digital health

Looking at the Medtech industry and their IT solutions, it's obvious that many companies underestimate the power of their digital solutions. With a deteriorating commercial climate, it's more important than ever to fully capture the value of digital solutions and ensure they're properly monetized – either directly or indirectly. But how should companies go about this? Six fundamental mistakes companies make when implementing IT solutions From our work on numerous projects, we have identified six common mistakes companies make when offering an IT solution in addition to their core product. These missteps occur all across the industry but can be easily resolved with a simple resolution strategy. • Lack of strategy and vision: In our opinion, companies often don't have a clear direct or indirect monetization strategy. Most Health IT solutions are provided free of charge or added on top to improve the appeal of the offer and increase the odds of success. A clear strategy and vision on how to integrate Health IT solutions into the portfolio is often missing. • No dedicated commercial setup: A lack of focus and poorly defined ownership of tasks have resulted in Health IT solutions being used solely as a means to "sweeten the deal." • Limited experience in IT pricing: Health IT solutions and services require different revenue models than pure equipment sales (e.g. subscription models, SaaS, licensing fees). • Unused data potential: Customer information and data captured through Health IT solutions are often not considered for monetization purposes (companies lack the knowledge on what to do with this data). • Poor value communication: Far too often, companies haven't developed a dedicated approach to Health IT value communication. They need to highlight the economic and clinical benefits to relevant stakeholders. • No integration of governance: Limited integration of business targets and KPIs...
I’ve been working with the health system and data for decades. But when my own child developed diabetes – and I was subsequently diagnosed with the disease myself – the dysfunction of the health data ecosystem came into sharper focus than ever. On the one hand, there is a mountain of data. Citizens (those with chronic conditions and those without) are collecting a growing volume of information about their health, their activity, their diet, their shopping habits and more. The trouble is that this data is dispersed through a complex system. Some of it is in your pocket on your phone. Some are housed in government databases and registries. A lot is stored by a handful of big tech companies. And another chunk is sitting in smaller random companies whose app you probably downloaded a couple of years ago. One of the things that really gets me about the scattered distribution of health data is the waste. If patients cannot access this data, interpret it, and apply the insights in their lives, they are missing out on a major driver of behavioural change. In my own life, I have embraced a data-driven approach to improving my own health – almost gamifying the challenge of tackling diabetes and surviving a cancer using sensors and apps. Everyone should have this opportunity. Indeed, given the rising burden of chronic diseases, data is a vital tool in creating a patient-centred, data-driven health system. As I write, I’m wearing a device that can alert me if my risk of stroke rises and another that measures my stress level – imagine the health and financial savings if we could prevent millions of strokes or stress-related incidents every year. But the distribution of health data also raises profound ethical, privacy and security questions. If there is one...
Jessica Shull will be a speaker at the MedTech Forum on 16/5. Find more about the programme here ! Due to the makeup of our household, I am privy to the daily activities of a gang of fourteen-year-old girls. They are all, to a one, surgically attached to their mobile phones. I've learned from them that they trust their mobile phones more than they trusts books in a library or what the high school teachers tell them. When they want to determine if a rash is contagious, or want to know why they have white spots on their nails, they go straight to their phones. This is not to say a mobile-centric world is recommended. It simply provides a glimpse of a trend we face as this generation gets older and takes responsibility for their healthcare. I live in Spain where the wait time to see an orthopaedic surgeon for severe back pain can be 90 days. A patient asking to see a psychologist for stress and depression will also have to choose between an appointment in three months, or a few hastily prescribed pills now. There is over-saturation and lack of professional staff. Spain is not the only country in Europe in this position. It is quite easy to imagine, therefore, where today's fourteen-year-olds will be looking for treatment by the time they are adults. Digital therapeutics (DTx) are digital health products that are driven by high-quality software programs and deliver evidence-based therapeutic interventions to patients to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder or disease. These digital health products are used independently or in concert with medications or devices, to optimize health outcomes. These are not wellness or fitness apps. DTx are clinically validated and often prescribed by a physician. A few weeks ago, I was speaking with...
