DHACA Webinars

Since returning from a week’s leave, I’ve started work on scheduling a winter season of Wednesdaywebinars starting on November 4th at 10am. So far the following webinars are forming:

  • all about ICSs, explaining what they do, how they are developing and what the opportunities will be for members;
  • NHS App developments, future plans and how members can best engage;
  • how to use the EMIS app library to supercharge your app sales.

Please let me know if there is a topic you’d like us to cover.

Whilst on the topic of webinars, the RSM series will restart on 20th October at 1pm, this time focusing on Personalised Medicine. The first in the series is “What is personalised medicine”, with David Champeaux, HIMSS International and Prof Bill Newman, The Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, University of Manchester

For DAQs read DTAC

One webinar we have been trying to secure for a little while now, so far without success, is for the DAQ replacement that NHSX has now taken over the development of. They have been renamed DTAC (Digital Technology Assessment Criteria, in beta) and aim to give “a simpler, clearer baseline for digital health technologies to adhere to, enabling patients and the system to adopt relevant, safe and innovative technologies more quickly”. Very important for all app developers who will need to comply to achieve or reamin on the NHS App Library. More information here.

After Covid-19, what’s ahead for telehealth?

HIMSS has joined in the flurry of digital health-related papers with one sponsored by Change Healthcare simply entitled Telehealth. It purports to consider what the future of teleheath/telemedicine will be though focuses on the immediate future on topics like billing, accessibility, and the difference between face:face and remote patient behaviour. (It seems to use the terms telehealth and telemedicine interchangeably.)

It’s very tempting to ignore billing as a peculiarly American issue although of course, as explained in our last newsletter, the NHS charging structure critically influences  decisions on eg face-to-face outpatient appointments vs online. New approaches to handling patients are dramatically improving accessibility although certainly in our part of London, only one of the 75 GP practices in our local CCG has adopted a total triage solution (askmyGP) in spite of the other 74 being made very aware of the huge patient benefits. On behaviour, how you build a relationship with a patient who isn’t sitting in front of you comes in for some discussion. “How do you make sure you are providing the best possible care? It takes a different kind of toolkit to make it all work.” On the issue of connectivity the authors suggest good video as a prerequisite, alhough in the UK during lockdown there has been relatively litte interest in video consultations, particularly for the total triiage practices. Providers are going to have to adapt to this new medium and it’s going to take some thought and time to determine how to do it most effectively.

The final conclusion from the paper is that “there will likely have to be some kind of remote monitoring component to all this” so I was very fortunate to log in to the best KTN webinar I think I’ve ever heard on Tuesday, on remote sensor technology. First up was Keith Errey of Isansys who began with a series of contentious statements (eg “doctors treat diseases not patients”) to wake us up, before explaining that most medical devices have a single purpose, to address a particular treatment. He suggested that just like the software-defined radio, there was now a case for a software-defined medical device that received data from a wide range of sensors to determine the holistic health of a patient. This would essentially be a wellness sensor that covered everything worth monitoring. This is ideally suited to a world where more medical interactions are online. It also should enable continuous monitoring of important variables as he demonstrated that one or two single readings a day can give a very misleading picture for a continuously varying vital sign.

Keith was followed by Prof Richard Luxton from UWE who explained that just like the driverless car, the doctorless patient was proving extremely challenging to realise so the future treatment model was changing to using technology to augment and not replace clinicians.

Finally Ken Sutherland from Canon Medical Systems explained that the range of acceptable variable levels shown against vital signs reports was typically not personalised so whilst a vital sign may be within that range, it could nevertheless be out of range for a particular patient: there is an important need to establish “what is normal for me”. Only continuous monitoring can do this

Dr Taz Aldawoud’s recent interview makes an important proposal too, to research which conditions have proved easiest to diagnose and treat remotely, to learn lessons on how best to conduct telemedicine sessions in the future to avoid any health inequalities.

In search of a very special CEO

The charity I chair, Citizens Online (COL), which promotes digital inclusion, is looking for a part-time CEO following the headhunting of our previous top person.The ideal candidate will have significant experience, preferably working at CEO level in a charity of a similar size or senior management in a larger organisation. They will also have experience of fundraising, developing strategy and financial management; supporting the Board of Trustees to fulfil their legal and financial responsibilities. COL is a forward thinking organisation, agile in our approach with an open, supportive working culture. We are looking for someone who embraces this approach to lead the organisation forward. We are particularly keen to find someone with a knowledge and understanding of the health sector as to date we have been less successful at securing funding and sponsorhip in this area.

For more information and to apply, click here. Closing date is 25th October.

And finally…

  • The RSM webinar series will restart on 20th October at 1pm, this time focusing on Personalised Medicine. The first in the series is “What is personalised medicine”, with David Champeaux, HIMSS International and Prof Bill Newman, The Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, University of Manchester
  • The EU Health Summit: Time for Action is on 26th October starting online at 13.30 CET. Attendance is free. it is worth reading the 20 recommndations that will be discussed at the event beforehand as they are pretty stretching, and would require significant EU governance changes to be fully implemented. Great stuff, and very much to be supported!
  • A comment in the most recent Lancet Digital Health examines the impact of President Trump’s comments about “off label” use of disinfectant to control Covid-19 through examination of Google Trends data. It seems the impact was dramatic. The concluding comment is a masterful understatement: “Misleading information related to off-label use of any substance might adversely affect public knowledge and behaviour, and experts in science and public health should work to counteract harmful communication of health information via all venues and platforms.”
  • The ECHA has a great list of upcoming Digital Health events.
  • Santander Life Sciences Week 19-22 Oct 2020 – Santander, in collaboration with Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI), British Centres for Business, Intralink and DIT China, is hosting a series of digital events. The week will start with a UK sector overview, followed by daily snapshots of trends across the sector in the respective markets. An interactive Q&A session with representatives from each market will bring the week to a close. Opportunities will be identified across China, Japan, Korea, and the GCC. More details and to register here.
  • Australian upcoming events and opportunities in Digital Health: DIT Australia and the Australian British Chamber of Commerce will host their next webinar on digital health on Thursday 22nd October. Two key speakers in the field will share Australian Digital Health market insights and highlight where investment and trade opportunities are that will attract UK health tech companies into the Australian market. The webinar usually costs $20 AUD for non-members however DIT can offer this free of charge by using the following discount Code: INVESTDIT (Please ensure when using the code: guests select ‘Single’ ticket; input the code; then click on ‘Apply’ until they see $0 before clicking on ‘Next’.) Please see further details and register here.
  • Digital Health startups (trading for less than five years), can showcase their solution free of charge at the Australian Digital Health Institute Summit, taking place throughout November.
  • Health equals wealth: The global longevity dividend – new report dated 12 October 2020 from the International Longevity Centre calls for more Government support for older workers because they are an increasingly important section of the working population. Don’t die before you’ve read it!
  • Forbes’s top four AI trends for 2021 are here – all fairly predictable I thought.
  • DIT New York invites you to join them for an informational session on doing business with the United Nations on 19th October. More details here.
  • Amazon’s Halo, a health monitoring band, has been launched in America.
  • Healthcare UK’s activities and performance for the year ending 31 March 2020 is now available.
  • The Apple watch heart monitor is falsely warnng people of potential problems.

Many thanks as always to Prof Mike Short for many of the above that I might otherwise have missed, and to Matt Newman of the DIT, Pilar Fernandez-Hermida CEO of iExpand  and Dr Nicholas Robinson for pointing me to additional material, too.

Hope to be back to you soon with more news about the website,