pings users with reminders and usage data. Propeller was acquired last year for a stunning $225 million by ResMed. Propeller this past May gained 510(k) FDA clearance for a sensor/app for use with AstraZeneca’s Symbicort inhaler.

Cerner’s EHR implementation with the US Department of Veterans Affairs finally took a step forward after many delays with the launch last Friday of a new scheduling system at the VA Central Ohio Healthcare System in Columbus, Ohio. Cerner migrated the information of some 60,000 veterans in preparation. The full EHR at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, originally scheduled for March, will go live this fall. Healthcare Dive

Keeping track of a multitude of Spring events–US, London, Scotland

It is less than eight weeks to ATA 2016 14-17 May and a reminder it’s time to register for this leading telemedicine and telehealth conference. Young professionals 35 and younger can save 37 percent on their registration, which they can promptly spend in Minneapolis. There are local delicacies like the Juicy Lucy (cheese-stuffed burger), which can be washed down with a drink at the Art Deco bar in the W Foshay. There’s always retail therapy at the Mall of America, which is a bit of a drive out of town. More local is walking off the calories in a visit to the Mill City Museum or Minnehaha Park. TTA is a media partner of #ATA2016. See sidebar for our link to information and registration.

On the European calendar, a reminder for Med-e-Tel Luxembourg on 6-8 April sponsored by ISfTeH (International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth). Online registration is still available through 1 April. Back in the US, at the same time is HX Refactored in Boston, a Health 2.0 conference on 5-6 April; this Editor attended when it was in Brooklyn. HealthImpact East in NYC, a tightly organized one day conference organized by Purpose Events, is on 17 May.

Last Wednesday in London, City University London opened their City TECS (Technology Enabled Care Studio) Smart Home Facility. According to the article, it’s one of the first ‘smart homes’ opened by a UK university, though this Editor must note that in the US, it was a phenomenon of the mid-2000s that popped up and endures today at universities like Florida, George Mason, Rochester, Iowa State and Washington State. It encompasses telehealth, telecare and complements the existing Clinical Skills Suite for healthcare education. A small disappointment is the apparent lack of diversity in the kit, as Tunstall and Philips are the only companies mentioned. News-Medical.net

A note to this Editor had details on an event a little outside our usual frame; the 2 June conference in Edinburgh organized by Scotland Policy Conferences, ‘Next steps for palliative and end of life care: access, delivery and integration’. “The recently published Strategic Framework for Action outlines standards and commitments for the palliative and end of life care people in Scotland can expect…including service improvement, early identification of needs and staff education.” Information and registration.

Add 4,500 miles and have breakfast in Dallas hosted by the always-interesting Hubert Zajicek at the Health Wildcatters seed accelerator. The monthly ‘Pulse’ event features education from a guest speaker, a local health startup’s pitch their company and networking. Next one up is 14 April. More information and subscription here.

Telehealth in Brazil: a special JISfTeH issue

The Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (JISfTeH) turns to Latin America in its latest issue with a focus on the versatile ways that telehealth has been used in Brazil. Nine papers range from distance healthcare education to store-and-forward imaging to building rural telehealth networks. Brazil’s government has supported remote care initiatives with the development and implementation of projects at the national, state and municipal levels. The telehealth model primarily has been connecting universities to primary care in remote cities (of which there are many!) with an emphasis on education and assistance. Topics include the nine-year-old telehealth project in Minas Gerais between Rio de Janiero and Brasilia, and its declining use; distance learning in dentistry; usage in the Amazon region and legislation. Registration required, but the journal is open access. Hat tip to its lead editor, Prof. Maurice Mars of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

 

 

Med-e-Tel Luxembourg

6-8 April, Luxembourg

Presented by the International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth (ISfTeH), if your company is seeking international growth and/or exposure, Med-e-Tel since 2004 has reportedly attendees from over 100 countries focusing on the broad scope of health tech in the EU. There’s also still time to 8 January to submit a proposal on your experience or research in telemedicine, telehealth, eHealth and mHealth. For more information on abstract submission for speaking, see here. Information and registration in their latest newsletter here. TTA is a media partner of Med-e-Tel 2016.

Women and eHealth on the international scale: JISfTeH explores

JISfTeH–the Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth–published by the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, has an intriguing issue this quarter that focuses on the international role of women and eHealth, not only as recipients but also as developers, designers and integrators of what they term Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Encouraging a greater role for women in what we more commonly call HIT is the subject of various UN, academic and rural efforts. The articles here are about   programs designed by, implemented and largely for women: the ‘Zero Mothers Die’ global initiative using mHealth to reduce infant and maternal mortality, using video games in structured exercise to prevent depression and anxiety among new mothers in the rural Philippines, telehealth in the monitoring of gestational diabetes (more…)

19th ISfTeH International Conference – 5th Carrefour de la Telesante

[grow_thumb image=”https://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/logo_catel-ISfTeH.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]16 – 17 October 2014. Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Paris

The annual fall “Telesante” meeting’s theme this year is “Towards an international eHealth?” Sessions will center on success stories of eHealth applications, connected tools and services, methodologies, eHealth and economic development, and legal/regulatory frameworks. Organized by CATEL, the French Network for eHealth providers, and the ISfTeH, the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth. Website and registration

Also: July ISfTeH newsletter Hat tip to Malcolm Fisk, CoDirector of Age Research Centre, Coventry University

Med-e-Tel 2014 Luxembourg

Next week’s Med-e-Tel (9-11 April) conference announced their final day of advance registration (today, 5 April) but if you are interested in going, please contact them directly for onsite information. The Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH), the publication of the main organizer of the conference, has published presentation abstracts in advance of the conference here. Conference website. ISfTeh April newsletter. New (7 April) overview press release. TTA is a past (and still listed as a) media sponsor of the event. If you are attending and interested in contributing coverage from one item to a day, please contact Editor Donna about arrangements. Our gentle requirements are that you send a timely report (within 72 hours) from this event. Our standard is that you can be selective and interesting rather than comprehensive. Of course you will receive writing credit, but other expenses will not be covered.