Important dates for your diary – many free! (UK)

The must-do free digital health event of the next few weeks has to be to go to one of the four final dallas events, in which attendees will get to hear of all the important things that the programme has learned over the past three years. Surely that’s unmissable, or as the flier says, “free but priceless”!

The events are at:

  • Manchester – 12th November
  • Cardiff – 17th November
  • Belfast – 25th November
  • Glasgow – 8th December

Bookings for the first three of these can be made here, for Glasgow, here.

The Cardiff event is being run alongside the TSA International Technology Enabled Care Conference on 16th & 17th November, (and see our recent blog on this too), so you can combine the two.

The Glasgow event is part of the Scottish Digital Health & Care Week, that we also featured in a recent blog.

Another free-to-attend event with a particular focus on SMEs takes place on the evening of the 3rd December in City Hall, London: 21st Century London MedTech. Bookings, and more details, here.

Moving to paid events, albeit very cheaply priced because the Royal Society of Medicine is a charity, the Telemedicine Section of the RSM has four events now open to book:

Both the February and April events are now into their fourth years – and both are regular sellouts, so worth booking soon.

You might also want to hold the 19th May in your diaries for when the RSM & IET jointly run another conference that was previously a sellout: “the future of medicine; the doctor’s role in 2025”. This will be opened by George Freeman, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Life Sciences,and features a glittering array of experts who will be suggesting what we need to do now to deliver the health & care systems of the future. Bookings will open soon.

The 2nd UCL Festival for Digital Health is now set for 22 February to 4 March 2016 – more details here.

Planning ahead, the search for the best eHealth solution in 2016 developed by an EU SME has begun with the unveiling of the competition’s website and the ability to get mailed information as it emerges.

Good luck if you apply!

Still need some help with healthcare innovation? (UK)

These days it seems you cannot get away from talk of innovation in the NHS – even the London Business School, this editor’s alma mater, is holding a conference on it, on 20th October. Then there’s the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme, the Accelerated Access Review (AAR), that this reviewer is involved with, the National Information Board (NIB), that this editor is also involved with, NHS Test Beds, the topic of a recent popular TTA blog, the NHS Vanguards, the NHS Pathfinders, the Integrated Care Pioneers and many others all seeking the holy grail of healthcare: improved patient outcomes, ideally at lower cost (or is that lower cost ideally with improved patient outcomes?).

If all this is too much and you have lost your way, the Royal Society of Medicine & NHS Innovations South West (NISW) have the solution: (more…)

What’s caught my digital health interest recently

At the Royal Society of Medicine we’ve just announced our next medical apps event on 7th April next year, Medical apps; mainstreaming innovation in which we feature for the first time a presentation by Pam Kato, a Professor of Serious Games, so it’s intriguing to see the iMedicalApps review of a clinician-facing serious game, iConcur, for anaesthetists.

We also have a powerful presentation on mental health apps from Ieso Digital Health which doubtless will make the same point as has been made in previous events that online mental health services typically are more effective than face:face. The abstract to the recent Lancet paper by Dr Lisa Marzano et al, examining this topic in great detail, suggests that the academics are now a long way to working out why this is the case and offers further potential improvements; aspiring mental health app developers unable to access the full paper may consider it worth paying $31.50 (or join the RSM to access it for free).

A regular at the RSM’s Appday is Dr Richard Brady’s presentation on Bad Apps, which next year will now doubtless include mention of the FTC’s recent fifth action against an app provider, UltimEyes, with deceptively claiming they their program was scientifically proven to improve the user’s eye sight.

Moving to good apps (more…)

Events dear boy, events: a roundup of UK digital health stuff this autumn

This editor accumulated vast piles of notifications when on a two week holiday recently – here is the cream of the events notified. More to follow on resources shortly.

Between 4-6th September, SECC Glasgow is holding what it claims is the first ever medical education hackathon.

On the 14th September the free-to-attend London Health Technology Forum, organised by this editor, has an evening devoted to Exits (of the financially very lucrative kind). Baker Botts’ experienced lawyers will describe with examples the different exits available to the successful entrepreneur, why it’s important to plan ahead, and what the plusses and minuses are of each type of exit. Essential knowledge if you hope to become rich from your hard work & dedication.

