RSM/DHACA/AHSN Network WebinarWednesdays

These continue – next Wednesday’s is a Security, sharing and trust panel discussion starting at noon. “We will discuss the economic promise of patient generated data for the NHS and the willingness and ability of patients to contribute their data to clinical trials or big pharma. We will explore the current public health applications for track and trace, antibody/immunity certificates or passports, and the promises and threats that arise from an ability to link our health and finance data. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a demand for increased transparency from the Government, and the new public/private partnerships that have arisen. What does all this mean in practice for public trust and compliance?”

It will be longer that the usual one hour. The discount code for DHACA members ONLY is DHACATEN59.

For the following webinar on 22 July Brainwear: Lessons learned from using patient-recorded data, the code is DHACATEN61. There are plenty of other free resources available to DHACA members here where you can see subsequent webinars as they are published – most notable are the excellent podcasts.

Pharma and digital health

Further evidence that things are hotting up here is the recent announcement that SidekickHealth is partnering with Pfizer to launch a digital therapeutics platform, in a deal thought to be worth more than $8 million. “The solution combines scientific expertise and digital technologies, giving patients a tool to help them maintain healthy lifestyles and improve their disease management and quality of life, while providing guidance and resources to facilitate easier and faster communication with healthcare professionals.” The announcement follows a strategic partnership between Sidekick and Bayer revealed last year. Particularly notable is that plans are to offer the services in many EU countries though not the UK – is this evidence that the current uncertainties of future UK medical regulation (see beloww) are putting off companies offering new health-related products and services here?

What has worked well

Apart from a few wobbles in the early weeks of the lockdown, my local broadband comms has been pretty good, as have most people’s which is quite an achievement by the network providers, given that they had to switch very quickly to providing home connectivity from office connectivity. That said, I reckon the food supply industry has done even better – again apart from a few glitches with flour and yeast, supermarkets and specialist suppliers have almost seamlessly redirected the food going to restaurants, canteens and other similar outlets to personal purchase and take-away. The story behind the network operators is told well in this article in Futurithmic, with some impressive statistics. (The name is a combination of futuristic and algorithmic, and if you look around, you’ll see that it is published by Nokia, so I guess it should tell a good story)

Interestingly in the US, the Federal Communications Commission is adding almost $200 million to the Rural Health Care Program, giving providers more resources to expand broadband connectivity to support telehealth and mHealth platforms. (However they have stopped accepting applications for funding from the COVID-19 Telehealth Program, and expect to exhaust the (coincidentally also) $200 million fund within a month.

Funding competitions

The Innovate UK funding website is positively laden down with offerings to (primarily) small UK businesses, with plenty of health-relate opportunities. Examples include the Eureka: healthy ageing competition (closes August 5th) that we previously featured; The Sustainable Innovation Fund: SBRI phase 1 (closes August 5th); EUREKA GlobalStars Singapore CRD – Round 2 (closes October 15th); Young Innovators Awards 2020/21 (closes September 2nd); EUREKA GlobalStars Japan (closes September 10th); Using digital technology to support psychological therapies (SBRI competition) (closes September 16th); and the The Sustainable Innovation Fund: round 1 (temporary framework) (closes July 29th).

If there is a DHACA member that is not eligible to apply for at least one of those, please let’s discuss!

Can you help students studying for a Master’s Degree in Digital Technologies and Public Policy?

BSI is currently working on a project with a group of post-graduate research students from UCL Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy, as part of their master’s degree in Digital Technologies and Public Policy.  The research project is taking place as part of BSI’s Student Research Programme. The project’s results will help to inform BSI’s standards development practices within medical devices, formation governance and health software.

The group is looking for experts who are involved with anything related to innovation, standards, regulation or emerging technologies in the domain of medical devices and software.  They want to understand the regulatory and standardisation challenges related to intelligent and connected medical devices and as part of this are looking for people to participate in a short survey about this topic.  More details, including a link to the survey can be found here:

Thank you, in anticipation.

If it wasn’t so serious, it might be entertaining

The recent rejection by CEN and Cenelec not to support the EC’s standardisation request for the MDR and IVDR adds yet another layer of complexity to what is increasingly becoming beyond the ken of the average man-on-the-street. No wonder so many investment proposals fail to realise the importance of medical device regulation! The only person I know who seems to have it all sorted in his mind and is happy to explain it publicly is on a website is Erik Vollebregt –  his home page covers the most recent twist admirably.

Of course, now that the implementation date of the MDR has been postponed to beyond the date when the UK may have completely parted company with the EU, this may ultimately only be of interest to exporters.

On a vaguely related issue, the FDA is now delaying UDI enforcement amid COVID-19 and ongoing technical issues by a further two years. That makes a four year delay in total. Will EUDAMED and the EU’s UDI system be delayed by less?

…and finally:

  • Perhaps unsurprisingly Forrester is highlighting three digital health topics that have been greatly advanced by the Covid-19 pandemic: At-home diagnostics, Remote clinical monitoring, and Wearables.
  • The AHSN Network is running two more of their excellent Market Insight Briefing webinars on July 8th and August 6th. These last for 90 minutes and can help you engage more effectively with the NHS, from developing and testing your value proposition to scaling up across England. As always, places for the Market Insight Briefings are limited, so apply please via email to
  • The IET is running a prestigious online event on September 18th AHT2020: How appropriate healthcare technologies contribute in a public health emergency. The AHT2020 call for abstracts closes on July 17th or you can book directly to attend for free here.
  • The AI for Good summit features the ACM Keynote: New Ways of Thinking of the Mobile Phone for Healthcare and the current Pandemic on Thursday July 9th 15:00-16:30 BST. It will feature Shwetak Patel , Professor of Computer Science at the University of Washington. Looks really interesting.
  • What can Directors/CxOs learn from the collaborative innovation that produced new HealthTech in answer to the UK Ventilator Challenge? I’ll definitely be joining this webinar on July 7th at 10.30 am because, clearly wrongly, I thought the answer was “very little” – Supercharging Innovation – CxO Lessons from the Ventilator Challenge
  • The New York Times has a great piece on How the virus won, showing its (continued) progression across the US. It’s clearly very network hungry though so don’t try to look at it unless your broadband is indeed broad.
  • SEHTA’s 2020 International MedTech Expo & Conference is now a  digital event on Monday 28th September 2020. It’s not free though.

As always many thanks to Prof Mike Short for his many helpful suggestions for inclusion in this newsletter.

Kind regards,