Are Healthcare people missing the point?

As the need for the provision of healthcare has moved from Hospitals to the Community, we have been looking at who “gets” that?

Actually not very many people, by that I mean, very few hospitals, and very few established vendors. In a survey that we are still conducting, of approx 100 key Hospitals in the UK NHS – the ordinary consumer (that’s you and me) with our smart data on our wrist, is light years ahead of knowing about their health situation, than the very places they go to when things look serious.

What is worse is that, not just established vendors seem to be clinging on to their market position with solutions that cannot possibly keep up with what the ordinary guy expects – but that newer start ups, who regularly look for funding – are being overtaken by Apps that are already in use for free. on our iPhone or Android device.

We have written about this before on our these Press pages, but our initial and interim assessment is that, whilst accepting that hospitals are routinely underfunded in the UK – their salvation will be the inclusion of primary care, sorting out issues before they ever get to the need for what hospitals currently do. so they become a one-stop shop. There are significant reductions in costs in this combination.

Approx 10% of the hospitals we deal with ourselves, get this notion – and either reach out to providers of community finance, or they include private paid-for health clinics, within their own walls. These tend to be the ones that regularly top the league tables of health excellence.

But what does not work – is doing nothing, because patients are now starting to walk with their feet away from these hallowed institutions anyway. We are very interested in hearing from those organisations who link ordinary Apps, with their healthcare services provision, and if we can, we will be pleased to publish their experiences.

Some Healthcare Updates…

Two of the leading independent voices in European and USA healthcare have published today and in past few days, some important announcements that need sharing.

The first – from the COCIR trade association in Brussels, concerns standardisation of medical device standards; this is really key, because without this, countries cannot refer or regulate new innovations and vendors cannot offer this internationally; what they say today is:

Brussels, 25 July 2019 – In response to the European Commission’s publication of the draft standardization request for the MDR and IVDR, COCIR has developed detailed feedback and recommendations for improvement of the document. We have always underlined the importance of having harmonised standards available and cited in the Official Journal under the new Regulations. Unfortunately, the proposed draft standardisation request still includes several elements that prevent flexible harmonisation and timely reference of standards in the Official Journal. COCIR recommends to the European Standardisation Organisations to reject this request if it is adopted in the currently proposed form. COCIR is more than ready to engage in further discussions with the European Commission and member states on this topic. We specifically call upon the next Commissioner for the Internal Market to find pragmatic solutions to the current deadlockBack

Related Files

And in the USA, the AHIMA organisation based in Chicago, has two days ago announced the aim of country-wide use of a standard Patient ID; you wonder what they did before….

This is a different and expansive take on their usual technology coding and practical approach., as they move nearer to compete with HIMSS.

We will get a view shortly from our colleague Christina Roosen, who knows both organisations well – to see where this is heading.

Managing Energy has never been more important.

We look at the upcoming Future of Utilities: Smart Metering Update 2019 conference on Smart Metering of Energy and ask – why has it taken so long?

In brief – this topic has been discussed and received focus – for the past five years even to our knowledge. But in those earlier halcyon days, small interruptions such as hacking and global warming were but twinkles in our eyes. Nowadays of course – things have changed. As my colleague at a Cyber Security company in Israel tells me – “there are two types of smart meter; those that have been hacked and nobody knows it; and those that are hacked and everybody knows it”. And for sure everybody knows about global warming.

So the upcoming Conference from Marketforcelive, in central London this June, is timely. This is the latest and important opportunity for leaders in the Energy space, to sit down and say – how are we controlling access to the flow of energy, both remotely and at source. Saving energy has been defined as the secret sauce of modern energy management, We are not as naive as before.

Whereas before, delegates that subscribed tended to come from the pure data and tech environments and talked in a language that you or I could not understand – nowadays, this Conference will attract the commercial leaders and all those on the peripherals. Energy control is essential big business in a world where such is the reach of media, we are all experts now.

With an impressive Speaker List – we expect “Future of Utilities: Smart Metering Update 2019”,to become a Forum for exchange of ideas that are proven and that work, a significant development from other Conferences in the past that were merely talking shops.

The Conference takes place on the 18th June; go visit it at; http://bit.ly/2wGAiqZ. our longer report will follow shortly after.