I’ve always believed that you get what you pay for, and digital health is no exception. Despite the promises of digital transformation to make healthcare services better, safer and more efficient, analogue healthcare services – visits to the doctor/hospital, therapies and drugs – have proved remarkably resilient. The reason seems to me quite obvious: analogue services are paid and reimbursed by European publicly-funded healthcare systems. Digital services such as mHealth apps, personal health management, remote monitoring, diagnostic algorithms etc. are often not. That is the premise of the paper “ Proposed Guiding Principles for Reimbursement of Digital Health Products and Solutions ” that the European Commission’s eHealth Stakeholder Group (eHSG) just released. The eHSG was set up in 2015 as a Commission expert group contributing to the development and implementation of eHealth policy at the EU level, and to provide input on the Commission’s eHealth-related activities. The paper was developed by a small band of stakeholders including industry, providers, healthcare professionals and pharmacists in a series of workshops and cooperative exchanges over the better part of two years, before it was reviewed and validated by the full eHSG in 2018/19. Although I personally joined the effort only after September when I became part of MedTech Europe’s team, I’m pleased to say that my colleagues and members at MedTech Europe have contributed quite substantially to this important work. The paper contains recommendations seeking to give guidance to healthcare authorities about principles and criteria to consider when making funding decisions about digital health. They call for specific criteria, funding, guidelines for evidence generation, and specific instruments for assessing digital health. I detect a growing awareness that digital health reimbursement is a major issue holding back deployment. Sebastian Gaiser, chair of the MedTech Europe Digital Health Committee, observes: “European funding and reimbursement systems...
Patrick Boisseau will be a speaker at the MedTech Forum on 16/5. Find more about the programme here ! As European research and innovation funds extend their focus towards diagnostics, digital and medical technologies, medtech companies must be ready to engage. A major future EU public-private partnership in research and innovation is currently in gestation. I believe it could help to address some of the biggest challenges in modern healthcare – and its scope will be wide enough to welcome medical devices and diagnostics companies, large and small. Let’s consider some historical context. The EU research and innovation budget is significant. The Horizon 2020 programme, which ends next year, has a budget of around €80 billion. One of the key elements, as far as healthcare is concerns, has been the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). This public-private partnership was funded by the European Commission and through in-kind contributions from pharmaceutical companies. In its first iteration, it had a total budget of €2 billion. The current incarnation which ends next year, has a budget of more than €3 billion. While IMI has, for more than 10 years, fostered collaboration and cooperation between pharmaceutical companies in unblocking bottlenecks in the medicines development pipeline, I expect the next big ‘PPP Health’ to go further. Modelled on the IMI structure as well as the ECSEL partnership for the micro-electronics sector, it will encompass pharma, biotech and medtech. This makes perfect sense: the solutions to the health challenges we face as a society do not lie in one industry – the future is patient-centred and integrated, with a significant role for digital technologies. I expect this approach to be welcomed by the medtech sector, particularly if it is accompanied by supports that will help start-ups and entrepreneurs tap into funds that may previously have seemed distant...
The digital era is rapidly reshaping the ways we perform, receive and perceive healthcare. Health data are essential ingredient to trigger the digital revolution and all its opportunities to improve the quality of care. However, the health data remained often unused and their eco-system is very much fragmented. Patients’ data are siloed in different systems, with heterogenous formats and standards, often involving a large variety of stakeholders, data quality and IT infrastructures. Those are amongst the challenges that the European Health Parliament is addressing in its policy recommendations – to be officially launched on 2nd April. The European Health Parliament (EHP) is a multidisciplinary movement connecting and empowering young European stakeholders to provide disruptive, actionable solutions for health. Each year, its five committees develop policy recommendations for the future of European health. Since September 2018, I have the pleasure to chair the Committee on Data for Healthy Societies and leading the drafting of its recommendations, addressed to European policymakers. Our calls for action cover a wide spectrum of topics, from data registers to ethical guidance. From my perspective, one of the most actionable call addresses the development of a truly European Digital Health Interoperability Framework. Why? Because we need to build a connected health eco-system that could allow patients to easily access their own data (also cross-border) while enabling physicians to provide better preventive and curative healthcare. How? We identified 3 main elements: 1. Broadening the scope of cross-border exchange of health data and fostering the role of the eHealth Network Building on the EU actions on electronic health records (EHR) and the related standard formats, new datasets should be promoted by the eHealth Network for cross-border electronic exchange of patients’ data. Furthermore, I think that the role of the eHealth Network in coordinating national approaches to the use of...

Lucia Medori

Chair of the Committee on Data for Healthy Societies European Health Parliament