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The role of the European Parliament in shaping mHealth policy


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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 w​as 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​

Mor​e information can be found on the European Cancer Patient Coalition's website:

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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The role of the European Parliament in shaping mHealth policy

  1. 1. Unleashing mHealth’s potential for cancer patients Kathi Apostolidis-ECPC Vice President President Hellenic Cancer Federation European Parliament-May 25 2016
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. 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 world: “Mobile phones made a bigger difference to the lives of more people, more quickly than any previous technology.”
  4. 4. 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 patient.
  5. 5. Physicians and health apps Would European physicians prescribe health apps and patient to patient information exchange platforms, like •, • or •, 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.
  6. 6. 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.
  7. 7. 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 subject.
  8. 8. What patients look for in mhealth –Digital literacy For mHealth to unlock its true potential, apps have to • be patient-friendly • Safe • protect privacy of data • Precise • efficient and trustworthy • Accredited • 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.
  9. 9. 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 apps? • 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?
  10. 10. Are we moving to #Digitised #Democratised Medicine? Digital technology plays an important role in cancer care and despite hesitance for adoption by health care professionals and patients, is the way ahead. Dr. Eric Topol, a reknown American cardiologist sees it as medicine’s “Guthenberg Moment”, moving towards digitized, democratised medicine: “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