On 30 January 2019, the Expert Panel on Effective ways of investing in Health (EXPH) published its final report on Assessing the impact of digital transformation of health services, providing the Commission with advice on the impact of the digitalisation of health services.
The EXPH is a multidisciplinary and independent Expert Panel mandated by the European Commission,which provides advice on effective ways of investing in health. In the last published report, the Expert Panel drafted ten recommendations related to the digital transformation of health systems.
1) Develop a strategy for the digital transformation of health care;
2) Develop a coherent framework for monitoring and evaluating the performance of systems, sectors and services in light of current and future digitalisation developments;
3) Invest in systematic evaluation procedures as such they include the legal framework for evaluation, which is underdeveloped for digital health services;
4) Invest in evidence informed policy measures to follow up on evaluations and monitoring;
5) Invest in robust evaluation methodology – as the performance of HTA in the area of digital health services raises a number of specific methodological challenges;
6) Invest in monitoring - As argued in EXPH (2014), health systems would benefit from systematic monitoring their performance on key parameters. This helps to ascertain that health system performance develops in a desired way and allows for intervening if this is not the case;
7) Support decentralised/local level decision-making - Given that not all digital health services can or should be evaluated centrally, strengthening lower level decision-making processes and aligning these with overall health system goals remains important as well;
8) Create an environment willing and able to adopt evidence based innovations;
9) Set up a European repository for evaluation and monitoring methods, studies and results to facilitate the optimal exchange of knowledge and experience at a European level;
10) Be progressive but with caution - the Panel encourages scanning for opportunities but notwithstanding this also emphasise the need for caution in adoption and deployment of new digital health services.
Please note that the advice and opinions of the Expert Panel does not bind the Commission. They present the views of independent scientists who are members of the Expert Panel and therefore do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission.