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Posted on 23.07.2014
I just read the minutes of the joint meeting EDMA, Eucomed, COCIR and EUnetHTA had last May and it got me thinking: why try to put a square peg in a round hole? Medical devices, in vitro diagnostics, imaging equipment and pharmaceuticals – while all health technologies – are very different in nature, in their mode of action, in the benefits they bring to people’s health and well-being, and in the way they contribute to sustainable healthcare. Because of these and many more differences, trying to apply a Health Technology Assessment (HTA) model designed for pharmaceuticals to other health technologies is like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole – it won’t work.
Posted on 06.06.2014
We recently read the blog post “Improving access to medical technologies for diabetes care in Europe” from the International Diabetes Federation Europe assessing issues in terms of access to medical technologies for people with diabetes. As a producer of technologies and devices for people with diabetes, we keep learning and, when necessary, adapting our practices to fill in the gaps highlighted by IDF Europe.
The impressive spread of mobile connectivity in recent years has attracted attention on the infinite possibilities to transform healthcare services, making them accessible to people regardless of their age, social status or geographical location. Thousands of mobile applications have been developed and hundreds of pilot studies have been launched in an attempt to capture a slice of the pie. With increasing prevalence of cancer and rocketing healthcare costs, could mHealth be a solution for cancer supportive care? We dig in to find out.
The revision of the IVD and MDD Directives has ensured that the last quarter has been a really colourful, hectic and interesting one. The revision process has now entered a new phase where Council will need to agree on a position, after which it will have to negotiate this position with Parliament. That negotiation should then lead to the final texts for IVDs and devices. In terms of timelines, the Parliament is set on finalising both processes before the European elections of May 2014. Until then, I’m sure the evolutions will provide me with plenty to blog about.
A surprising few things have happened lately. Firstly, the weather in Belgium CAN be nice and pleasing to a Franco-Italian such as myself. Secondly, the ENVI Committee vote that was scheduled to take place on 10 July was postponed to 18 September for both the Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostics Directives. If I did not know better, one could think this date was chosen to coincide with our housewarming reception. All joking aside, my third surprise was the realisation that we’re already in mid-July, and it’s been a year since I’ve joined MedTech Europe, EDMA and Eucomed. Going into everything that has happened would take me too far this time, but I will reflect on the past year in my next blog, so look out for that to come out mid-August.
Posted on 08.05.2013
Being a patient myself, I am keenly aware of the importance of having access to innovative technologies to support my lifestyle and foster improved health and well-being. And, as a former policymaker in both the UK and the EU, I also understand the enormous responsibility of the healthcare system in determining which of the newest medical technologies are the safest and most effective for patients in each health constituency.
It is difficult to remedy these demands – those of patients, health systems and policymakers.
Posted on 14.02.2013
Health First Europe has always believed that by bringing together all health stakeholders, solutions for challenges in healthcare can be found that benefit all patients. In 2012, we continued in our conviction that together we could better protect patients and improve access to treatment by working with the EU institutions and other EU health stakeholders. This past year, our work on patient safety and health technology assessment (HTA) produced concrete recommendations for policymakers on how the EU can support the improvement and delivery of care for patients.
In 2013, we will not only further our work on patient safety and quality of care, but also expand our issue engagement to look beyond safety and access, to patient empowerment, health literacy and community care. Encouraging patients to be informed about their care is of great importance as health systems adapt and change to the meet the needs of an ageing population as well as shortages of healthcare professionals and tighter budgets for delivering care.
First off, let’s start with some background. The first question that comes to mind would be: “What is the EUnetHTA Joint Action 2?” Briefly put, EUnetHTA, the European Network of Health Technology Assessment, is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the relevant agencies in the Member States, aiming to strengthen cross-border HTA collaboration.
Posted on 08.06.2012
The current voluntary cooperation of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) agencies organised within EUnetHTA indicates that HTA is a multidisciplinary process that summarises information about the medical, social, economic and ethical issues related to the use of a health technology.