Bringing together patients' perspectives on eHealth and mHealth

European cancer patient group argues the benefits

European cancer patient group argue benefits of mHealth…

Lets begin with the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) which argues the case for mHealth in cancer as part of its White Paper, `The Value of Innovation in Oncology’. In due time the paper will be launched. With this in mind the conference being held in April which will set out cancer patients’ vision for future care.

European Cancer Patient Coalition logo

The Paper recognised many issues which include:

  • eHealth and mHealth are “…key pillars for the development of more equitable and better- performing pathways”
  • protection of patient data remains a key issue and barrier
  • guidelines are essential to help ensure that cancer apps are “scientifically-credible and user-friendly for patients and carers.”
Arguing for policy change in cancer:

The European Cancer Patient Coalition represents more than 400 patient organisations in 46 countries.  Following on, its latest White Paper aims to be a step towards policy change in Europe, thus to help more people with cancer to gain access to innovative care and further treatment.

Moreover, mHealth is seen as key to innovation in cancer. For example:

“ECPC strongly believes that implementing a solid European eHealth infrastructure and boosting the development of mHealth tools could benefit healthcare systems in terms of:

Efficiency

Cost-effectiveness

Patient empowerment

System evaluation.”

Consequently, the paper highlights three key needs for progress. This includes:

  • Interoperability
  • Supporting evidence
  • Innovative payment models.
Protecting patient data:

In detail the ECPC contributed to the drafting of last year’s EC Code of Conduct on privacy for health apps. Whilst looking forward, they wish to make two key recommendations:

“The European Commission and all stakeholders involved in the drafting of the Code of Conduct on privacy must ensure a solid implementation of the Code.”

“Patient consent should be gained using a sort, simple statement without legal jargon.”

In essence the paper makes a clear call for action on privacy: “…the wide `grey zone’ between EU and national legislations which need to be targeted. Also to ensure that patients’ safety and privacy rights are preserved, while allowing them to benefit from the advantages of mHealth.”

Guiding app development

The ECPC and Patient View, who’s the curator of myhealthapps.net, are part of an EC working group for evaluating the validity and reliability of health apps. ECPC’s recommendations include:

  • “Apps should be patient-centred by design and by default”
  • “Apps should provide correct and reliable information from cited and reputable sources.”
  • “Options should exist for app developers (especially in academia) to collect anonymised data for research purposes.”
  • “Pathways for assessment and reimbursement of digital health innovations require clarification and support.”

NEXT STEPS: 

myhealthaspps: 20 cancer apps recommended by patients…

Click here

Download ECPC’s white paper…

Click here

Download the draft EC Code of Conduct on privacy for health apps…

Click here

 

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