European Medicines Agency launches PRIME
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has launched a new scheme - PRIME (PRIority MEdicines)
- which focuses on medicines that may offer a major therapeutic advantage over existing treatments, or benefit patients with no treatment options. These medicines are considered priority medicines within the European Union. By engaging with medicine developers early, PRIME aims to strengthen clinical trial designs to facilitate the generation of high quality data for the evaluation of an application for marketing authorisation. PRIME medicine is expected to benefit from accelerated assessment at the time of an application for marketing authorisation.
While PRIME is open to all companies on the basis of preliminary clinical evidence, micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and applicants from the academic sector can apply earlier on the basis of compelling non-clinical and tolerability data and can request fee-waivers for scientific advice.
Link to Commission news
International Forum Gastein inviting applications for the 10th European Health Award
The winner of the Award will be awarded prize of €10,000 at this year’s Forum “Demographics and Diversity in Europe – New Solutions for Health” 28th- 30th September 2016. The European Health Award
promotes health policy initiatives with a cross-border European scope which contribute to meeting health challenges including health inequalities, access to health services, and the provision of treatment. Applications close on Friday, 27th May 2016 and will be evaluated by jury.
European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing – future actions
The EIP’s Conference of Partners took place in Brussels in December 2015 where the Action Groups of the EIP on AHA showcased the work conducted over the period 2012-2015 and presented their priorities for the next three years. The Action Groups stressed that there would be opportunities for regions and other partners to get involved in the new initiatives starting from 2016. To find out more, videos of the six Action Group presentations have been made available:
- Falls prevention
- Integrated care
- ICT solutions
- Age-friendly environments
If you want to learn more about the EIP AHA please contact
€20 million loan granted to develop treatments for hepatitis, cancer and tuberculosis
The development of innovative treatments for infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and tuberculosis as well as for human papillomavirus-induced cancer will be supported by a €20 million loan to a French biopharmaceutical company. The loan is provided by the European Investment Banks via the Horizon 2020 InnovFin Infectious Diseases (ID) facility.
The deal is the second one signed under the InnovFin ID debt instrument which supports access to finance for high-risk projects, in particular where successful development and commercialisation of a compound, drug or medical device is very challenging. The first loan was awarded to a Swedish company developing an HIV testing device in 2015.
More information on the Horizon 2020 InnovFin Infectious Diseases facility
Professional development of health professionals
In February a workshop in Brussels ‘Ticking the Boxes or Improving Healthcare and Patient Safety? Optimising Continuous Professional Development of Health Professionals in the EU’ shared national experiences on Continuous Professional Development systems. Sixty experts, including representatives of regulatory, professional and educational bodies and the European Commission discussed ways to optimise CPD of health professionals to improve quality of care and patient safety. All the presentations and details of the Working Group on the European Workforce for Health have been made available online
Health literacy project
A project led by the University Medical Centre Groningen, The Netherlands, and including the University of East Anglia as a partner, has examined health literacy for older people. The main objective of the project was to introduce evidence-based guidelines for a comprehensive approach improving health literacy of the ageing population. Growing demand for eHealth and mHealth applications has created opportunities for innovative solutions along with video games that can help improve the health of older people. The EU-funded IROHLA project trialled technologies with elderly participants – including those with low health literacy – in order to improve market feasibility and to create a set of guidelines for developers.
The project’s policy guidelines and practical examples can be found on the website
New safety features to protect EU consumers from falsified medicines
Falsified medicines are fake medicines that pass themselves off as real, authorised medicines. A regulation
will introduce obligatory safety features. These consist of two elements placed on the packaging of a medicinal product:
- a unique identifier, a unique sequence carried by a two-dimensional barcode allowing the identification and authentication of the individual pack on which it is printed; and
- a device allowing the verification of whether the packaging of the medicinal product has been tampered with (anti-tampering device).
The intention is to protect citizens against the health threat of falsified medicines, which may contain ingredients which are of low quality or in the wrong dosage. Published in February, the delegated regulation will be applicable in February 2019.
The call for Reference Sites of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing is open
The EIP AHA has published a call for ‘Reference sites’. These are for regions/localities interested in showcasing innovative components of their care model/systems that can serve as illustrations of good practice to other regions.
- The European Partnership met with the European Commission and other interested regions to learn more about this new opportunity. If you want to find out more, please contact
The previous call published in 2012 resulted in 32 regions being recognised, including 5 in the UK. Existing Reference Sites will need to reapply under the new call. The call will be open until 15 April 2016.
New Call website
Smart living environments for ageing well
The European Commission held a webinar in January on the current Horizon 2020 funding call topic “Internet of Things: IoT-01-2016: Large Scale Pilots Pilot 1: Smart living environments for ageing well”. The webinar gave an overview of the topic and provided answers to the participants' questions. The recording together with the slides is now available.
