Inspiration

The team’s longstanding vision and inspiration is to engage in activities that contribute to the digital transformation of the healthcare and thereby create social value for the stakeholders, namely the patients, Healthcare Professionals (HCP), informal caregivers, healthcare providers.

In particular, our solutions focus on empowering:

  1. the patients to get in charge of their own data and self-manage their (chronic) disease, thereby contributing to their wellbeing.
  2. the HCP to manage more efficiently the treatment process and remote monitor the patients, thereby improving the provided healthcare services.

Specifically, the eHealthPass COVIDshield edition was inspired from the need to manage the patients in quarantine and facilitate our return to normality keeping in mind that COVID-19 won’t go away any time soon.


The problem

How will the world get back to normality? The problem further breaks down into:

  1. How can we effectively manage the patients in quarantine and contain the spread of Corona Virus (COV)?
  2. How can we prevent another outbreak of the COV after the lockdown?

The solution approach

COVIDshield is a post lockdown solution to manage patients in quarantine, chronic disease patients and the general public during and after the pandemic. Patient management is done using wearables, International Patient Summary data and shared care plan data to identify (using Machine Learning algorithms) relevant digital biomarkers that aid the treatment process.

In particular COVIDshield covers the following COVID-19 related scenarios:
1. Reporting epidemic data and managing patient remotely
2. EU cross border scenario & eHDSI National Contact Point (NCP) Integration
3. COVID-19 and Chronic diseases management
4. Emergency and unplanned care

The functionality is centred around the following pillars:

A. Case Detection and COV containment

  • Advanced privacy by design including GPS contact tracing enablement, detailed patient consent and revocation, automated audit logs, standard based data portability and GDPR Compliance
  • Automated clinical, quality of life and personalised smart questionnaire on COVID-19 symptoms
  • Automated reporting to COVID-19 registries based on international HL7 FHIR resources

B. COVID-19 Patient Self-management

  • Personalised Treatment Plans assigned by the doctors
  • Automated reminders, alerts and to-dos
  • IoT and medical devices connectivity, automated measurements collection
  • Personalised Care and education information
  • Panic Button features for emergency and COVID-19 request for testing
  • Validated Questionnaires and PROMS
  • Educational material to increase awareness and motivation

C. Remote patient monitoring

  • First encounter (visit or remote visit) support
  • Treatment plans among patients-doctor
  • Video consultation and chat tools integrated for direct communication
  • Appointment management for regular and online visits
  • Integration with ePrescription system if existing
  • Remote monitoring of the patients’ progress via real-time analytics and visualisations
  • Automatic detection of medical conditions and alerts notifications
  • Automatic patient clustering based on the risk and their condition as well as discovery of digital biomarkers using Machine learning algorithms.

D. Interoperability

  • Leading healthcare interoperability standards to ensure frictionless exchange of medical data
  • Compliance with International Patient Summary Specifications (CEN PrEN17269)
  • HL7 FHIR messaging and document sharing by design
  • IHE profiles for Cross Enterprise Document Sharing (XDS) architecture in place to ensure seamless exchange of health documents across Healthcare Information Systems (HIS, LIS, RIS, etc)
  • Compliance with IHE MHD integration profile for document sharing via mobile applications
  • Integration with National or Regional ePrescription systems and Personal or other Electronic Health Records (PHR/EHR) if existing

E. Safe Cross-border travelling via

  • A European Vaccination card to record upcoming EU regulation for upcoming travelling guidelines and prove conformance to EU and other countries relevant legislation
  • Full patient summary with COVID-19 related data to be displayed at an unplanned care, compliant with the EU eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure (eHDSI) openNCP for cross border health care

How we built it

Technically COVIDshield consists of 3 main components:

  1. Mobile application. This is the main interface for the patients and the informal caregivers.
  2. Web application. This is mainly used by the HCPs to assign treatment plans and follow the patient’ progress.
  3. COVIDshield backend platform. This is where the magic happens.

The secret sauce of COVIDshield is that it builds on top of the established eHealthPass platform that brings:

  • Several years of experience and collaboration with HCPs to ensure validated clinical paths, intuitive UX that meets the expectations of the HCPs and validated educational material such as Questionnaires, clinical articles and information.
  • Ecosystem of HCPs and patient associations around Europe.
  • Interoperability expertise. We have invested in adopting and formulating the leading healthcare standards to ensure full interoperability and seamless exchange of medical information across healthcare authorities and providers.

