• Su Copeland
    What are the key challenges that businesses face in life sciences and digital health? Do you agree with those in the attached think tank synopsis?

    • Getting the innovation to patients
    • Difficulties of scale
    • Data
    • Education of clinical practictioners
    • Unintended results
    STEM Advisers Hub - Digital Health (68K)
  • Andrew Rowney
    Hi Su,
    I've said this before so sorry for being boring and repetitive, but SECURITY of personal health data is critical. If there's any risk of data being compromised (either deliberately hacked or accidentally leaked), then prospective patients will be reluctant to get involved.
    But the widespread availability of secure cloud services is making this issue much easier to manage.
    Just a thought ...
  • Andy Hall
    Another key challenge that businesses face in life sciences and digital health is regulation. This affects not only the products and services intended to treat patients but also the way they are marketed, advertsised and promoted in various forms of media.
  • Andrew Scott
    I agree with @Andrew Rowney, data security is key. Big data has SOOO much potential in health care. Massive potential to be used for everyone's benefit. But unfortunately, there is a tremendous risk for misuse, by choose an ADJECTIVE [well-meaning-but-misguided, incompetent, under-resourced, malicious, financially-incentivised/greedy] and add a NOUN [governments, companies, pressure-groups, individuals]. It will be so easy to screw up, that no one will do anything useful for fear of getting into trouble.

    In my view it is going to be so hard to get it right in the western world, that we are likely to see the biggest progress with health data made on counties that care less about patient data and more about patient health. I think India or China might be future leaders, potentially because they won't allow peoples rights to get in the way of what is right for peoples health.
  • Adrian Allen
    Su I'm not on your @list but I hope you don't mind me pitching in with some thoughts.

    ***Getting the innovation to patients
    Not all innovations will impact patients directly with a need for clinical trials. Some innovations will affect policy makers, research and health care professionals.
    Of the list from your PDF apps, wearable tech, connectivity of information, data analysis health literacy probably won't need a clinical trial.

    ***Difficulties of Scale
    Financial viability obviously depends on cost. If you're thinking about drugs or devices thats a big hurdle. However, if you're thinking about applying AI to health datasets the barrier is much lower and getting lower all the time.

    Anonymised health datasets are already available. UK BioBank (based in Oxford) has a colossal amount of anonymised health data for use by researchers of recognised institutes or big pharma. How might others collaborate in order to gain access to anonymised health data? The NHS already has a collection of non-personal open data you can use.

    ***Education of health practitioners
    For me this is all about priorities - at the nation state level (Obesity, mental health, etc), organisation level and individual practitioner level.
    I know from doing NHS hack days that individual health practitioners have their special interests. Connecting them into special interest groups and using their enthusiasm as cheer leaders would be one way to promote ongoing training.

    *** Unintended results
    You simply cannot second guess how people will use your tech in a different way to that originally intended.Nor should you be paralysed or shy away from innovation as a result. I think the best we can do is be alive to the issue and use things like phased rollouts to learn.
  • Su Copeland
    Hi @Andrew Rowney - yup security should be stressed, @Andrew Scott interesting take on the usefulness of ignoring peoples' rights! @Andy Hall yes we should stress regulation - see Andrews comment on China. @Adrian Allen glad to have you in the discussion and invaluable insight. Education through the special interest groups is a great insight, In addition, in my experience never underestimate the importance of engaging with key opinion leaders (KOLs). p.s. @Adrian Allen - please go ahead and add more information about yourself and a photo as a member of the hub.
  • Michelle Potter
    I agree with all of the above. In addition, I would add that a potential challenge could possibly be the interpretation of data by end user, which although may not result in physical injury or damage, could potentially result in 'mental anguish'.

    The above will probably come under both 'data' and 'unintended results'.
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