Health projects brokerage opportunity
The ERRIN network will be holding a brokerage event 21-21nd June in Brussels which provides an opportunity to build partnerships for project ideas on the themes of:
- Patients’ conditions in hospitals (infections, antibiotics, nanotech in medicines, food)
- Silver economy and welfare
- Urban environments of ageing (transport, public services)
- Digitalisation of health systems (e-health, big data, data security, open data)
European Partnership members interested in finding out more or taking part are invited to get in touch with Jackie Eveleigh.
Mental health and Wellbeing
The EU has launched the EU-Compass for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing to disseminate information from the EU-funded Joint Action on Mental Health and Well-being which brought together Member States from 2013, and held its final conference in January 2016. The Compass focuses on the following topics:
- preventing depression & promoting resilience
- better access to mental health services
- providing community-based mental health services
- preventing suicide
- mental health at work
- mental health in schools
- developing integrated governance approaches.
It will be collecting examples of good practice. Find out more
and register for the newsletter.
Active Ageing Index
The Active Ageing Index (AAI) is a project managed jointly by the European Commission and the Population Unit of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe). It assesses three broad dimensions of active ageing: employment; social participation; and independent living, and bring relevant indicators together into an index. Unsurprisingly, this shows a North-South and East-West divide, the Nordic countries, together with the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands reaching the highest scores.
Link to the Index
Towards guidelines to improve mHealth apps data quality
The Commission has set up a working group bringing together representatives of civil society, research and industry organisations to develop guidelines for assessing the validity and reliability of the data that health apps collect and process. Members from the UK are NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Digital Health & Care Alliance, King’s College London, and PatientView Ltd. The guidelines are expected to build on existing good practices. The group aims to provide common quality criteria and assessment methodologies that could help stakeholders. The group will have its first meeting in March and the guidelines are expected to be finalised by the end of 2016.
European Commission news site
EU SME eHealth Competition
The eHealth Competition
is an initiative that rewards the best eHealth and mHealth (mobile) solutions produced by SMEs. Its objective is to support business success by giving SMEs visibility together with marketing opportunities to attract customers, partners and capital. The 2016 Competition will be held in Amsterdam during eHealth Week (8th to 10th June 2016). Registration will open in February.
Online networking tool for Horizon2020 ICT-centred topics under the Health challenge
An online networking tool has been launched for proposers seeking to find potential partners for potential projects under the Horizon 2020 topics 'ICT for Health, Wellbeing and Demographic Change'. This tool is limited to the topics which opened in October 2015 with a closing date in 2016 and are ICT-centred.
More information and the list of topics
Alert – Health Programme 2016
It is anticipated that the 2016 Work Programme and Call for Action Grants under the EU’s Third Health Programme will be published in (late) February, much earlier than last year’s June publication. A European Partnership Briefing on the 2016 Calls will follow.
Details will be available on the CHAFEA website.
Calls are published on the Participant Portal.
Evaluation of the Health Programme planned during 2016
The European Commission is planning an evaluation on the Health Programme during 2016. A stakeholder consultation will be launched later in the year with around three months for interested parties to respond. In preparation for this, the Commission has made public its plans in a ‘Roadmap’ entitled ‘Mid-term evaluation report on Health Programme 2014-2020
'. There is a short window to comment on the roadmap itself until 14 January, via .
Approaches to long term conditions and frailty
In December the European Partnership attended a conference focusing on practical local initiatives in the area of long term conditions and increased frailty. The EUREGHA network High Level Conference 2015 on “Linking Chronic Diseases and Frailty – Creating Synergies and Collaboration between Efficient Policies for Disease Prevention and Management at European and Subnational Level” brought together practitioners from across Europe. For feedback on the day or more information/presentations, please contact
at the European Partnership.
EU Court of Justice upholds adoption of Tobacco Directive
The Court has found
the new EU Tobacco Directive of 2014 to be valid. This applied in particular to questions around the standardisation of the labelling and packaging of tobacco products; the EU-wide prohibition on sales of menthol cigarettes applicable from 2020; and the special rules for e-cigarettes.
EU Court of Justice on alcohol pricing
The Court ruling
held that Scottish legislation introducing a minimum price per unit of alcohol is contrary to EU law if less restrictive tax measures can be introduced.
Consultation on breast cancer screening draft guidelines
Stakeholder feedback is invited on the draft scope of the European guidelines for breast cancer screening and diagnosis by the European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer (ECIBC) and the Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC). The consultation
is open from 18 December 2015 to 17 January 2016.
