‘By 2020, global healthcare data will double every three days’, says Pathways Genomics’ CIO

More than 400 mobile health (mHealth) leaders from around the world gathered at Digital Health & Wellness Summit @ Mobile World Congress 2016 (DHWS16) held in Barcelona from February 22-25, 2016.

During the four days delegates from 20 countries, including USA, China, Canada, Bolivia and across Europe, discussed the challenges of mHealth implementation. These include the regulatory framework of mHealth apps, the management of health and social care data or the latest innovative solutions in the field. The congress was organised by the European Connected Health Alliance (ECHAlliance) and supported by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, says Agustín López, Press Officer, ECHAlliance.

Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) and starts-ups worldwide along with major leading companies of the Mobile and Connected Health ecosystem such as Telefónica, Samsung ElectronicsTunstallBUPA Group, Pathways Genomics and Ignilife, were featured in the inaugural day of the event at Mobile World Centre.

Brian O'Connor, chair, ECHAlliance
Brian O’Connor, chair, ECHAlliance

Brian O’Connor, chair of ECHAlliance, and Joan Cornet, director mHealth Competence Center at Mobile World Capital Barcelona, officially opened the conference highlighting the necessity of collaboration between all the stakeholders in order to transform digital health through innovation. “We have to capture what the healthcare and social needs are, because we want to find solutions to help real people,” O’Connor said.

Working for a trusted regulatory framework on mHealth

The event kicked off with a panel discussion lead by Joan Cornet about the regulatory framework of mHealth apps and how to overcome the dilemma between innovation and regulation. With over 40.000 medical apps and 100.000 health apps available for tablets and smartphones, Peteris Zilgalvis, head of unit for eHealth & Wellbeing, DG Connect at European Commission, highlighted the importance of reaching an agreement on this field. “We need a trusted framework ensuring a safe and secure use of mHealth apps that citizens can rely on. Therefore, the European Commission is cooperating with industry and other stakeholders to create a smart and flexible regulatory environment,” he said.

“I believe co-operation between authorities and the industry is essential to ensure a smart regulatory framework, enabling innovation and fostering trust at the same time. The European Commission has already been working together efficiently with industry on a Privacy Code of Conduct for mHealth apps and has recently also launched a working group on the validity and reliability of mHealth apps”, Zilgalvis added.

Big data and genetics drive person-centre medicine

Michael Nova, M.D., chief information officer (CIO) at Pathway Genomics, focused his keynote talk on the personalisation of health using big data and artificial intelligence. “By 2020, global healthcare data will double every three days and to truly personalise medicine, this healthcare data needs to translate into accurate and actionable recommendations for both patients and physician”, he said. Nova presented an application, OME, that using cognitive computing and artificial intelligence can automatically read and collate unstructured data, and then dynamically learn to make personalised recommendations.

“What is remarkable about OME™ is that it collects and interprets any type of personal health information such as a genetic test, wearable information, lab results, EHR, or Apple Health kit) and dynamically delivers to the user personal action-items that can positively affect the user’s general health and wellness.” Nova said. “It will dramatically impact and democratise healthcare.”

Andres Martin, Partnership lead for WHO/ITU for mHealth at BUPA Group, concluded Tuesday’s keynote lineup discussing the necessity of a person-centered approach to healthcare. “People want to manage their own health and wellbeing and mobile technology enables people to do this at their own convenience,” Martin said. “Bupa believes in person first care and aims to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible worldwide. Bupa is embedding digital technologies into new person-centred products and services to better meet the health and wellbeing needs of people around the world,” he added. Martin said participation in the Digital Health and Wellbeing Summit @ MWC16 is a great opportunity to get inspired by innovators and explore new potential partnerships.

Panel session on regulatory framework of mHealth
Panel session on regulatory framework of mHealth

The opening day of DHWS16 also featured a wide range of panel sessions and workshops focused on key issues such as designing healthcare to improve their efficiency and the experiences of patients and professionals, how to develop smart health solutions to support people with dementia or big data and Electronic Health Records. In addition, through the Showcase Innovation sessions, dedicated to start-ups and SMEs, the attendees had the opportunity to see 13 fast presentations, showcasing health apps, wearables, doctor-patient translation softwares and web platforms, among other innovations. Among them were the winners of the Investors Challenge 2016 for the best eHealth solution. The 3 winners and 3 runners up presented their solutions in front a panel of investors on Monday 22 in a session powered by ECHAlliance and 4YFN.

Day two: from Formula 1 to Virtual reality

The second day of the programme, that will be held in the heart of the Mobile World Congress at Fira Gran Via, Hall 8.0 Theatre F, will offer another day of remarkable international speakers and topics from across the health and wellness sector.

Adam M. Hill, chief medical officer at McLaren Applied Technologies, will talk about the interaction between man and machine at Formula 1 and how this experience at one of the top motor-racing teams could be translated to people’s Health. Chris Lewis, managing director of Lewis Insight and Founding Partner of The Great Telco, will focus on the healthcare implications of the hyper-connected individual and latest trends to improve the life of people with disabilities. Finally, Lars Kalfhaus, country manager at Roche Diabetes Care Spain, and managing director at Emminens Healthcare Services, will offer his vision about how to restructure the healthcare delivery.

These presentations will be followed by different panel sessions about the latest trends that will affect the delivery of healthcare in the future. The potential for personalised medicine to transform clinical practice, the companies’ wellness programmes for employees and the new role of consumers in the management of their health will be some of themes addressed. Among this innovations, it will be showcased a virtual reality application, developed by a SLAM NHS Trust, used to complement and enhance the existing therapies used to treat health conditions such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorders.

In addition, confirmed speakers include:

  • Ain Aaviksoo, Deputy Secretary General for e-Services and Innovation at Ministry of Social Affairs of Estonia.
  • Matej Adam, Healthcare Industry Leader EMEA at IBM.Kumar Jacob, Non-Executive Director of SLAM NHS Trust and Chair of SLAM Charity Fund.
  • Oliver Smith, Director of Strategy & Innovation atGuy’s & St Thomas Charity
  • Nick Van Terheyden, Chief Medical Officer at DELL Healthcare.
  • Florence Gaudry-Perkins, International Director Global Government sector at Nokia.
  • Céline Le Cotonnec, Head of China Connected Services Business Unit at PSA Peugeot-Citroën Asia.

For more information about the agenda visit: https://echalliance.com/events/64

The author of this blog is ‎Agustín López, Press Officer, ECHAlliance.

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