On 17th September, KPMG are holding a free all-day event entitled ‘Information Protection in Digital Health’ at (more…)

Events for your diary, your CV and perhaps your bottom line

This editor has recently been overwhelmed by important dates near and far that readers needs to be aware of. Beginning with July, the first networking event for the Long Term Care Revolution SBRI National Challenge will take place in Birmingham on 21st July at the Menzies Hotel, Birmingham. Click here to register. The second networking event will take place on the 28th July at The Thistle Marble Arch. Register here

This SBRI competition aims to stimulate the development of innovative new products, services and systems that disrupt the institutional long-term care model, ensuring that UK businesses are well placed to take advantage of this growing market opportunity. A total of £4m is up for grabs so (more…)

I’m finally losing faith in Jawbone

A couple of days ago this editor got yet another promotion for a Jawbone product – UP4 – that he cannot buy. This time however, things were different.

Not only were the links both to find out more about, and to buy, the product broken, the UP4 isn’t even in the UK Jawbone store. Thankfully “Caitlyn” from “Jawbone Customer Care” did reply to my email, to give me standard blurb on the product explaining that it is linked to an American Express account to offer contactless payment. She also commented that it “is currently available for purchase in the US” so why the email was sent to a European she did not bother to explain, or seemingly, even care (they should know my address as they’ve used it often – see below). If this experience is repeated by other wearable suppliers, no wonder there continues to be a high level of abandonment among purchasers.

Now this editor has been after a posher UP ever since the new tracker that captures heart rate etc – the UP3 – was announced, seemingly many months back now, and so any email like this gets me excited, encouraging me to click ‘customise’ in the Jawbone store, only then to be told when I click through that it’s ‘coming soon’. and indeed it still is, apparently (even though Amazon now says it’ll be in stock by (more…)

The health disruptors, about to be themselves disrupted

FierceMedicalDevices on Friday had an article on disruption of the hearing aid business that looks like it could have slipped through a time warp from a few years back – it even mentions faxing as a part of the new process.

The disruption it transpires is separating hearing test from hearing aid provision, the results of the test being sent to a provider “via fax or email”. This it seems is likely to reduce device costs (no mention of the tests costs) from $1,000-$6,000 to some $700/pair.

However, as a Royal Society of Medicine audience heard recently, (more…)

“Mainstreaming medical apps; reducing NHS costs; improving patient outcomes” – a brief summary

What follows is a brief summary of the presentations given at the Royal Society of Medicine’s third “Appday”, held on 9th April 2015. All three events have been sell-outs.

Anne Hayes, Head of Market Development at BSI, opened the event with an excellent presentation on the then shortly-to-be-finalised PAS 277 on mHealth apps (now available, free, here). She particularly welcomed the opportunity to present to clinicians, as too often her audience was primarily technologists. The presentation was especially impressive because Anne had only agreed to do the presentation the previous Friday, following realisation by both MHRA & NICE that proximity to the election meant neither could present. Anne explained that PAS 277, as a Publicly Available Specification, is not mandatory – it is essentially a checklist for developers and purchasers of medical apps to consider.

Julie Bretland, CEO of OurMobileHealth, then presented on the preliminary conclusions of the NIB Workstream 1.2 on how best to approve medical apps. (more…)

Important: DHACA’s response to the RCP advice on medical apps

The Royal College of Physicians has just published app guidance that, according to EHI “doctors should only use medical apps with an official CE mark”. EHI goes on to clarify that the guidance “applies to medical apps that can be classed as medical devices, which are bound by EU law to carry the mark.”

The Digital Health & Care Alliance (DHACA), of which this reviewer is Managing Director, is extremely concerned that this advice may seriously impact on the beneficial use of medical apps in the UK as it places the onus of deciding whether an app is a medical device on individual clinicians, a decision that at times even experienced MHRA personnel can equivocate on.

As the original research done by this editor on the topic of medical app take-up demonstrated, clinicians (more…)

The NHS, tech, and the next 10 years – soapbox, event & call for posters

As a distraction from the things that, before the advent of handheld technology, little boys used to do in the school playground when this editor was young, once in a while we would engage in the pointless debate of what would happen if an irresistible force met an immovable object.

Those debates came to mind when Graham De’Ath kindly drew this editor’s attention to the recently published Labour Ten Year Plan for Health & Care. Now Telehealth & TelecareAware knows better than to indulge in politics, however the document was notable in that it did not make any significant reference either to the demographic reality of the next ten years, or the likely role of ‘technology’ in assisting with the resultant increase in care required (the word is mentioned just once, in the commitment to: “Set up a wide–ranging review of NICE which will look at reforming the  NICE technology  appraisal process…” [actually already underway by the NIB]).  The Labour Party is far from being alone in this – readers with long memories will recall our amusement as the RCGP’s ten year forecast of the changes in GP practice where the biggest role technology was expected to play in 2022 was in remote delivery of test results.

