The seventh hub talk shed a light on the opportunities and challenges that various industry sectors are now facing in the mHealth ecosystem

The European Innovation and Knowledge mHealth Hub hosted the seventh session of the Hub Talks 2021 series on November 25th, 2021.

As a continuous effort to engage the mHealth community in discussion and knowledge-sharing activities, this webinar was focused on the mHealth Industry Sector. The main purpose was to capture the industry perspective on mHealth opportunities and challenges, as well as success stories and key recommendations.

Vanessa Mendes, eHealth Project Manager at the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health, kicked-off the session by emphasising the important of engaging all stakeholder of the mHealth ecosystem to advance mHealth programmes. In this regard, she also presented two significant projects that the Hub is currently working on:

  • Deliverable 5.1 Policy Framework: contributing towards developing a policy framework for EU on cross-border adoption and assessment of innovation in mHealth to help pave the way for moving towards a “Single Healthcare Digital Market” in Europe.
  • Learn and Forum Platform: for the mHealth community to share knowledge to grow together. Users can create new learning materials, and participate in discussions with other members of the forum.

 

 

 

From COCIR – The European Trade Association representing the Medical Imaging, Radiotherapy, Health ICT and Electromedical Industries – Danny van Roijen (Digital Health Director) presented different recommendations to achieve interoperability for effective mHealth deployment. Collaboration and a closer dialogue with payers, providers, and professionals should be encouraged. The main findings the medical technology industry’s white paper – Interoperability standards in digital health − were emphasised and can be accessed here.

 

 

From Roche Information Solutions, Dr Matthew Prime (Head of Evidence Generation) stressed the relevance of digital solutions meeting the demands of all key stakeholders and delivering them shared value. This was the start of a presentation focused on the challenges of Evidence Generation for digital health. Traditional evidence-generation methods are misaligned with the agile approaches used in software development processes. However, “without evidence healthcare providers will not adopt solutions”. Although, simulation-based research is not new, it can nevertheless provide a viable solution to face this challenge. Dr Matthew concluded his presentation with following final thoughts:

 

The next speaker was Nicholas James Rumble, Founder and CEO of Curaizon, a start-up focused on delivering revolutionary, disruptive prescription drug adherence technologies. He opened his speech using the “Elephant in Healthcare” metaphor, which is particularly relevant when it comes to regulatory issues. He highlighted the importance of failing in a small controlled way to maximise learning, and in order verify that we are solving the right problem in the right way before scaling-up. “This enables quick, successive development and brings solutions to market in record time”. He also stressed the importance of Incentivise, Collaborate, and Innovate, as well as data-based technologies​ that “learn” and constantly evolve over time to become better; but this requires healthcare organisations to take risks. Governments also need to play a role in helping technology to be tested, implemented and funded, as the responsibility currently rests with the companies that need to find the right procurement pathway. Finally, he emphasised the importance of open API as critical success factor to ensure “that all systems use the same ‘language’”.

 

From the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Association (IFPMA), James Anderson (Executive Director of Global Health) offered an international viewpoint from the biopharmaceutical industry. One of the goals of digital health should be to create more patient-outcome-focused health systems, which entails, among other aspects, optimizing R&D processes and clinical trials. He also reaffirmed what prior speakers had said, highlighting Dr Matthew’s presentation. To offer sustainable gains from digital health, new policies and resources were recommended. Their work on this matter will be soon published.

 

 

The presentation section was closed by Steven Vandeput (Advisor for Digital Health & Extra Muros) from BeMedTech, the sector Federation that represents the Industry of Medical Technologies from Belgium. mHealthBelgium is among the pioneers for app reimbursement, which has a strong framework, with a unique financing / reimbursement path, and strong international reputation. However, the “daily practice is less rosy than theory”, which makes it complex to seize the momentum for mHealth adoption and frameworks. He stated that the world is looking at the German approach, which has seen things happen faster. He also compared and contrasted the two frontrunners for app reimbursement– Belgium and Germany. He concluded his presentation by discussing what the industry is looking regarding digital health (financing) frameworks.

 

Mario Ravic, Head of IoT & Digital Health at Ericsson Nikola Tesla, facilitated a constructive and interesting discussion among all speakers at the end of the webinar. Mario pressed the presenters to share their perspectives on what is required to make the EU a global leader in mHealth. The need for considerable funding to promote business growth and innovation, evidence and data exchange across the EU, and healthcare staff education are just a few of the important concerns raised.

 

 

Regardless of the size of the company or association, this webinar highlighted common issues faced by this sector in promoting mHealth programmes. Nevertheless, to addresses these issues, key recommendations and success factors were also presented. The Hub Talks are a true platform for the mHealth Community, bringing together different stakeholders from all sectors of the mHealth ecosystem to discuss about and promote mHealth.

 

You can check out the full webinar in this video

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