COCIR concerns in the event of a no-deal Brexit

If anybody had any doubts of the damage that Brexit is doing to our UK and EU economies, the following official announcement today from COCIR, should be a wake up call that is already too late.

The date of withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union – 29 March 2019 – is drawing ever-closer. While we sincerely hope that both parties will continue to do their utmost to find an agreement, our industry is increasingly concerned over preparations for a “no-deal scenario”. Such an outcome means that the UK will no longer remain part of the European Single Market. Given recent communications by the European Commission (1), this will have detrimental consequences for our industries in the European Union. Our major concerns are that:
–    UK Notified Bodies, which currently play a critical role in certifying medical devices placed on the EU-27 market, will no longer be able to issue EU certificates. 
–    Non-EU manufacturers that currently have an Authorised Representative based in the UK will have to change to one based in the EU-27.
–    Manufacturers transferring to a new – EU-27-based – Notified Body will need to change how their devices are labelled to reflect the new Notified Body number or face non-compliance with the Medical Device Directives. 
Unfortunately, it appears that the European Commission and the EU-27 Member States are currently not planning to adopt a specific transition period for medical devices (similar to the one planned by the UK). However, we would like to point out that the current timing is insufficient to allow for manufacturers to receive certification by a new Notified Body. Even where a transfer is possible, and new CE certificates from EU-27 based Notified Bodies have only been issued in the last few weeks, re-labelling all their devices would be challenging at best and unfeasible in many cases, particularly for manufacturers with large product portfolios. If devices are not available, even temporarily, the resulting impact on European healthcare systems – and the safety of EU citizens – could be substantial. 
Therefore, in the best interest of citizens, we call on the European Commission, together with Member States, to agree on a limited transition period. This will allow those manufacturers directly impacted by any no-deal Brexit to continue to place devices certified by a UK Notified Body on the market. 
Standard practice for medical devices (2) when changing to a different Notified Body would be to provide six months following the Date of Withdrawal. This would allow the re-labelling of devices after the certificates transition to a new Notified Body. Even 12 to 18 months could be necessary in case manufacturers have to switch to a completely new Notified Body to ensure the necessary time for the re-certification process.
Such a transition would give manufacturers much-needed certainty and ensure that hospitals, healthcare professionals and citizens in the EU see reliable and predictable access to these devices. 
This, however, provides a short-term solution to a long-term challenge. We therefore encourage the EU and the UK to expedite negotiations on a trade agreement that includes the mutual recognition of medical device certification. 

 1 – ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/qa_brexit_industrial_products_en.pdf 
 2 – www.doks.nbog.eu/Doks/NBOG_BPG_2006_1.pdf

The Financial Market is Changing. Time for some New Thinking.

We look at the I-FIHN management consulting company in Paris and ask, has their time come, to seize the initiative in their core financial markets?

It’s a mistake easily made, that any conversation with a French company will be philosophical, psychological almost. It’s not like they haven’t had enough practice. I can’t think of any time since Voltaire, where the impression has not been one of internal ennui.

And consulting companies generally, either continue this trend and deliver reports but no deliverables; or they focus on the cart of technology, rather than the horse of actual business need.

“Hey, we are the best in the world at blockchain!”… Well, that’s wonderful.

Yet at a time when all financial and business leaders recognise that 2019 will demand considerable innovation in how we develop our businesses, not just pure tech competence – now is the time for new players to come to the front, with a new focus on a different mix of delivering what you and I know we need.

But that still leaves the question of “what” constitutes “original thinking”. The risk of compliance and legislated focus of financials, still requires adherence to a set of rules, and competence in what business is all about. Sure, technology is important – but that starting point remains the balance of where do we want to take our business matched by – the deep understanding of the financial business in which our service providers are involved.

And whilst London has always been, and continues to be seen as, the leader in financial innovation – so that has not stopped newcomers from taking the lead, from other areas. And yet these are not newcomers. It its just that they have been below the radar – until now. It is similar to the sudden superstar actress, who has been treading the provincial boards for so long, now landing the key movies role. Suddenly, with their own unique and business approach – their time has come.

