This newsletter is an unashamed promotion of our next DHACA Day because we think we’ve got lots of stuff that is really relevant to members just now. In addition to the three subjects highlighted below, we have a seriously good presentation from a very senior Microsoft engineer on AI, an offer to help SMEs with AI, a look inside the Cabinet Office, how Brexit is expected to change privacy regulation, recent digital health developments in NHSX, how you can get involved in the NHS App now (progress is incredibly rapid so don’t miss the boat), how the AHSNs can help you, and what you can learn from Babylon.

Longevity and Healthy Ageing

Longevity is going to become a big opportunity for all our members, as will have been apparent from the launch of the UK Government’s Healthy Ageing investment programme, and as highlighted in previous DHACA newsletters (and the many longevity-themed comments in our “and finally” below). Last week the All Party Parliamentary Group launched their report entitled “The Health of the Nation”, which was opened by an excellent speech by Matt Hancock. One or both of the joint authors of that report, which I would urge you all to read, Tina Woods and Lord Filkin, will be opening our next DHACA Day on March 18th with a presentation on the key points and a request for feedback, and an offer of involvement if you are interested. Attending the launch and reading the report has changed my view of the ageing process and how technology can help, substantially – I urge you to come and listen too because, as the full ramifications of the report materialise, there will  be a significant change in demand for our products and services.

MWC Barcelona

As most of you will be aware, this has now been cancelled so announcements that would have been made in the full glare of publicity, won’t be. However Prof Mike Short, who was a founding member of MWC and played a really key role in the development of the mobile industry to where it is today, has access to those announcements. He has kindly agreed to join us on DHACA Day to tell us what would have been announced and how important those announcements are to digital health. Informed in particular by his visit to CES in January, Mike expects to cover mobile devices, apps development and distribution, wearables, electronic health records, analytics, trust and the role of global regulation, healthy ageing and other support mechanisms. Given that there were almost exactly twice the digital health stands in CES2020 as there were in CES2019, expect excitement!

Replacing the DAQs

When I was assessing mHealth apps in 2018 there were six occasions where app development teams we sent the questionnaires to refused to complete them because they had “day jobs”. My response was always that DAQ compliance was their day job, however I did accept that completion was very onerous. Well now the NHS has decided to do a complete revamp of the DAQs. The aim is to make them relevant for assessment of all digital health products and services, both clinician-facing and patient-facing. I guess they also must want to make them more user-friendly too, so it’s great that they want feedback from people in the industry. Rhod Joyce, who is running the consultation, will therefore be joining us on March 18th at our DHACA Day to involve members in the consultation. Depending on member interest (which should be very strong) DHACA may form a special interest group specifically to form a consensus response. If the selling to the NHS is important to you, the DAQs will be too, so come along and get involved.

And finally…

I am very proud of what the new Board has achieved in such a short time so I am hoping that those of you still undecided about joining us on the 18th will now have a look at the agenda for our next DHACA Day and agree to come along – as well as helping you to succeed it also helps us to succeed on your behalf because the bigger the audience, the more sponsorship we can attract.

Thank you.

Kind regards,
Charles