Tender - Behavioural survey for sexual health
The EU’s Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency has launched a call for tender
for a behavioural survey for sexual health, HIV/AIDS and associated infections among men who have sex with men, and a knowledge, attitudes and practice survey, and tailored training for community-based health workers to improve access, quality of prevention, diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, STI and viral hepatitis and health care services for men who have sex with men. The deadline for submitting proposals is 9 February 2016.
European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing
In December the East of England European Partnership attended the EIP-AHA’s Conference of Partners. The theme was ‘Accelerating market uptake of innovation for active and healthy ageing across Europe’. The Action Groups highlighted the state-of-play, activities to date, and proposals for actions in 2016-17 in the areas of:
- Adherence to medical plans,
- Falls prevention,
- Integrated care systems,
- ICT solutions for independent living,
- Age-friendly environments,
- Plus, a decalogue on frailty prevention.
Note: there will be opportunities in 2016 for new partners to get involved with the Action Groups, to apply to be reference sites, or to make commitments. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact
at the European Partnership.
Advance alert – Active and Healthy Ageing Reference Sites
The European Commission will launch a new call for Reference Sites
in January 2016. The goals is to support the EIP's objective of scaling up innovation and further enhancing the economic growth and jobs dimension within the Silver Economy strategy. A proposal with a description of the revised criteria in line with the new goals is open for consultation. Comments can be submitted until 8 January 2016. The official text of the new Call for Reference Sites will be published by the European Commission at the end of January 2016 and the call for applications will be open until 15 March.
Spain will be leading the European Joint Action on the prevention of frailty in the elderly
Spain has been appointed as coordinator of the European Joint Action on the prevention of frailty in the elderly
. The Joint Action on the Prevention of Frailty is part of the Third European Health Action Programme 2014-2020. This initiative has a budget of €3.5 million and will run between 2016 and 2017. It involves, in addition to Spain, 25 European countries, including the UK.
Consultation on EU-US co-operation on eHealth
The European Commission and the United States Department of Health and Human Services have jointly updated a Roadmap
that guides European and US cooperation on eHealth (also called Health Information Technologies). The objective of the consultation is to gather comments and inputs which will be used to finalise the update of the Roadmap and to validate it. Views are sought from Member States' authorities, businesses, academia, organisations involved in eHealth, health professionals and any other interested stakeholders.
Deadline to respond: 10 March 2016.
Or by email to:
The European Commission has recently confirmed that all EU Member States now have at least one National Contact Point in place where people can find out more about their rights and options for seeking healthcare in another EU country.
In the UK
Event - Planning & Educating Health Workforce without Borders, 18-19 February 2016
Varna, Bulgaria. Organised on behalf of the EU Health Programme’s Joint Action Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting, this event will focus on:
AAL Programme on Living with Dementia
- The challenge of the mobility of health professionals
- The effect of a changing demography on health workforce needs
- The education of health professionals for the future.
The 2016 theme for calls for proposals under the Active and Assisted Living Programme has been agreed. It will be ‘Living well with dementia’.
- The aim of this call is to support innovative, transnational and multi-disciplinary collaborative projects.
- A key priority underlying this challenge will be to integrate existing technologies to create solutions based on ICT that will enable the wellbeing of people with dementia and their communities (family, caregivers, neighbourhood, service providers, care system, etc.).
- The proposals should include a user-centred approach as well as pilots with a considerable number of end-users involved in order to demonstrate the benefits and added-value necessary to make impact on the market.
- The proposal must demonstrate a clear route to market and added-value for the different types of end-users.
- Details will be published with the launch of the call on the AAL website at the end of February 2016. Until then this information is subject to change. An AAL Info & Partnering Day is planned for the 8th March 2016 in Brussels.
European Partnership briefing note
AAL Association pre-announcement
Mapping ESIF investments in health
The EU has launched a mapping report providing an overview of how Member States intend to support the health sector using European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) over the period 2014-2020. This includes an EU-wide analysis and country-specific detail.
The use of ESIF for health-related investments envisaged across the EU amounts to:
- € 3.891 billion on health infrastructure
- € 954 million for the use of ICT in health
- € 4 billion will be invested in access to healthcare (health care and social services combined) and Active and Healthy Ageing.
Poland, Romania and Portugal top the chart. The UK, along with countries such as Ireland and Denmark, are not directly allocating to health priorities. For the UK the report states that although “no direct allocation to health priorities has been identified, some health-relevant projects could be foreseen in the following areas:
- Strengthening the specialised research infrastructure, in East and West Wales, with the intent of increasing the capacity and capability to undertake world class research, including nano-health research
- Support, through grants, of stratified medicine and connected health
- Support of SMEs business aimed at medical devices and digital health care
- Activities with employers to address health related issues within the workforce and to develop or improve appropriate occupational health and safety programmes, adopting collaborative approaches in the delivery of occupational health services
Improving employability of vulnerable groups:
The ESIF for Health mapping report
Publication - What does it take to make integrated care work?
