Archive for February, 2019

Algorithm predicts patients at risk for chronic kidney disease

Using half a million electronic health records, a Roche-IBM predictive algorithm outperformed published algorithms derived from clinical trial data in a one-to-one comparison, as well as in cohort studies.

Results of the research, published in the journal Nature Medicine, were based on a year-long collaboration between Roche (the study lead), IBM, Eli Lilly, the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana Bioscience Research Institute. The Algorithm supports a more prognostic approach to identifying patients with early risk of diabetes-related chronic kidney disease.

“This study demonstrates the growing importance of real-world data (RWD) and predictive analytics in diabetes care,” said Mark Davies, chief medical officer (Europe) for IBM Watson Health. “There is a growing need to improve screening performance and the decision-making processes in diabetes care, and this new data suggest that RWD and analytics can be applied in early recognition of risk of CKD.” Study authors assert that these extracted EHR datasets constitute the largest RWD basis, used to date to investigate CKD as a long-term complication of diabetes. While further testing will be conducted, the diversity of the RWD makes the prediction algorithm better suited for generalization

EUDONORGAN Social Awareness Event “Why Organ Donation Matters to Us All”

The 3rd installment of Eudonorgan’s traveling social awareness event took place in the European Parliament on 18 February.

Bringing together 120 healthcare professionals and key stakeholders from 33 countries, the event shared the experiences of patients and patient support groups, communication officers within national, regional and local level, authorities and representatives of healthcare establishments, key opinion leaders, media and social media experts, on how to promote and encourage effective donation across the EU.

Aiming to provide specialized training and raise social awareness on organ donation among health professionals and other relevant actors, EUDONORGAN (an EU funded project on the initiative of the European Parliament), has reached approximately 500 participants from across Europe through these events.

The event concluded with a speech from MEP Hilda Vautmans , inviting participants to release biodegradable balloons in commemoration of organ donors.

Focus on access and innovation for health in the Romanian Council Presidency

In their first EU Council Presidency since joining the EU in 2007, Romania aims to: tackle drug shortages, enhance patients’ rights, promote universal access to affordable treatment, fight antimicrobial resistance, improve vaccination coverage, reduce medication abuse and improve the control of transmissible diseases.

Patient mobility will also be a special topic, bolstered by an exchange of views on the implementation of Directive 24/2011/ EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare.

Taking over from the Austria presidency, Romania will progress on key policies, such as HTA and the advancement of eHealth. Romania will organise a European conference on eHealth in Bucharest during the EU ‘Digital Week’ in June. In the legislative field, Romania aims to further progress the highly political HTA Regulation. Bilateral meetings will be held with EU health ministers, in addition to eight working party discussions on HTA, before presenting a progress report to health ministers at the EPSCO Council meeting in June. Romanian Health Minister, Sorina Pintea said she’s confident that the impasse can be overcome in view of the proceeding Finnish presidency. The Health Attaché for the Romanian Permanent Representation to the EU is Stefan-Gheorge Staicu, previously Minister of Health in Romania. Full link here

EKHA invited to present at the Organ Donation and Transplantation Competent Authority Meeting

In a presentation to Member States on 18 February, Professor Lameire showcased EKHA’s work to advance the issue through the Thematic Network on Improving Organ Donation and Transplantation.

Following an explanation of the aims of the Thematic Network, EKHA highlighted the potential a Joint Statement can serve in conveying key policy asks. The presentation of Joint Statements in late September is conveniently aligned with the EP hearings of new Commissioners. With key policy officials in attendance, receptivity toward asks is considerably elevated as they look to inform future priorities.

The occasion was also an opportunity to stress the importance of involvement from Member States in the development phase and that continued engagement would facilitate progress updates and knowledge translation. Croatia was proposed as a potential rapporteur, owing to their upcoming presidency aims on the topic and leadership in the field. Endorsement from key Member States ensures validity, visibility and continuity of messages for broader uptake.

The discussion highlighted that opt-in and opt-out systems are not mutually exclusive. It was suggested that the Joint Statement reflect the multilayer complexity of systems that exist between Member States.

EU Health Policy Platform, 2019 Thematic Network Kick-Off Meeting

On 6 February, Professor Vanholder was invited to share the rationale for the Network Organ Donation and Transplantation, as well as intended outputs.

The key points and research areas the Joint statement will include are: (1) Clustering of countries for implementation of strategic plans, depending on their strengths/weaknesses (one-size fits all is not the approach recommended even though countries can learn from each other), (2) Striving towards general European opting-out, (3) Stimulate expanded cadaveric donorship and living donation, (4) Eliminate financial barriers for (living) donors and for hospitals and (5) Improve patient information.

Valuable feedback was received from Commission officials, who expressed support for the initiative and expect that our Joint Statement will receive many endorsements.

As part of the cycle, there will be two webinars, wherein EKHA will call for collaboration and endorsements from key stakeholders. The Joint Statements will be presented during the annual EU Health Policy Platform meeting at the end of September.