Digital Health Update June 2020

We are all in the process of finding our way to a “new normal” in terms of rebooting our economy, reopening businesses, and returning to work as government restrictions are increasingly lifted.  At IMSTA, we have continued to work on your behalf providing useful insights at our breakfast briefings and engaging with key stakeholders impacting our health system.

On June 4th we welcomed Anett Numa, Digital Transformation Advisor at the Estonia Briefing Centre and Terje Peetso, Board member at the North Estonia Medical Centre, one of Estonia’s largest hospitals with satellite clinics across the entire region.  Anett and Terje presented on Digital Health Transformation in Estonia; Past, Present and Future and on the Digital Hospital Experience at the North Estonia Medical Centre.  Named the “Most advanced digital society in the world” by Wired, the Estonians are pathfinders leading the drive towards an efficient, secure and transparent ecosystem that delivers great value both during the current pandemic and beyond, saving lives, time and money.  We will continue engagement with Estonia, engaging with industry partners embedded in the digital health ecosystem there and facilitating collaborative opportunities for our members.  Presentations from the briefing are available here:

Digitisation in healthcare – experience of the NEMC_04.06.2020

IMSTA_Pres_04.06 Anett estonia

Closer to home, IMSTA have commenced engagement with Martin Curley – Director of Digital Transformation and Open Innovation – a divisional unit within the HSE.  This unit has been vital in fast adoption of digital solutions that have been key to our health service during the Covid-19 pandemic including IMSTA members patientMpower’s remote monitoring solution, with Wellola and Nua Health providing excellent telehealth solutions that were deployed to over 600 organisations within 48 hours.

Martin and his team also lead the HSE Digital Academy, with the flagship MSc in Digital Transformation in partnership with the University of Limerick, aimed at educating HSE and interested industry cohorts to a senior level in driving forward the adoption of digital health in Ireland.

At a meeting with Martin and his team in May, a number of key areas were identified for collaboration with IMSTA on behalf of our industry members:

  • IMSTA will provide information on industry led digital innovations via a joint portal with Martin’s unit to facilitate solutions to unmet health needs.
  • IMSTA will support Martin’s team in ensuring a strong industry balance on future cohorts for the Digital Academy Master’s programme.
  • IMSTA and the Digital Academy recognise an opportunity to work together towards encouraging digital adoption through communication, particularly the positive digital health stories, reducing barriers to innovation.

Finally, on June 10th, our Digital Health Leadership Forum met online.  During this meeting, our Terms of Reference for the forum were agreed together with the approval of our “Call to Action for an Interoperable Data Ecosystem” position paper.  The forum welcomed guest speakers Margaret Whoriskey, Head of Technology Enabled Care and Digital Healthcare Innovation, Digital Health & Care Scotland, and Prof George Crooks, CEO Digital Health & Care Institute Scotland.  The speakers outlined Scotland’s Digital Health and Care strategy and some of the work progressed to support scale up and adoption of Technology Enabled Care and also evaluation and impact.  Specific reference to digital health acceleration under COVID-19 was addressed.  Prof Crooks introduced the Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI) engagement with industry and work on Demonstration Simulation Environment (DSE).   A key takeaway from this presentation was the importance of open and transparent collaboration between industry and health system leadership which is an item IMSTA have commenced work on in discussion with the Association of Hospital Group CEO’s.

Looking forward, we have commenced work on a brand-new website which we hope will enable access for our members to the information you need.  This will also incorporate a secure and interactive members area enabling faster collaborations and discussion between our membership.  You will be provided with real time access to update your company information as well as key areas of interest to individual staff members.  We will announce a launch event for this and a few more exciting developments in the coming weeks.  Watch this space!

P.S. Please do continue to share any digital health “good news stories” with us as we plan to publicise and promote the benefits of digital health adoption over the coming months.  The goal is to maintain momentum for the “Digital Dawn” experienced in our health service in recent times and real-world evidence is key to credibility and the likelihood of sustained digital health adoption.