- Activities increasing employability of people with health issues."
A 'cookbook' of good practices
in large-scale deployment of coordinated care and telehealth has been launched. It identifies processes, structures and ways of working from five European regions, including Scotland.
Integrated care seminar
In November, the European Social Network (ESN) held an event entitled “Integrated services: (how) does it work?” which brought together over 100 participants from 24 European countries. Case studies from Manchester, Renfrewshire, Andalucía, Germany and Finland were shared. Find out more about the seminar and the ESN.
Experts on mobile health invited to join working group
The European Commission looking for organisations to become members of a working group on mobile Health. The group will develop guidelines for assessing the validity and reliability of the data that health apps collect and process. It is looking for organisations from industry, civil society, research etc. The deadline to express an interest
is 4 December.
EIT Digital Ideas Challenge finalists
Ten start-ups from seven different countries have been shortlisted out of 81 applicants in the category Health and Wellbeing. The finalists will pitch their ideas on 25 November in front of a pan-European jury consisting of industry experts, investors, entrepreneurs and business accelerators. Find out more about the finalists.
The Commission has launched a new version of its health information tool
for health experts, stakeholders and anyone interested in health information. The European Core Health Indicators (ECHI) data tool presents comparable information at European level in an interactive way, covering five groups of indicators:
- demographic and socio-economic factors,
- health status,
- health determinants (smoking, alcohol, etc.),
- health interventions/health services, and
- health promotion.
Evidence-based action to address socioeconomic health inequalities
Health Equality 2020 is a project aiming to help regions develop evidence-based action plans on reducing health inequalities. A key product of the project is a toolkit developed by the Erasmus University Medical Centre. The HE2020 Toolkit
helps regions carry out evidence based action planning in order to tackle health inequalities by using a structured approach. It consists of four phases that are important in developing evidence-based action plans: needs assessment; capacity assessment; selecting entry points; impact assessment.
The project is holding a conference
on 4 December, to present resources, case studies, and practical examples.
Consultation on disruptive innovation for health and health care
A public consultation has been launched on implications of disruptive innovation for health and health care in Europe. By disruptive innovation it means “a type of innovation that creates new networks and players that tend to displace existing structures and actors. It constitutes a real paradigm shift in the organisation of healthcare… (with) the potential to reduce costs and complexity whilst simultaneously providing patients with improved access to healthcare resulting in better health and patient empowerment.” Interested parties are invited to provide comments on an expert preliminary opinion before 16 December 2015.
Tobacco health warnings – specifications
Specifications for health warnings on packages of tobacco products for smoking have been adopted. The new health warnings
will comprise a colour photograph, a text warning on the harmful effects of smoking and smoking cessation information. These should collectively cover 65% of the front and back of packages. These will appear on packages across the EU from May 2016.
An invitation to experts in Assisted Living
The AAL Association needs independent experts for the Active and Assisted Living Programme
, This is a €700 million applied research and innovation programme in the field of ICT-based solutions for ageing well. The call for expressions of interest
is now open and will remain open until 2020. As well as attracting the best specialists of business in the field of ICT for ageing well, the AAL Association wants to boost the number of experts in the area of end-users integration. Apart from evaluating proposals for funding, experts are needed for reviewing funded AAL projects.
European Health Forum 2015 feedback
In early October the 18th European Health Forum met in Gastein, Austria. Billing itself as the most important health-related event in the EU, it brings together experts from science and academia, patient organisations/NGOs, business and industry as well as policy-makers. The event aims to be wide-ranging in its approach, and in 2015 it covers topics such as sustainable health systems and health economics; health system performance; pricing of medicines; health security; and health policy development.
A brief summary of the key issues
covered has been published and webcasts of many sessions have also been made available, including on:
- The power of data
- Comprehensive primary care
- Global health and health systems
- Health information
- Access to new medicines
- ‘my health, my responsibility’
- mHealth (mobile health applications)
- Access to healthcare
Contact at the East of England European Partnership for links.
An evaluator’s-eye view of incorporating ‘impact’ into Horizon 2020 proposals
Fit for Health 2.0
(a support organisation for the participation of European SMEs in the health-related sector of Horizon 2020) recently held a webinar about how ‘impact’ and the exploitation of research results can better be incorporated into Horizon 2020 proposals.