The reality, TTA believes, will be very different: (more…)

Looking back over Telehealth & Telecare Aware’s predictions for 2014

Looking back over our predictions made on 31st December last year, it’s hard to quibble with any, and worth hanging on to those that didn’t come good this year.

Our first was

Security and data privacy issues will become a serious mHealth issue in 2014; developers failing to take great care over security and privacy issues will risk very adverse publicity and worse.

Job done: that certainly proved correct, with many being exposed as either selling or potentially selling private information. Clinicians were not immune from privacy invasion eitherHere is a US summary of the issues. Attention was drawn to an EU Article 29 data protection opinion (actually published in 2013) that sought to clarify the legal framework applicable to the processing of personal data in the development, distribution and usage of apps on smart devices, and the obligations to take adequate security measures.   Many apps got hacked too, including FDA-approved ones. There were also items, such as this one, demonstrating how complex the law is in this area in the US. In the EU, the arrival of the Data Protection Regulation in 2015 (now some say 2016) will undoubtedly improve data privacy significantly, though the failure to treat data used for health purposes differently from (more…)

Integrated care – how can technology help? (+ earn 12 CPD points)

There has been a recent rush to book for the Royal Society of Medicine’s two day conference entitled “Integrated Care- how can technology help” on 24th & 25th November, so we are featuring it one more time, especially as it looks to be only one of two health & care technology events this autumn that also offers CPD points (the other is the TSA conference next week).

With a wide range of speakers from across the world, including Adam Darkins (ex VHA, now Medtronics), Robert Wah (President, American Medical Association) as well the UK’s very own Cathy Hassell and Tim Kelsey,  this conference will explore the many ways in which technology can assist in the effective delivery of integrated care to improve patient outcomes, at reduced cost.

The event will cover all the principal care disciplines which so often end up failing to work together to deliver holistic care: primary care, secondary care, mental health, social care and third sector engagement. Even within each of these areas, coordinating care can be challenging when people have to rely on paper and word of mouth to communicate. Technology offers a way of (more…)

Big Data – Royal Society of Medicine 5th June

Finding the needles in an ever bigger health information haystack – that’s what the latest RSM conference on 5th June is all about.

There is now a mass of data in the NHS accumulated over the past 60 years about health, its delivery, and increasingly about the individual characteristics, personal health and genetic data of individual and massed patients. The novelty is that this data can now be linked up with data from ever more disparate sources to give answers to questions that only yesterday we could barely conceive.

We have access to a vast data volume, faster, and in increasingly varied ways. We have more papers about how to manage it and more tools. Where are the experts? We have moved rapidly from bytes to gigabytes, and now Petabytes (and soon evenbiggerbytes) of data held by health systems about people.

But how can we use this data rationally? How can Big Data analytics help? (more…)

How much longer will ‘mobile’ be different from ‘living’?

The news that the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week broke all attendance records is hardly surprising, given the way mobile communications are inserting their way into almost every aspect of life. It does though make one wonder how much longer the MWC can retain it’s broad focus as communications mobility becomes indistinguishable from normal living (and additional accommodation in Catalonia becomes harder to find). Indeed, as mHealth News pointed out last week, mobile comms keeps people living, worldwide

Not all age groups have been able to gain the same level of benefit from mobile comms though, most notably older people. It is therefore great to see (more…)

Mainly mHealth: a few predictions for 2014, and some speculation

Editor Charles on what to watch for in 2014

As we have covered previously (and here), there’s no shortage of forecasts that the mHealth market will continue to grow faster, or of penetrating comments like that that won Research2guidance a What in the Blue Blazes award that smartphone user penetration will be the main driver for the mobile health (mHealth) uptake. mHealth apps continue to proliferate – there’s even shortly to be a Pebble apps store. There are a few straws in the wind that not is all well though – for example, as we covered recently, Happtique ceased, at least temporarily, its apps approval process, citing security concerns.  Elsewhere Fierce Mobile described serious data privacy issues with the iPharmacy app, and the ICO recently produced security guidelines for app developers in the UK.  The EU is also strengthening data privacy, moving from individual country directives to a pan-EU regulation. This leads us to our first prediction (more…)

Conflicting telehealth signals – is the VA or E Riding of Yorkshire CCG on the money?

Can there be two greater contrasts than the recent decisions by the Dept of Veteran Affairs in the US (VA) to award a five year $28.8m telehealth contract to AMC Health and that of the E Riding of Yorkshire CCG to “axe” its telehealth service?

The sheer size of the VA deal makes every recent deal in Europe seem very small in comparison. AMC’s CEO said: “AMC Health’s outcomes-based approach to telehealth and ability to actively engage patients to proactively self-manage their chronic conditions perfectly aligns (more…)