Challenges we ran into

The main challenges we have dealt with are:

Data Privacy and GDPR compliance
We have invested significant effort and resources to ensure that COVIDshield solution demonstrates privacy by design, an advanced patient consent engine compliant with the IHE relevant profiles and is GDPR compliant.

User Adoption
Digitalisation of healthcare is relatively slow, partially attributed to the reluctancy of the HCPs to move away of the traditional practices. To overcome this, we have extensively consulted with HCP during the development of the solution to ensure that the clinical paths are accurately reflected in the platform thereby ensuring premium UX and smooth transition from traditional systems and practices.


Accomplishments that we are proud of

eHealthPass, the platform that powers COVIDshield, has achieved significantly recognition in the European landscape in the following domains:

  1. Awarded 3 European Pre-commercial Challenges (PCP) and has been the preferred solution for piloting in several hospitals across Europe.
    • Prowempower. eHealthPass has been deployed as a self-management diabetes solution for pilot operation in 4 hospitals: Italy, Spain, Turkey, Portugal
    • Relief. eHealthPass has been deployed as a chronic pain management solution for a pilot operation in 3 hospitals: Sweden, Spain, France
    • Decipher. eHealthPass was deployed as a patient-centered solution for keeping track of the personal health record and collaborating with healthcare professionals and piloted in Spain.
  2. Participation in several EC Horizon 2020 projects such as: TRILLIUM II on international patient summary specifications , SHAPES on cross border integrated care models , VICINITY and ACTIVEAGE on IoT integration for active ageing, HEDIMED on exposomed, and UNICOM for ISO IDMP and smart medication management.
  3. Consistent recognition and awards as a crisis management solution in case of emergency and unplanned care. (https://bit.ly/2K0l9aH, https://bit.ly/2V2P2xy).
  4. COVIDshield platform is built on the leading healthcare standards and technologies (HL7, FHIR, IHE, XDS architecture, IHE MHD mobile file sharing , SNOMED medical libraries) and is the only eHDSI NCP compatible solution facilitating EU cross-border Patient Summary and ePrescription exchange for unplanned care scenarios.

What you have done during the weekend

During the weekend we have advanced our solution in the following ways:

Design

  • Refining certain UI screens specific for COVID-19
  • Write the use case scenario of the video
  • Write the script
  • Video production demonstrating the COVIDshield solution

Brainstorming and Development

  • Fine tuned the solution for using GPS tracking for advanced contact tracing
  • Investigating Machine Learning techniques to utilize the anonymised treatment data for discovery of digital biomarkers
  • Advancing our data privacy mechanism and the consent engine to safeguard that users are in control of their data

Business & networking

  • Consulting with epidemiologist and refine the clinical protocol for COVID-19 cases detection and treatment
  • Disseminating our COVIDshield, receiving valuable feedback and establishing partnerships
  • Reaching out to potential investors

What's next for COVIDShield

Immediate next steps involve advances in the following domains:

Development

  • Specialised Machine learning algorithms will be developed to perform patient clustering and stratification though consent-based treatment data donation. Anonymised data from past patients will be utilised in order to train the algorithms to perform a clustering of new patients based on the severity of their condition and alert accordingly the HCP. In addition, the discovery of potential digital biomarkers significant of treatment ogress will be researched.
  • Optimisation of the contact tracing method. Complimentary to the approach of using Bluetooth to perform the contact tracing, we are also utilising the route of citizens using self enabled GPS positions tracking to enable identification and notification of individuals that have been in the same area with the patient within a given temporal interval. Our rationale is that the virus can stay “alive” in the air of a place, such as a grocery store, for several hours after the patient leaves the place, making the area contagious for longer time. Bluetooth approach has limitations to capture this case.

Market Validation of COVIDshield

  • Our team will continue the process of demonstrating COVIDShield in interested stakeholders and running short scale pilots to validate the product-market fit. The extensive clientele of our team, including health authorities of European countries (Greece, Malta, Ireland, Belgium) and hospitals (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey), will be leveraged primarily. The received feedback will lead to an optimisation of the solution and better positioning in the market.

