EHTEL Innovation Initiative agenda for 2020
Healthcare systems have been working together for many years to ensure a shift of treatment for acute care from the hospital into the community. The aim has always been to ensure good quality of care and good quality of living, both in the community and at home.
People’s homes are seen as a bridge to the hospital or the place where people receive different forms of care.
The 2020 COVID-19 outbreak is reinforcing the importance of good quality, and protective, care at home. EHTEL is already exploring the implications of the pandemic for digital healthcare.
Right now in 2020-21, society does not know how the “infectious diseases” end-game with COVID-19 will play out. People may continue to face ongoing combinations of infectious diseases in many locations, including in their own homes.
In 2020 EHTEL wanted to focus at least part of the work of its Innovation Initiative on digital therapeutics. The home is a new setting for the use of these therapeutics.
Digital therapeutics can help in the shift that is occurring from the treatment of patients in hospital to their care – whether medical or social – at home.
In terms of the Innovation Initiative, the desire in 2020 was to bring together the three notions of:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Virtual Coaching, and
- The Market for AI in healthcare and/or the Market for Virtual Coaching in healthcare.
To begin, the task force wanted to explore to what extent digital therapeutics is dependent on AI. For a view of the linkage between these two technologies see a three-part video of a 2019 presentation by EHTEL honorary member, John Crawford.
Digital therapeutics is an area of digital health that is now coming to the fore. Therapeutics is about providing treatments, therapies, and drugs. This digital form of therapeutics is clearly based on digital technologies. The interventions offered are based on high-quality software and programs. Digital therapeutics has traditionally been used to support people with chronic conditions. Germany, as one example country, has been making progress in this field particularly in 2020. It can especially help people with preliminary symptoms of a serious condition to avoid the condition or minimise its effects. Key questions now are: How can digital therapeutics be used as patients move from the hospital to home? How can it function in the home? How can it use a range of different types of healthcare data?
In previous years, the Innovation Initiative has worked on collecting good practices in innovation and on developing a services readiness model.
From 2020, the Innovation Initiative worked on two key challenges:
- How can digital therapeutics help “fill the gaps” in home-based care?
- How can digital therapeutics help bring benefits to home-based care?
The 2020 work programme covered these two initial topics:
- Digital therapeutics and care at home.
- Digital therapeutics and mHealth: An innovation journey.
To achieve the objectives of this 2020 work programme, the Innovation Initiative organised two participatory webinars and workshops, which drew on a wide range of healthcare priorities and ongoing European projects. It linked the priorities of the Innovation Initiative with the work developed by national and regional institutions and activities in up to five different projects supported by the European Commission (such as ImpleMentAll, LIFEBOTS Exchange, NWE-Chance, vCare, and WE4AHA).
The 2020 work programme includes one webinar:
- Digital therapeutics and care at home
Three outcomes emerged from the 2020 work programme:
- Networking of members and partners: this activity connected EHTEL members and project partners who benefitted from insights and discussions around relevant digital therapeutics topics (data-sharing; working together; collaborating and co-creating across different disciplines, sectors, and industries; considering the societal and market outcomes of initiatives).
- A fact sheet: a summary of key messages, discussions and conclusions was produced after the webinar and distributed to all participants as well as published on EHTEL’s website.
- A video: discussions held in the EHTEL 2020 Symposium workshop were published in a series of videos.
- Read the factsheet on how hospitals at home can benefit from digital therapeutics.
3 June 2020