Digital health decade in action: case studies
Digital technologies developed by companies in Europe are ready to scale up, providing solutions in a clinical setting, remote solutions, health insurance, collaborations between tech, health and academia, but also in building patient-centric eHealth services.
Early detection, more accurate diagnosis and efficient workflows are all key to better primary and secondary care. Digital health solutions working towards that objective have gone through a research and development phase, an authorisation phase, are subject to post-market surveillance reporting requirements, and receive optimalisation support long after they are delivered to their respective users.
The EHDS can accelerate health data access and use at scale by smaller and larger companies. It can bolster inclusive, pan-European collaborations between tech, academia, hospitals and health companies.
We provide examples of data-driven digital health innovations, how they improve healthcare, how they work, which actors are partnering, and with what technologies and data practices they operate.
Future digital health unicorns
DIGITALEUROPE’s Future Unicorn Award aims at celebrating scale-ups from across Europe that have the potential to become the future European tech giants. The award is compiled by asking all the national trade associations affiliated with DIGITALEUROPE to select a single scale-up from their country. In 2020 and 2021, the winners turned out to be health companies.
Solutions in clinic
Leveraging digital tools in health insurance
By integrating digital tools in health insurance, companies are using data and technology to help achieve the Quadruple Aim to enhance patient experience, improve health outcomes, reduce health care costs, and improve experience of healthcare providers. We highlight one example for care management, but there are many more possibilities, such as for:
- Wearable device well-being programmes, enhanced models of care for affordability, coordinated by aligning incentives for patients, care providers and hospitals.
- Online and mobile resources that help enable people to better manage their health, navigate the health system and more easily manage their payments and benefits.
- Integrated care models that leverage various data sources to provide personalised, preventive care resources and programs.
Collaborations between tech, health and academia
Europe cannot have a digital decade without digital health innovations. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the need for unseen levels of collaboration, not just for track-and-tracing, but also for instance to build a molecular compound library. They resulted in a fundamentally different kind of partnership that will be increasingly important in the future.
Fortunately, there are many examples that can lead the way through a clear framework for health data sharing and use – we must not start from scratch. Europe should embrace the already existing collaboration between health, tech and academia.
Building patient centric e-health services
In Estonia, where now 99% of citizens have a secure country wide digital record using an eID-card, the first step in 2001 was to build robust digital infrastructure, which engendered trust and support. In Finland, the Act on Secondary Use of Health and Social Data enabled FinData to grant authority for secondary use of data and Kanta provides nation-wide data-services for healthcare delivery.
Many bigger Member States are already taking action, like France and Germany. For inspiration, Europe may even look to Australia, where a federal-level Health Service Library has been established covering health and social care, including public, private and non-profit organisations.
 Adam V Benjafield, Najib T Ayas, Peter R Eastwood, et.al. Estimation of the global prevalence and burden of obstructive sleep apnoea: a literature-based analysis, Lancet Respir Med. 2019 Aug;7(8):687-698; Adeloye D, Chua S, Lee C, Basquill C et.al.; Global Health Epidemiology Reference Group (GHERG).(2015) Global and regional estimates of COPD prevalence: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
 Chang J et al. Impact of Interactive Web-based Education and Automated Feedback Program on CPAP Adherence for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (Tele OSA). SLEEP Meeting 2016; Malholtra et al. Patient Engagement Using New Technology to Improve Adherence to Positive Airway Pressure Therapy. UCSD, La Jolla, California; ResMed Science Ctr. 2017.
 Take for instance the CARE consortium (under the IMI umbrella) consisting of 40 members, and the COVID-19 Therapeutic Accelerator Initiative, that worked together with DIGITALEUROPE member Bayer.