Member engagement


As the most perceptive of you will have noticed from the odd comment from me, DHACA is going through a refresh, with a new logo and new website. As part of that we are keen to give you, our members, an opportunity to tell us how best you think we can improve the service we offer to you. The basic constraint at present is that DHACA’s only income is from webinar sponsorship from the AHSN Network, and free hosting by Brown Rudnick for DHACA Days. The webinar sponsorhip pays our outgoings – website, accounting etc. and gives a very small payment to me for the work I do: we could only deliver more if we were to receive more income.

We are therefore especially keen to know if you would be happy to make some contributions so that we could offer improved services and remain independent. To this end, you will shortly be sent a survey form by me that we’d really appreciate you completing. I’d also welcome any and all ideas for how we might help members more if you feel the survey doesn’t give you the opportunity to explain your thoughts. If for any reason you don’t receive the survey, do please let me know so I can send you an individual copy.

Thank you, in anticipation, for your help.

Webinar – ORCHA, app assessment and the future – 14th July

This free webinar will do what it says on the tin: Liz Ashall-Payne and Lloyd Humphreys will be presenting on the new assessment approach in ORCHA and then looking to the future of app assessment. Do join us, at 10:00 on Wednesday 14th July. 

The Dr will see you now

I don’t normally publicise my own appearances at events, however seeing as I was sent a video of my participation in MedTech Integrates, I thought this might just be worth adding to this newsletter. You’ll find our event at 50:35 – I think they got the title wrong and that what was intended was Eric Topol’s “The patient will see you now…” Sheena McPherson by the way will be joining us for our first post pandemic DHACA Day probably on 15th September to tell members about her automated regulatory compliance system.

Important information

Artificial intelligence for health

The WHO has produced a 179-page document on th the ethics and governance of artificial intelligence for health that is a must read for anyone working in this area.

The Health Foundation also produced a most interesting report, entitled Switched on: How do we get the best out of automation and AI in health care?. Very well worth a careful read, too.

Isansys, an organisation to continues to impress me greatly, has recently produced an interest blog relating to on one of the conclusions that Sarah Goodday produced in our webinar on the changing relationship between doctor and patient: the need for really good clinical evidence of the impact of AI/ML. (Spoiler alert: their tech is great at helping provide this evidence.)

Going back to “normal” after the pandemic?

Telehealth use has apparently fallen 37% in the US from pandemic highs, while demand for healthcare services projected to flatten: report. However, the US BRIDGE (short for The Broadband Reform and Investment to Drive Growth in the Economy) Act of 2021, introduced earlier this month, would set aside $40 billion for broadband expansion projects that would, among other things, improve telehealth adoption in underserved areas. (Unfortunately this research report, Telehealth Growth & Development: Telehealth’s Place in the Industry Beyond the Pandemic, covering the next 6-12 months, is behind a big paywall.)

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also an issue with US states reverting to pre-pandemic telehealth permissions, a particular concern for substance abuse workers, the article says.

Accurate blood pressure reading with wearables – the last frontier?

Here is a great article by Dr Chris Elliott of Leman Micro (Disclosure – in which I have a very small shareholding) on why most of the announcements about “cuffless” blood pressure readings are inaccurate. Chris reckons that Leman has patents for the only feasible way of doing this and it’s coming to a smartphone or dongle near you very soon.

Personal health technologies (contd.)

Continuing what is increasingly looking likely to be a regular item in our newsletter Dive reports a very pessimistic report from Forrester Research on wearables in healthcare that concludes such devices assist consumers rather than clinicians, and that their shortcomings are numerous.

On a more positive note, Cleveland Clinic is now offering second opinions via telehealth.

Horizon Europe

In view of the vast size of the programme, please excuse DHACA going on about it as members really could benefit significantly from engagement. Here is a list of the proposed Health programme calls. Intial information and partnership days will be finished by the time you read this newsletter, however if you have any interest and haven’t subscribed for the regular emails on the programme, do email if you want to participate. I have won three of the four Horizon programmes I participated in in the past so I am happy to help members if you need a little.


The Department for International Trade kindly gave me a virtual attendance ticket to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week which was great because having been there physically before, it’s a huge site and very tiring to be sure to capture everything that’s interesting. One of the highlights to me was the brain interface demoed by Ana Maique, CEO of Neuroelectronics – you can see a short clip of her here. There is much more from 1:00:38 on this video of the third day at MWC. They have USA FDA breakthrough designation. It was one of those moments when you realise that your view of the world has forever changed: hugely impressive.

The other event that got everyone talking was Elon Musk’s session. The video is here – I still find it amazing that one person can make all this happen. The particular mind-blowing statistics (sorry nothing directly to do with digital health) were that his shortly-to-be-launched Starship will be able to take 150 tons into space so if two are launched, one can refuel the other which can then take 150 tons to Mars or wherever.

Mike Short has pointed out that the former Finnish prime minister Harri Holkeri made the world’s first GSM call on 1 July 1991, exactly 30 years ago calling Kaarina Suonio, deputy mayor of the city of Tampere.(using a network built by Nokia and Siemens and operated by Radiolinja).

Also, the GSMA has produced their Mobile Economy report this week – makes fascinating reading, particularly to someone who even in their 20’s watched Star Trek’s use of their Communicaor and was quite convinced it would not happen in my lifetime.

Windows 11

If any of you checked the Windows 11 compatibility tool to see if your current computer can run it and were told that in spite of the computer being only recently delivered, W11 won’t run on it, relax, at least for the moment: Microsoft apparently has withdrawn the tool and is rethinking the security hardware requirements.

And finally…

  • The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) has today launched its new Spin-Out Support Programme that will provide funding for the commercialisation of industrial biotechnology concepts and the creation of more spin-outs, helping to drive the growth of Scotland’s bioeconomy.
  • One of my step daughters who works in a different part of the UN has pointed out that the United Nations Office for Project Services is looking for multiple Digital Health Specialists working from home for whom they will offer international contracts. You need to apply by 13th July. The work involves beating malaria, so very rewarding in addition to the pay and conditions. More details and to apply are here.
  • Are you a system supplier with an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system? Do you have a requirement to implement SNOMED CT into your product?  Are you experiencing technical or informatic challenges, or lacking clarity as to what is required? If so, please register to join NHSX’s virtual engagement session on Thursday 22 July 2021 at 11am.
  • According to the WHO, by 1st July, 2,950,104,812 Covid-19 vaccine doses had been administered: wow! Very sadly 3,950,876 deaths had been recorded.

As always, my sincerest thanks to Prof Mike Short and Dr Nicholas Robinson for pointing me to items I might otherwise have missed.