Powered by the DigitalHealthEurope project.
2021 started with the World Economic Forum being held virtually rather than in Davos, Switzerland.
On 29 January 2021, Vas Narasimhan, chief executive officer of pharmaceutical company, Novartis, was inspired to explore why this is digital healthcare’s moment. Inspired by progress made in face of the global pandemic, he aired the view that:
“We can ensure the story of the COVID-19 pandemic ends with a bold global movement that embraces digital healthcare.”
Each year, the forum has resulted in useful outcomes from the perspective of health and care.
Several can be of use and interest to EHTEL colleagues working on data-driven ecosystems. Examples include:
- In 2020, a report on precision medicine.
- In 2021, a report on diagnostics for better health.
- The breaking the barriers to health data. This is the work of a federated data system with a decentralised approach. Based on an application programming interface, it strikes a balance between the pooling of data and limiting data access. It brings together collaborators from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Increasingly, there is a generally positive outlook for telehealth, based around interoperability, electronic health records, artificial intelligence (AI)-driven smartphone apps and AI-based platforms.
One focus is on ingestible sensors.
Smart pills definitely have their positive uses. Several are already on the market: the first digital ingestion tracking system was registered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2017.
In 2021, two members of the EHTEL community, the Digital Health and Care Institute (Scotland) and the Odense University Hospital (Denmark), participated in the DigitalHealthEurope twinning scheme. They twinned together to explore the implications of colon capsule endoscopy. The solution uses algorithms to review videos of colonoscopies. After rigorous data collection, the twins plan to create a common database that will ensure comparability between data collections.
Results should be out in summer 2021. This is just one exciting insight into how these ‘tiny but mighty’ smart sensors can help people with chronic conditions, rare diseases, and even cancers.