European Patient Experience and Innovation Congress (EPIC 2020) invites world health tech to Croatia

European Patient Experience and Innovation Congress (EPIC 2020)
19-21 March
Valamar Lacroma Hotel
Dubrovnik, Croatia

One of our Readers from Croatia is the CEO of the Bagatin Clinic in Zagreb. In cooperation with the Cleveland Clinic, they are organizing this first-ever pan-European conference focusing on health tech and how it will impact the patient experience. This Editor has previously noted the growth of medical and healthcare tech in Central and Eastern Europe in places like Hungary and Estonia–and now, Croatia.

Ognjen Bagatin was kind enough to write me before the holidays and has since filled in some of the highlights.

  • Centered on the patient experience, it will explore the relationships among healthcare delivery, technology, private enterprise and the human beings who need and want these services.
  • Encompassing the scientific, clinical, behavioral and social perspectives, ranging from the futuristic, highly theoretical to current, best-in-class practice.
  • A high-energy, stimulating event for everyone, from c-suite executives, to clinical practitioners, clinic owners, scientists, and investors, EPIC will bring together some of the most influential physicians, med-tech startups and health professionals from Europe and beyond to the table to improve how your patients will experience healthcare in the near future.
  • As technology continues to help us achieve previously unattainable results in healthcare, the conference will bring an insiders’ look at which technologies, ideas, and innovations are improving the patient experience 
  • And, of course, there’s Dubrovnik
  • Speaker list here

Early registration closes on 19 January. More information here.

The Accelerated Access Review – a personal journey

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”200″ /]The Accelerated Access Review (AAR) aims to speed up access by NHS patients to innovative medicines, medtech and diagnostics, and digital health. Of these, digital health is the newest, and because it enables care to be delivered in a far more efficient and patient-centric way, offers great hope for the future of improved patient outcomes and controlled costs.

As someone outside government who was drawn into the digital health stream of the AAR, this blog aims to capture key learnings from the experience.


The initial list of obstacles to innovation in the NHS was depressingly long, until carefully differentiated. Top of the pile were items like the NHS’s asymmetric attitude to risk – successful innovations are forgotten, unsuccessful innovations are a life sentence for those involved – which are soluble only by those at the very top.

Then there were the surmountable challenges – for example the fear, uncertainty and doubt over digital health regulation was overcome by (more…)

Rounding up best medtech in 2015

Medgadget’s 2015 roundup looks at nine innovative and in some cases life-saving medtech systems. These cover ground from diagnostics to robotic exoskeletons, from hearts to eyes and ears. Some are obviously early stage research projects, others are close to market. In eyewear news, a revamped Google Glass made the news with its FCC filing; we look at the Glass reboot and rival facial tech.

  • Evena Eyes-On ultrasound/infrared goggles that let the wearer visualize the peripheral and deeper vasculature for venipuncture procedures.
    • [grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]And speaking of eyewear, Google Glass 2.0 made the end-of-year news with its leaked FCC filing detailing its changes in design, including a bigger screen, hardier build, improved camera and longer battery life. It also confirmed earlier rumors that Glass’ market was now medical and enterprise. Guardian, WSJ (video)
    • Other smart glasses from Vital Enterprises, Augmedix,, and a beefed up Google Glass from ThirdEye for the ER recapped in MedCityNews.
  • A brain stent with pressure activated nanoparticles to break up vessel occlusions in the brain that cause ischemic strokes, developed by Harvard’s Wyss Institute and University of Massachusetts’ New England Center for Stroke Research.
  • A combination of EKSO Bionic‘s exoskeleton with UCLA‘s non-invasive spinal cord stimulation from NeuroRecovery Technologies which enabled paralyzed men to move their legs.
  • The XStat Rapid Hemostasis System, developed for the US military, now released for civilian use, which uses small sponges to stop bleeding.
  • Three pacemakers–one fetal, another powered by light and a third from EBR Systems’ WiSE technology that stimulates both sides of the heart
  • The PolyPhotonix Noctura 400 sleep mask for treating diabetic retinopathy
  • A two-part laser-based hearing aid from EarLens where one section is placed on the eardrum

Health tech growing fast in Brazil and Asia-Pacific

Brazil’s strong growth in mHealth and medical apps is detailed in three recent studies from PwC, PwC-GSMA, Research2Guidance and the New Cities Foundation. PwC is pegging mobile health apps at $46.6 million by 2015, with PwC-GSMA projecting that 43.9 million additional patients could be treated with mobile health technology in Brazil and Mexico by 2017. Research2Guidance confirms that Brazil’s an Android market, outselling iOS in the 10 most downloaded health and fitness apps by 17 times. The Geneva/Paris-based New Cities Foundation equipped doctors and nurses at a family clinic in Santa Marta, Rio de Janiero, Brazil with a $42,000 ‘backpack’ for home care, containing a GE Vscan portable ultrasound, a TuffSat pulse oximeter, an Accutrend blood monitor, an EKG machine, a blood pressure monitor, a weight scale, a digital thermometer, tape measure and stethoscope. Savings were about $200,000 per 100 patients/year. Mobihealthnews.

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”100″ /] The Gimlet Eye, having read this, just sent a message to your Editor. Could it be The Eye’s undisclosed location?  Perhaps we should be… ‘Flying Down to Rio’?

In Asia-Pacific, the $55 billion APAC medical devices market–nearly 25 percent of the world market– is expected to grow over 10 percent per year over the next three years, outstripping rest-of-world growth by 4 points. Growth in China and India is especially striking, with India’s medical device growth at 16 percent per year for three years. Healthcare is improving in less developed areas, and the age 65+ population in greater developed countries is increasing as a proportion of the population as birth rates fall (in Japan, 24 percent–with Japan also the overwhelming leader in patents). While much broader than mobile health or telehealth, the overall category serves as a pointer to growth opportunities in the very near future. MD+DI  Hat tip to reader George Margelis, MD via LinkedIn, who advocates Australia take a greater leadership position in developing ‘medtech’.