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Exploring Digital Therapeutics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Coaches

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.

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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, 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.

EHTEL wants to focus at least part of the work in the 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 is 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.

The task force wants 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 presentation by EHTEL honorary member, John Crawford.

Digital Therapeutics 

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. 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?

Work Programme

In previous years, the Innovation Initiative has worked on collecting good practices in innovation and on developing a services readiness model.

From 2020 onwards, the Innovation Initiative is working 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 work programme proposes to cover three initial topics:

  • Digital therapeutics and care at home.
  • Digital therapeutics and interacting with human beings.
  • Digital therapeutics and the market.

To achieve the objectives of this 2020 work programme, the Innovation Initiative is organising a series of participatory webinars and workshops, which will draw on a wide range of healthcare priorities and ongoing European projects. It will link 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 at least two webinars and possibly a physical workshop.

  • Webinar 1: Digital therapeutics and care at home.
  • Webinar 2: Digital therapeutics and interacting with human beings
  • Webinar 3 / Workshop: Digital therapeutics and the market 


Three outcomes are expected from the 2020 work programme:

  1. Networking of members and partners: this activity connects EHTEL members and project partners who will benefit 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).
  2. Fact sheets: a summary of key messages, discussions and conclusions will be produced after each webinar and distributed to all participants as well as published on EHTEL’s website.
  3. Final report: the webinars’ output, and discussions held in the third webinar and/or the workshop, will be consolidated in a final report.

- The first outcome is available. Read the factsheet on how hospitals at home can benefit from digital therapeutics.

Webinar line-up

  1. Digital Therapeutics and care at home

The webinar will focus on today’s situation and its immediate challenges. Especially given the outbreak of infectious diseases, health systems, and especially hospitals, need to manage ever more knowledge and increasing amounts of data. That data is also coming from people’s, and patients’, homes. Challenges relate to e.g., increasing clinical benefits; providing treatment in a variety of locations (in the hospital itself, in new forms of hospitals, at home); and involving healthcare staff effectively in the changes taking place. Much useful material will come from the vCare and NWE-Chance projects.

  • From the hospital to the home: a change of paradigm
  • State of affairs on digital therapeutics in terms of the home
  • AI and digital therapeutics
  1. Digital Therapeutics and interacting with human beings

This webinar will draw on a diversity of European projects working on the interactions between technologies and people. These include the “daily life of a patient” (vCare), and how “virtual coaches” can assist in the different daily experiences of people who are patients in their own homes. Experts on “social robots” (from LIFEBOTS Exchange) have shown interest in contributing as speakers/attendees. Co-creation experts may be invited to speak.

  • Virtual coaches
  • Human beings interacting with machines/social robots
  • Co-creation and user requirements. 
  1. Digital therapeutics and the market 

This webinar will seek to draw on the Innovation2Market expertise (WE4AHA) and challenges that distinguish between products and services. Much of the current work around digital therapeutics means exploring the differences between products/devices/services that focus on behavioural change/psychological motivation(s), and data capture and data analytics associated with obtaining clinical benefit.

  • Developing clinical evidence
  • Platforms, Standards
  • Market


 3 June 2020

Digital Therapeutics and care at home
📅 Wednesday, 3 June 2020      🕙 12 - 13:30 CET


 Coming Soon

Digital Therapeutics and interacting with human beings


Coming soon

Digital therapeutics and the market