Business and go to market

  • Immediate next steps involve establishing key partnerships, penetrating new markets and exploring alternative business models. The focus will be on a) the global expansion and teaming with industry and telecom players in order to harness forthcoming developments (5G) and opportunities, b) Connecting with public authorities in Europe and expanding our business network in US, c) establishing investors’ network to investigate the potential of an investment.

The solution’s impact to the crisis

COVIDShield platform offers a holistic solution to manage the lifecycle of the COVID-19 from the early detection of a patient, the self-management and the remote monitoring of the patient to the post-treatment period and facilitation of safe cross-border travelling. To the best of our knowledge there is not a widely adopted solution yet that covers the aspects in a holistic manner. The impact of the solution to the society is multi-fold:

  1. The early detection of the COVID-19 cases reduces the possibility of a patient to spread the virus and thereby contributes to the containment of the COV.
  2. The self-management and remote monitoring of the treatment process further reduces the possibility of the patient to spread the virus to the Health Care Professionals (HCP), reduces significantly the workload of the HCP and allows for optimising the limited physical resources of the healthcare systems (hospital beds, medical equipment etc) to the patients who are in real need.
  3. It contributes to safe cross-border travelling. Users can carry the validated vaccination cards and medical information, thereby conforming to the post-lockdown travelling guidelines and proving they are not contagious.
  4. By allowing the users to share anonymously their data throughout the treatment process, a tremendously valuable data set is created for further research that can lead to identification of digital biomarkers and better management of the treatment process.

The solution is scalable by design and our team demonstrates the experience to scale it up in order to facilitate the needs of public health authorities and ministries of Health by offering it to their citizens. Privacy by design guarantees that personal data abuse will not take place and data sharing is only possible with the explicit consent of the users.


The necessities in order to continue the project

In order to proceed with the next planned steps the following resources are required:

A. Funding
The funding will be allocated mainly in achieving the milestones described in the “next steps" and outlined below:

  1. Product development and talent acquisition
  2. Piloting the solution and validating the product to market fit
  3. Expanding our partners and business network to secure key partnerships and first clients

We seek an investment/grant of EUR 300K and we plan to launch the next version of COVIDshield with advanced features in 2 months.

B. Networking
Being in the field of Digital HealthCare for 10+ years we have an extended network of interested healthcare authorities. However, we seek to expand our network and establish collaborations that allow COVIDshield to reach maturity and adoption. Specifically, we seek for:

  1. HealthCare authorities and organisations interested in piloting COVIDshield
  2. Relevant eHealth networks and associations in EU and globally that will help spread the outreach of COVIDshield
  3. Key stakeholders such as medical device manufactures, Insurance companies that want to team up and jointly strengthen our position in the EU and global market
  4. Interested VCs that grasps the potentials of COVIDshield and want to be part of our next big step

The value of our solution after the crisis

Evidences show that COVID-19 will still exist after the pandemic and the current crisis. The scientific community believes that sporadic outbreaks will still occur in certain places and times of the year. Therefore, COVIDshield will continue to serve and address the need for managing the COVID-19.

In addition, as demonstrated COVIDshield can also facilitate the post-crisis safe cross border travelling ensuring that the users-travellers can demonstrate their conformance to the relevant travelling guidelines and potentially legislations of each country by carrying the European Vaccination Card and the International Patient Summary compliant to the eHDSI openNCP.

Several of the COVIDshield features such as, disease self-management and remote patient monitoring can be leveraged to tackle other diseases as well. eHeatlhPass, the platform that powers COVIDshield is already used by hospitals for managing chronic diseases such as chronic pain and diabetes.

The COVID-19 pandemic denotes the importance of patient empowerment for HealthCare. Collaboration is the key take away of this crisis. And this has been eHealthPass founding vision. Data sharing and patient access is the major step to achieve this. The pandemic will act as catalyst to mass adoption to patient participation and rapid eHealth adoption. eHealthPass has a successful track to provide clinically and patient acceptable collaboration and forge this future.


Team

Our Team brings the qualities required to take COVIDshield to a global level:

Business & Strategy Experienced Executives with 20+ years of grasping the needs of the market and leading the strategic roadmap.

eHealth Expertise eHealth and Interoperability experts with 20+ years of experience in the field and executive roles in key eHealth associations such as IHE Europe Committees and Chair of HL7 Hellas.

Product Development 15+ years experience in digital healthcare solutions and projects, managing the whole lifecyle of a product from the idea to the market. Able to support the scale-up of the solution to a global level.

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