For feedback on the event contact
NGOs recognised for work during the Ebola outbreak
In 2015 the first EU Health Award for NGOs
funded under the EU's Health Programme focussed on NGOs who worked during the Ebola outbreak. The winners have been announced:
Covenant on Demographic Change
- The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) - emergency medical response to the Ebola Virus Disease
- Concern Worldwide - Safe and Dignified Burials Programme, Freetown, Sierra Leone
- Spanish Red Cross - West Africa Ebola outbreak relief operation
The EU-funded network on Innovation for age-friendly environments (AFE-INNOVNET
) is setting up a ‘Covenant on Demographic Change
’. This is a political and technical framework bringing together local, regional and national authorities, and other stakeholders such as civil society organisations, research centres and industries. Signatories commit to cooperate and implement evidence-based solutions to support active and healthy ageing.
The official launch of the Covenant will take place on 7 December with the support of the European Commission and the participation of the World Health Organisation. The launch will be followed by a two-day technical workshop for policy-makers at local and regional level and interested parties are invited to express an interest
in participating in the event.
Event - Healthcare Projects Brokerage event at MEDICA 2015, 17-19 November 2015
Enterprise Europe Network and the Fit for Health 2.0 are organising a Healthcare Brokerage Event
at Medica 2015
in Germany. The aim is to assist enterprises, universities and research institutions in the Health domain to find partners in Europe for product development, manufacturing, licensing and distribution agreements, joint ventures or other types of partnership.
Event - H2020 Big Data Topics 2016, Brokerage Event, London, 8 December 2015
The European Commission has adopted the new H2020 Work Programme 2016-2017 and a series of UK ICT Thematic events focusing on the new LEIT-ICT WP 2016-2017 will be held from October to December 2015. This includes an event on Big Data
which is of relevance to health data-related projects. Big Data PPP Topics 2016 will cover:
- Cross-Sectorial and Cross-Lingual Data Integration and Experimentation
- Large Scale Pilot actions in sectors best benefiting from data-driven innovation
- Support, industrial skills, benchmarking and evaluation
- Privacy-preserving big data technologies.
Horizon 2020 Health funding
On the 18 September the Commission hosted its Information Day on the anticipated Health (SC1) Work Programme for 2016-17 and details of the forthcoming Calls for Proposals expected to be finalised and launched in mid-October. The presentations and videos of the day are now available online. Find them here.
Watch this space: Active and Assisted Living challenge prize
The Active and Assisted Living joint programme is planning to launch its first challenge prize in January 2016.
The intention is to help stimulate the creation and market uptake of new AAL products in areas where solutions are close to the market. It will be seeking out breakthrough solutions that improve older people's quality of life through ICT, and reward the applicant who can most effectively meet a defined challenge in the field of Active and Assisted Living.
The specifications, the calendar and the procedures for the submission of applications will be published by the end of 2015.
Consultation on access to health services in the EU
The European Commission and its independent Expert Panel on matters related to “effective ways of investing in health” have launched a public consultation on options for action to improve equity of access to health services in the EU. This looks at barriers to accessing health care and explores policy measures that can overcome them. It pays special attention to access to health services for under-served groups as Roma, undocumented migrants and people with mental health problems.
Relevant comments will be reflected in the final opinion, which is expected to be adopted by the end of November 2015. Interested parties are invited to provide comments before 6 November 2015.
Link to Consultation
Member States agree position on medical device regulations
Representatives of Member States’ governments have finalised the EU Council's position on two draft regulations aimed at modernising EU rules on medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices. This allows the Luxembourg presidency to start talks with the European Parliament with a view to reach an agreement as early as possible. The first trilogue-discussions between the Parliament, Council and Commission are scheduled to begin in mid-October.
Link to press release
WHO European Health Report
The World Health Organisation has published the latest European Health Report, an analytical account of the health of Europe and its progress towards the targets set by “Health 2020”, the WHO's overarching health policy. The statistics can also be analysed via an app.
Link to WHO website
Event - Joining forces in health promotion to tackle the burden of chronic diseases in Europe, 24th-25th November 2015
EU information Hub on Informal Care
Eurocarers, the European Association working for carers, has launched the first European online platform for informal carers. InformCare provides key information on rights as well as advice on how to best deliver and cope with caregiving activities. The platform also offers a variety of interactive communication tools.
Link to InformCare website
Vilnius, Lithuania. The EU’s joint action on chronic diseases (CHRODIS) is hosting an event for EU level, national and local policy makers and practitioners. The topic is the state of health promotion and primary prevention in Europe and how to move forward. The focus will be on how actors working in this field can learn from each other and work together to strengthen the effectiveness and level of investment in this field. The conference will also be a forum to share good practice in health promotion and primary prevention.
Link to event
New Joint Action between EU Member States on rare diseases is launched
The Joint Action is co-financed by the EU Health Programme and all Member States are participating. It will run until the end of May 2018.
The objectives are:
The EU and rare diseases
- to further develop the database on rare diseases.
