Patient-driven Data Generation – What Are the Evolving Trends and Opportunities?


Connected Health cluster was represented at European Medical Information Framework (EMIF) Conference in Tallinn, Estonia, 28-29 june 2017. Külle Tärnov, Connected Health cluster Manager from Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, gave an overview: „Patient-driven Data Generation – What Are the Evolving Trends and Opportunities?“

The Connected Health Cluster in Tallinn brings together more than 70 partners from universities, pharma companies, biotechs, medical equipment SMEs and user groups to capitalise on Estonia’s digital resources, to develop new products and services, and foster the creation of start-ups.

“We are helping companies to develop products and to export, and are making Estonia a great place to found and grow healthcare businesses”, said Külle Tärnov, Connected Health Cluster Manager, Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol.

To promote e-Health exports and their application within Estonia, the Estonian EU Presidency will be promoting the adoption of the free movement of data as the fifth freedom, to add to the EU’s existing fundamental freedoms of free movement of people, goods, capital and services.

This would give all member states common access to digital services, including e-Health products.

Within Estonia, the Connected Health Cluster is involved in creating a framework to allow doctor-to-patient telemedicine to be reimbursed. The effort includes motivating doctors to implement telemedicine systems, building the IT and service development skills of healthcare professionals and the healthcare know-how of IT people, developing a certification process and integrating data from telemedicine into broader healthcare.

“The idea is not to work case-by-case, but rather to open up the data for companies, with patient consent, so that the state does not have to be in the way”, said Tärnov.

As a potent example of how the cluster is promoting commercialisation and improving healthcare, Tärnov described a project that aimed to cut Estonia’s high rate of HIV infection.

Following a workshop in June 2016 that identified the reasons for the high infection rate, the causes were outlined to tech companies, which were then given access to patients and doctors to explore the issues further.

By August, a number of possible solutions were put forward, of which seven were validated in a hackathon. Following this, three of the possible solutions received three months’ funding to move from idea to prototype.

From these, Diagnostic Match was the overall winner for its automated decision support platform that helps general practitioners identify patients who may be HIV positive through indicator diseases and symptoms. This allows doctors to suggest to people who are unaware of their status that they should take an HIV test.

In second place was hINF, which involved development of a digital appointment system that allows people who are HIV positive to consult their doctors from home.

The power of both these solutions lies in the fact that they are based on actual problems experienced by the doctors and patients, who were also involved in development of the two products. “We worked with all the users”, Tärnov said.


(Source: EMIF – Digital Citizen, Digital Patient; Conference Report HERE