In 2013 when Agència de Qualitat i Avaluació Sanitàries (AQuAS) relaunched the project DECIPHER (@DECIPHERpcpEU), we were pioneering in the field of Procurement of Innovation and little did we know on the journey ahead. The project proved to be a big challenge for the AQuAS, the Catalan Department of Health and the all consortium involved.
The European Commission Officers and the projects evaluators would also be faced with a new type of project and with the projects consortium and stakeholders, we all learned a lot in this exciting adventure.
The journey would end in March 2017 with the Barcelona final event, but the aftermath of the projects will definitely be felt in the years to come.
DECIPHER was a project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) under a call for project in 2011 whose topic was “Patient Guidance Services (PGS), safety and healthcare record information reuse”.
The objective of the project was to enable secure cross-border mobile access to existing patient healthcare portals which are individually supported by public bodies.
DECIPHER would deploy Pre-commercial Procurement (PCP) to create step-change innovations in mobile patient ICTs. Using electronic patient records as the key enabling technology, this joint PCP would create technology-led service transformation in cross-border mobile healthcare, delivering qualitative and significant benefits to patients and healthcare organisations.
The Consortium consisted of ESTAR Centro (Tuscany), TicSalut (Catalonia) and CMFT (Manchester). Suppliers will be challenged to build on outputs from epSOS, CALLIOPE, and LOD2, and advances in mobile technology. Moreover, experts from Greece, France, Finland, UK, Sweden and Ireland will provide support.
DECIPHER will generate a portfolio of interoperable applications, deployed on a pan-European platform. This resource will improve existing healthcare services by supporting mobility of patients and healthcare providers.
As a use-case scenario, the solutions were to focus on patients with a chronic health condition and Diabetes type II was selected.
From anywhere in the European Union, a patient will be able to use a secure mobile device safely to gain 24/7 access to their prescription data, emergency data, examination results and other health information.
By the end of the project, 6 prototypes solutions were funded of which 3 finalists received full funding to develop a full final version. Although the respective national Personal Health Records (PHRs) systems of the three procuring authorities are not able to implement those solutions in their current state, the achievements are important for DECIPHER:
- Invaluable experiences were gathered by all stakeholders involved in the project
- SMEs from all over Europe came under the radar of potential clients, the public procuring authorities in the consortium and those who were interested on the project
- AQuAS acquired an expertise in procurement of innovation that is now well-renowned in Europe and beyond.
- The lessons learned will be applied in the new PCP project coordinated by AQuAs, Antisuperbugs.
DECIPHER project was initially designed to address the interoperability issue in the healthcare sector. But, this project has been fundamental in the development of a model of procurement of innovation useful for the set-up of this kind of project. With this objective in Catalonia, we consider DECIPHER as a case use where AQuAS lead the path with a set of toolkit, methodology and expertise.
Post written by Jean Patrick Mathieu.