The Fundació TicSalut will coordinate the UNWIRED Health project in Europe
This September sees the start of the UNWIRED Health project, the first to use precommercial public procurement with a real end application; in this case, the acquisition of innovation in mHealth. Specifically, the European financing tool will be started up to facilitate the procurement of tailored mobile solutions for public institutions which, at the same time, will nurture innovation in private companies to enable them to adapt to the needs of the administration. The project, which forms part of the Seventh Framework Program of the European Union, is coordinated by the Fundació TicSalut and, in addition to Catalonia, it will receive the participation of the healthcare services of Scotland and the region of southern Denmark.
The aim of the UNWIRED Health project led by the Fundació TicSalut is to establish a process of precommercial public procurement throughout Europe. In fact precommercial public procurement is a variant of the public contracting processes and more specifically of innovative public procurement. It therefore allows us to change from a procurement model based on the technologies available on the market and offers from suppliers to a model based on identifying and developing new applications and solutions adapted to the real needs of citizens and health administrations.
To carry out this European project in which the European Union assumes 75% of the tender, a consortium has been created formed by three public purchasers (Catalonia, Scotland and Southern Denmark) which will introduce the innovations in their territories, and three independent associations covering a wide range of organisations and companies, catalysts in encouraging the development of open platforms, interoperable solutions that can be scaled to meet other health systems.
With respect to the Catalan health service, the UNWIRED project will focus on the precommercial public procurement of two mobile applications intended to enable patients and to allow patient-focused care. One of these apps must enable the improvement of vaccination coverage and its fulfilment. The other app must be designed for the Telematic monitoring of patients with cardiopathies, through education, motivation, remote supervision and the integration and coordination of the care provided by a hospital and the general practitioner.
The requirement is that these applications should be innovative, fully integrated in the applications of the regional public health systems and that they must be able to be prescribed by family doctors. Moreover, the apps must be suitable for any smartphone and any participating operator (open platform). The Agència de Qualitat i Avaluació Sanitàries de Catalunya (AQuAS) of the Health Department will be responsible for assessing the clinical suitability of these apps.
One of the strengths of the UNWIRED project is precisely that the three associations taking part as industrial partners (Continua Health Alliance, Integrating Healthcare Enterprise Europe and GSM Conference Services Ltd) are the three large developers of mHealth throughout the world. This will give the results of this European project a global repercussion.
The Fundació TicSalut is the only Spanish institution that uses this European precommercial public procurement tool. For the moment, it uses it in the UNWIRED project and in the DECIPHER project, coordinated by AQuAS.
TicSalut coordina el projecte UNWIRED, el primer que utilitza la compra pública precomercial per adquirir innovacions en mHealth. Fundació TicSalut, 30 July 2013 [access: 2 September 2013]. Available at: http://www.ticsalut.cat/actualitat/...