- to ensure an appropriate codification of rare diseases in health information systems; and
- to continue implementation of EU priorities on Rare Diseases, and to support the Commission Expert Group by gathering expertise and producing data.
The Joint Action
Joint Actions are are co-financed by the national competent authorities responsible for health, or by public sector bodies and non-governmental bodies, mandated by those competent authorities. Future Joint Actions will be:
More about forthcoming Joint Actions in 2015
Health Horizon 2020 Draft Work Programme 2016/17
- Health Technology Assessment cooperation
- Prevention of Frailty
- Market surveillance of medical devices
- Rare cancer
The Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016/17 for Health (SC1) is expected to be formally published on 13 October and the Call for proposals opened on 14 October. The draft Work Programme has been published, and although changes are possible, major amendments are highly unlikely. The topics fall under the following main themes:
The draft Work Programme 2016/17
- Understanding health, well-being and disease
- Preventing disease
- Treating and managing diseases
- Active ageing and self-management of health
- Methods and data
- Health care provision and integrated care
- SME instrument- specific call topics
- Digital Security
- Internet of Things
The European Commission hosted an Information Day in Brussels on 18th September. For more information about this and the health opportunities in H2020, please contact Jackie Eveleigh at .
The French government has asked the European Commission to exclude the country from any cultivation of EU-approved genetically modified crops. Scotland and Latvia are also seeking to opt-out of approval. Find the Directive permitting prohibition here
Negotiations on EU data privacy rules enter crucial stage
In June EU countries’ ministers of justice reached agreement on a ‘general approach’ for the data protection regulation. This means that three years after the original proposal, the Council has now agreed a compromise text, and can enter negotiations with the European Parliament and European Commission – the ‘trilogue’ stage. The aim is to reach an overall agreement on a final text by the end of the year.
The negotiation will have a number of differences to resolve, and is unlikely to be an easy process. The Parliament rapporteur on the data protection package, German MEP Jan Philip Albrecht (Greens), says the agreement is ‘encouraging for the negotiations’ and ‘there are clearly differences, notably as regards the rights afforded to consumers and duties to be fulfilled by businesses’.
The regulations will have significant implications for the treatment of health-related data, including around:
- The requirement for and definition of consent
- Impact on research using health data and ‘big data’
- The ‘right to be forgotten’
- The ability, or not, to charge individuals for access to their data
For example, it has previously been reported that the UK is concerned that if consent is mandatory, then opting out of the national database may not meet the requirements, all depending on the definition of terms. The negotiations between the Parliament’s ‘explicit’ consent and the Council’s ‘unambiguous’ consent will be important.
Find the Council press release about the general approach here: Link to Press Release
Find the general approach here: Link to document
Potential topics for the 2016 Active and Assisted Living Call
The AAL Programme funds projects that aim to create a better quality of life for older people and supports business opportunities through the use of innovative ICT solutions. In the spring of each year a call for proposals for projects under a specific topic is launched. The programme organisers have identified three potential topics for the 2016 call for proposals. A survey has been launched inviting comments on the proposals. The deadline for response is 17th September 2015. The three potential topics are:
- How can ICT/SMART technologies create age friendly environments (outdoor)?
- Living well with dementia
- AAL packages/integrated solutions
For more information and a link to the survey, go to the AAL Programme website
To find a Briefing note on the AAL Programme, visit the Health Additional Documents page
Looking at EU funding for active and healthy ageing
The European Commission has published the proceedings of its June conference 'Innovative Financing Opportunities for Active & Healthy Ageing'. The conference looked at the issue of how to practically leverage public and private financial instruments in the area of active & healthy ageing. It highlighted lesser known EU funding opportunities such as pre-commercial procurement, and public procurement of innovative solutions under Horizon 2020.
The Commission’s health directorate (DG SANTE) will be writing a guide to the available financing programmes and instruments that can be used for investments in active and healthy ageing.
All presentations and videos of the day can be found at a dedicated webage. Link to Commission webpage.
European Week of Regions and Cities – Open Days 2015
The annual ‘Open Days’ events to be held in Brussels on 12-15 October are now open for registration. This year there are over a hundred workshops and debates organised as part of the 13th edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities.
Workshops which may be of interest in the field of healthy ageing include:
- Implementing Smart Specialisation Strategies on Health and Ageing: Mutual learning for Integration of care services and Age-friendly environments, 11:15-13:00, 13 October 2015
- Getting on track: accessible transport for older people, 11:15-13:00, 13 October 2015
- The rising impact of healthcare innovation on regional economies, 11:15-13:00, 13 October 2015
- The Silver Economy: what approach should the regions adopt?, 14:30-17:00, 14 October 2015
- Smart cities, social and technological innovation: What is the right mix?, 14:30-17:00, 14 October 2015
If you are interested in attending, please register quickly. If you are interested in any of the workshops but are unable to attend, please get in touch with the European Partnership and we will endeavour to attend on your behalf and feedback information.