The I-FIHN Consulting company based in Paris, typifies the new approach – sure, they talk about their expertise and their competences, all within a deep understanding of financial practice – but it not until page eight of their Brochure, that you finally understand that this is no technology company; this is advisory and innovation based on human face to face values, covering a wide variety of international experience.

The benefit of this approach is that it takes financial transformation into new areas of “what could be possible” – rather than play safe within the trusted hallowed of your own organisation.

It is an important differentiation.

I talked with Ladan Haghighi, Head of Advisory Practice at I-FIHN – she told me: “the multinational experience that we all have, is now coming into fruit, in the different ways each of our Team view a client situation”.

We expect to see more of this approach and this company in the future.

The I-Fihn company can be contacted at their Paris office on +33768481502.

Latvia becomes the 19th EU country to join eHealth cooperation for personalised healthcare

On 12 November Latvia signed the European Declaration on linking genomic databases across borders that aims to improve understanding and prevention of disease and allow for more personalised treatments, in particular for rare diseases, cancer and brain related diseases.

The Declaration is an agreement of cooperation between the countries that want to provide secure and authorised cross-border access to national and regional banks of genetic and other health data, in accordance with all EU data protection rules.The goal is also to keep the EU at the global forefront of personalised medicine, at the same time as fostering scientific output and industrial competitiveness. Latvia is the 19th signatory of the Declaration, which was originally launched on 10 April 2018 during the Digital Day. The other EU Member States that have signed it are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. In April 2018, the Commission put forward an action plan to secure healthcare data while fostering European cooperation.

The interesting point is ironic; At a time of apparent Brexit confusion, the UK, with it’s Genomics England agency – is one of the leaders in genomics understanding and promotion. and three of the key protagonist countries in Europe – Belgium, Germany, France – are not on the list of signatories to the above declaration. 

Don’t you just love it?

Charisma. Either you’ve got it. Or you haven’t.

We look at the growth of the Park Annual healthcare forum in Gothenburg and ask – why is it so successful?

It’s a question of how you measure success. There are talking shops, and there are talking shops. For Iris Ohrn, Investment Advisor at Business Region Goteborg, the emphasis is as much on the “shops” (ie the actual business quotient), as it is on the “talking”. She is eager to support all companies interested in the Gothenburg innovation system. Although she can have a chat with anybody she certainly prefers and enjoys discussing concrete business and investment opportunities in Gothenburg – based companies. The chat – is not the end, but the means to an end.

It is a subtle distinction that can easily be lost in the informality of the Park Annual event itself. There are many “Life Science”. Forums out there. The secret sauce of Park Annual is not focusing on trade, investments or scientific research as such. It focuses on gathering all groups ex. entrepreneurs, scientists, innovators, companies and investors in the heart of Göteborg and get them to network and be inspired in a very relax by effective way. Entrepreneurship and innovation are one of word that best describes the event and that could differentiate it from other also good events. Usually start-ups and innovators are the starts of the event.

What Iris says is; “It provides a great forum for debate. You leave the event with a very positive feeling. With that feeling that you are not alone and that is great fun to be part of the Innovation system.”

And it is indeed true – there are indeed similar events. The NJ Pharma Hub; and PACT in Philadelphia come to mind, where both of these have the advantage of zillion times larger population. But that may not be an advantage. Sweden is a small and export dependent country. It is home, so to say, to just 0.13 per cent of the global population. Which means that, in order to succeed, its companies need to be born global and more focussed.

Iris continues: “ Our products compete on the global market from day one as our internal market is very limited, despite our purchase power. We top most lists when we talk about innovation and competitiveness. We do not compete by market size but by the quality of our products. Our formula is collaboration, collaboration at all levels, small and large companies, public and private sector, universities, hospitals and patients. Most of our success relies on our capacity to collaborate. Now, more than ever, cross-sectorial collaboration is our focus. Digitalization and the rapid technological development are disrupting most industries.”

But probably the key missing ingredient is not just the mix of University supporting industry backed by Government It is more the qualification of what constitutes success that we mentioned above. And it is two fold – sure, there are commercial yardsticks, performance indicators. But underlying all of that is the understanding that Park Annual is a healthcare forum. The basic raison d’être is eradicating diseases. Park Annual has its heart in it.

Park Annual is on the 27th Sept 2018 at Sahlgrenska Science Park Sweden.