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DigitalHealthEurope twinnings to scale up innovative person-centred integrated care solutions


Strahil Birov

empirica, DE
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DigitalHealthEurope (DHE) provides comprehensive support to three key European Commission priorities for advancing the digital transformation of health and care: i) citizens’ secure cross-border access to and sharing of health data; ii) better data for research, disease prevention and personalised health and care; and iii) digital tools for citizen empowerment and person-centred care. DHE brings together owners of proven and effective innovative digital tools with organisations interested in adopting them elsewhere in Europe. In addition to matchmaking, DHE provides funding for making the adoption of such solutions possible via a dedicated twinning scheme. Many of the resulting twinnings focus on or address aspects of person-centred integrated care.

AppSaludable and CCEResearchInfrastructure are two such twinnings.

AppSaludable addresses the need for clearer guidance and certification of a growing number of health related apps, devices and software. It provides guidelines designed by the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality, which also includes a quality seal granting the quality recognition of the authority. The quality seal is free of charge and could be obtained by every app which covers the guidelines. The system is designed to ensure the safety and reliability of new health technologies. As part of the twinning, the Health Ministry‘s central purchasing and IT authority in Portugal (SPMS) aims to adopt the guidelines and ensure mutual recognition of the seal between apps developed in Portugal and Andalusia.

In the CCEResearchInfrastructure twinning, the focus is on improving datasets related to better prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer supported by the innovative technology Colon Capsule Endoscopy (CCE). The twinning builds on three components - clinical trials in Colon Capsule Endoscopy, technical development, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), and building of a research infrastructure. The solution uses algorithms to review the videos of performed colonoscopies to examine the patients’ condition and ensure high quality investigations. For the AI to be fully functional and implementable, a high number of videos with significant findings in the bowel is required. After a rigorous data collection process throug clinical trials, the twinning sites are going to create a common database. The task of aligning the datasets is initiated early in the twinning to ensure data collections are comparable. This will lead to better diagnostics, less invasive procedures and reduction of the financial costs and the workload of the healthcare professionals. The twinning is expected to result in a number of scientific publications covering both the scientific collaboration and the research infrastructure.  At the end of the twinning project, a final workshop/learning symposium will be organised in both Denmark and Scotland. The involvement of trial managers and data managers in the twinning ensures the soundness of the activities between the partners.

ICIC2020 participants will learn about all twinning opportunities offered by DHE and be invited to scale up existing best practices such as AppSaludable (attendance confirmed) and CCEResearchInfrastructure (attendance tbc) further. A matchmaking will be used to complement the approach.

How to Cite: Birov S. DigitalHealthEurope twinnings to scale up innovative person-centred integrated care solutions. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2021;21(S1):38. DOI:
Published on 01 Sep 2021.


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