Link to Open Days website
Public health and cross border cooperation
Cross-border healthcare and cooperation in practice has been reviewed by the independent Expert Panel which advises the Commission on matters relating to effective ways of investing in health. As well as identifying benefits, it cites obstacles, including:
- lack of information and transparency about treatments in another Member State;
- uncertainty about payments and related reimbursement procedures; and
- arrangements for follow-up and post-treatment issues.
It suggests putting in place systems to provide data on the number of patients circulating, the types of treatment they are receiving, problems experienced, and examples of how these can be overcome. The opinion was requested by the Commission, and its advice is non-binding. Find the published opinion, and others, at the link here
Integrated responses to urgent care in the East of England
East of England health, social care and housing leads came together in July to share practice and discuss approaches to developing improved responses to urgent or non-elective care. Presentations were given on approaches from across the region, and a report to accompany the event will be published shortly.
To find out more, visit the East of England LGA website
Innovative dementia techniques outlined in Nesta Health Lab blog
Nesta Health Lab has collated new and innovative dementia techniques on its Living Map of Innovators. The blog aims to inform health care professionals, as well as patients, about the work being done in order to help and support those living with dementia. Some examples of techniques include: To Know Me books which record dementia patients’ preferences and individualised care guides; Oscar, an easy to use tablet app which aids communication between patients and their carers. The blog encourages people to share their own techniques with others.
Visit the Living Map of Innovators blog
To add content, go here
Scotland and Germany “opt-out” of GMO Crops
Germany has joined Scotland in declaring that it will use the “opt-out” provision of EU rules banning the growing of GMO crops. The opt-out will exclude all GMOs which have already been or are currently being considered for approval. EU regulations state that all GM crops must be formally authorised prior to use within the EU geographical area.
The official statement
Online directory of ICT-based services for informal carers
The EU’s Joint Research Centre has partnered with EUROCARERS to launch a new online database of digital services for informal carers of older people. This new tool offers access to 78 good practices of digital services for care at home. It includes ICTs initiatives for enhancing: independent living; information and learning for carers; personal support and social integration; care coordination.
Find the directory here
Study - Recruitment and Retention of the Health Workforce
With retaining and recruiting health staff with the right skills a concern across Europe this EU-funded study reviews the situation, making recommendations for possible approaches, and looks at eight case studies, including Kings College London.
Find the report here
This year’s e_health week was held in Latvia in May, entitled "Me and my Health – Transcending Borders". A summary of conclusions can be found here
. The date for next year's eHealth Week in Amsterdam is confirmed as 8-10 June 2016.
Following on from this, in July stakeholders met to discuss ongoing work on a Code of Conduct on mobile health apps. Organised by DG Connect (European Commission) it was attended by representatives from industry, patient and professional associations, public authorities and academia. If you are interested in seeing presentations, they can be found here
Nesta Health Lab
Nesta is a UK innovation charity. It has recently launched its ‘Health Lab’ which brings together Nesta’s work on health and ageing. Nesta has built up a diverse portfolio of work on health and ageing including: £10m of innovation programmes; prizes; reports, including an award-winning business case on people powered health; and established a £17m impact investment fund with a focus on ageing. Nesta is looking for partners to work with and if you’re interested in finding out more, you can contact [email protected]
Food scanner challenge
The European Commission is challenging European innovators to come up with a food scanner - an ICT-based solution to measure and analyse people's food intake - and win a Horizon Prize. There will be three awards: € 800,000 will go to the winner and € 100,000 each to the first and second runner-ups. The Food Scanner is one of the five Horizon Prizes being launched this year.
Find out more here
UK information session on Calls under the EU’s Health Programme
The EU Health Programme launched its calls for proposals for projects on 5 June with a deadline of 15 September 2015. On 24 June the UK’s national contact point for the Programme held an information webinar on the topics being funded this year and how to apply. If you missed the webinar, you can download and watch the recorded session via the link on this page
EU Platform on Diet, Physical Activity and Health - 2015 Annual Report
The EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health was launched ten years ago, bringing together European-level organisations working in the field of nutrition and physical activity. Each year a report is produced assessing their activities. These have focused on:
Education, including lifestyle modification
Advocacy and information exchange
Composition of foods (reformulation), availability of healthy food options, portion sizes
Consumer information, including labelling
Marketing and advertising, and
Physical activity promotion
The annual report is here
Find out more about the Platform here
EU Health Programme work programme for 2015 published
The 2015 annual Work Programme for the EU’s 3rd Health Programme was published on the 2nd June. This sets out the details of what is planned throughout the year through financing three types of different actions: projects, joint actions and operating grants. The calls for proposals for projects were published on 5 June with a deadline of 15 September 2015.
