Welcome speech by the event host: Cristian-Silviu Busoi MEP (EPP, Romania) and Kathi Apostolidis, European Cancer Patient Coalition, Vice President and Member of the EC Working Group on mHealth Assessment Guidelines.
This was presented at the "Unleashing the mHealth potential for cancer patients" event held on Wednesday 25th May 2016 (16:30-18:30pm) in the European Parliament.
"mHealth and eHealth are becoming realities in Europe: this is demonstrated by the growing size of mHealth apps’ market, by the raising investments in eHealth infrastructures and by the fast adoption, at various degrees, of mHealth applications by patients.
The burden of cancer is also raising: more than 10 million EU citizens are affected by cancer, incidence and prevalence are growing, and the socio-economic impact of cancer heavily burdens both healthcare systems and cancer patients.
The recent political agreement on the text the General Data Protection Regulation and the production of the Privacy Code of Conduct mHealth apps further stir the debate regarding the use of new mHealth technologies within cancer care pathways.
Are cancer patients enjoying the benefits of mHealth?
In which field can cancer patients profit the most from mHealth apps?
Is the regulatory framework supporting the development of useful and safe mHealth apps for cancer patients?
Are there other structural obstacles to the full integration of mHealth apps in the cancer patients’ journey?"
The event will be hosted by MEP Cristian-Silviu Busoi (EPP, Romania), one of ECPC closest champions within the European Parliament and a knowledgeable supporter of the development of eHealth/mHealth in Europe.
The event was followed by a cocktail reception.
Join the discussion on Twitter using #mHealthCancer The event is part of the initiatives for the
2016 European Week Against Cancer #EWAC2016
More information can be found on the European Cancer Patient Coalition's website:
The role of the European Parliament in shaping mHealth policy
potential for cancer patients
Kathi Apostolidis-ECPC Vice President
President Hellenic Cancer Federation
European Parliament-May 25 2016
Information as medicine
Unleashing mhealth in cancer care
On behalf of ECPC, we thank Mr Busoi, one of ECPC’s most committed
champions, for hosting today’s event, as well as Ms Kaili and Mr Boni for joining
the large family of MEPs supporting ECPC. Finally, our thanks to PatientView for
their support and expert contribution.
Information as medicine
At ECPC, we believe that the first medicine for cancer patients is information.
mhealth apps are important for health and health data information flow from
patients to physicians and vice versa as well among patients, but most
importantly for patients accessing and using their own self-generated data.
Universal access to smart- and cell phones
in developing countries
The access to smartphones and cell phones today is unbelievable and
you may be surprised to hear how smartphones in remote
communities in Africa are the major source of health and health care
information. The Economist in a recent article summed it up
wonderfully about the opportunities in health across the developing
“Mobile phones made a bigger difference to the lives of more people,
more quickly than any previous technology.”
Information and connectivity
mhealth is about information flow and connectivity.
How do developers of mhealth apps connect to patients?
Poorly, not involving patients in the design, development and
implementation process and often there is an initial disconnect.
Does the brand fashion icon or hipster on the apps advertised as disease
management tools connect to the patient, the cancer patient who might
have one or more other diseases?
Here starts the initial basic disconnect from the average 60year old cancer
Physicians and health apps
Would European physicians prescribe health apps and patient to patient
information exchange platforms, like
• smartpatients.com or
• patientslike.com, as their American or Australian colleagues?
As for medicines prescriptions, doctors know that it is hard to improve health
and convince patients to take their medicines long enough to make a
difference. Health apps developers come to realize what drug manufacturers
know since long:
adherence is a patient’s decision.
mHealth: ECPC’s key policy priority
mHealth is for ECPC and for cancer patients a key policy priority, which
touches the “core” of each patients’ organisation’s activities:
communicate to and with cancer patients
also equally the need of patients to
• communicate among them and to
• access their information and data
The aim of today’s event is not only to share with you ECPC’s position
on mHealth, but also to ask you to help us shaping it.
Spread your thoughts about the event
& mhealth in cancer care
Therefore, I am encouraging you to prepare your questions for the debate and also to share them
with the online mhealth community using the hashtag #mhealthcancer during and after the event
Our position on #mhealth in cancer care comes from experience on the field, and Jo Arnes will
share later what ECPC does in the @eSMART_EU project, but also from our work within EU funded
projects and from the committed work of our Board, Members and staff.
mHealth remains a relatively new topic, in which the patients’ perspective on how mhealths should
be built or what rules should govern their development is still missing.
The Commission has established an expert group to assess mhealth guidelines for developers and I
can tell you that the more we work on the draft the more we realize how vast and complex is the
What patients look for in mhealth –Digital literacy
For mHealth to unlock its true potential, apps have to
• be patient-friendly
• protect privacy of data
• efficient and trustworthy
• allow patients to use comment & edit their data .
User friendliness is linked to Patients’ digital literacy as a key to ensure the
uptake of mHealth apps, and at ECPC we will be glad to play our role to help
patients to better understand how to use mobile technologies.
Digital and Health Literacy
Patients’digital and health literacy is, however, not the only obstacle to
the full uptake of mHealth apps. Our 4 key questions summarise some
of the key issues we consider important.
• Are cancer patients enjoying to the fullest the benefits of mhealth?
• In which areas can cancer patients profit the most from mhealth
• Is the European regulatory framework supporting the development
of useful and safe mHealth apps for cancer patients?
• Are there structural obstacles to the full integration of mHealth apps
in cancer patients’ treatment and ongoing care?
Are we moving to #Digitised #Democratised
Digital technology plays an important role in cancer care and despite
hesitance for adoption by health care professionals and patients, is the
Dr. Eric Topol, a reknown American cardiologist sees it as medicine’s
“Guthenberg Moment”, moving towards digitized, democratised
“Much as the printing press took learning out of the hands of the
priestly class, the mobile Internet is doing the same for medicine, giving
us unprecedented control over our health care”.
“Medicine has been digitized, now it will be democratized”
Quote Source: Eric Topol – The Patient will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in your Hands