Find the work programme here:
Report on the European Summit of Innovation for Active and Healthy Ageing
The Summit took place in Brussels in March, attracting over 1400 participants from government, civil society, investment and finance, industry and academia. It addressed how Europe can transform demographic change into opportunities for economic growth and social development. A full report of the conference and the actions arising for 2015-16 has now been published and can be found here: link
It includes possible measures better to convert innovation into economic growth and jobs, mobilize public and private investment, transform health and care systems to meet the needs of the ageing population, leverage technological breakthroughs and build a more inclusive "ageing society".
The European Commission and the ‘Silver Economy’
The Silver Economy covers new market opportunities arising from public and consumer expenditure related to the rights, needs and demands of the (growing) population over 50. A number of departments in the European Commission already pursue relevant policy initiatives, e.g. on eHealth, active and healthy ageing, senior tourism and age-friendly housing, and steps are being taken towards a joined up Silver Economy Strategy. Find out about this at a new dedicated space here:
Evaluation of the EU’s Cross Border Healthcare Directive
The Cross Border Healthcare Directive came into force in 2013. This study analyses how the Directive is functioning so far in terms of:
- Quality and safety;
- Undue delay.
The study was carried out national level, aiming to gather reliable and comparable information from all Member States on the implementation of the Directive. It found in particular that the Directive’s implementation could benefit from more targeted and regular publicity and communication activities. The executive summary can be found here: link
Find out more about the Directive here:
Find the UK information here:
Consumer survey on communication of alcohol associated risks
The EU’s Joint Action on Reducing Alcohol Related Harm (RARHA) brings together expert organisations in public health from 30 European countries. It is currently inviting responses to a survey in order to map consumers’ opinion. Across Europe, information on alcohol is disseminated through various means: producers, public health agencies, health professionals, mass media etc. Is the general public faced with mixed messages regarding how much you can drink, and when you should not drink at all? Results will feed into RARHA work and will contribute to the discussion on how to communicate information about alcohol-related risks. The deadline for response is 22nd June.
Find the survey here:
Preparing to implement the Tobacco Products Directive
Last year the EU’s new Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) entered into force. The European Commission is currently working on the rules needed to implement the TPD. These include the methods to determine strong flavours in tobacco products, the appearance of the new health warnings, and rules for e-cigarette refills. These rules should be in place before the transposition deadline of May 2016.
In particular, the Commission will adopt acts to:
• Revise the reporting format for ingredients and emissions
• Define a priority list of additives which warrant further examination
• Establish rules for determining products with characterising flavours
• Determine the position of health warnings on roll-your-own tobacco in pouches
• Define technical specifications for combined warnings
• Establish technical standards for the EU tracking and tracing system and security features
• Define technical standards for the refill mechanism of electronic cigarettes
• Establish a common reporting format for electronic cigarettes
Find out more about the TPD here:
OECD report on ‘Tackling Harmful Alcohol Use’
This OECD report examines the trends and social disparities in alcohol consumption and assesses the health, social and economic impacts of key policy options for tackling alcohol-related harm drawing on the experiences of Canada, the Czech Republic and Germany.
Find a link to the report here:
European Drug Report 2015
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has published the latest European Drug Report (2015). It looks at how many new drugs were detected in Europe over the last year, illicit drug use, and the latest policy developments.
Find the report here:
Survey of the understanding of Patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare in the European Union
This new Eurobarometer survey assesses the situation of cross-border healthcare after the enforcement of the EU's Directive. It looks at:
- Experience of cross-border healthcare in the EU
- Willingness to travel to another EU country to receive medical treatment
- Citizens’ knowledge of their rights to cross-border healthcare in the EU
- Information about healthcare
- National contact points for EU cross-border healthcare
You can find all the information about the survey here.
European Institute of Technology and Innovation - Health
In December 2014 EIT Health (addressing healthy living and active ageing) was designated a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC).
It is a consortium of over 50 partners and 90 associate partners drawn from industry, research centres and universities from 14 EU countries. One of its six co-location centres is in London. Its aims are to increase European industrial competitiveness; improve the quality of life for citizens; and the sustainability of healthcare systems.
It joins the three existing KICS launched in 2010:
- Climate-KIC: climate change mitigation and adaptation
- EIT ICT Labs: information and Communication Technologies
- KIC InnoEnergy: sustainable energy
Along with another new body:
- EIT Raw Materials: sustainable exploration, extraction, processing, recycling and substitution
Each KIC is set up for seven years to contribute to overcoming fragmentation by fostering world-class, long-term, integrated partnerships.
EIT - Health Homepage