One of the key challenges in Europe for Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA) is the implementation and scale-up of cross-border innovative solutions. The aim is to support the transformation of health and care in the Digital Single Market, thereby reinforcing the links between the development of solutions by companies, start-ups, and researchers – the supply side, and bridge a gap with the expectations and needs of care providers, policy-makers, insurers and other potential buyers of these products and services – the demand side.
The purpose of the Innovation to Market (I2M) initiative is to improve the match between the demand side and supply side in AHA, by engaging in a dialogue and organising a series of activities that involve the two sides of the market.
I2M is the most recent initiative launched at European level to foster the cross-border adoption of digitally-driven marketable solutions. This horizontal action is part of the European Commission strategy on the Digital transformation of health and care in the Digital Single Market. I2M addresses the AHA market, exploring what types of investments are made in Europe by both public and private sector organisations and identifying the gaps between demand and supply that create barriers for sound deployment.
To make concrete progress on a large-scale uptake and impact of Digital Innovation for AHA, a comprehensive set of support and promotion services are proposed in the I2M Plan. The Plan is addressed both to organisations delivering AHA services and solution suppliers. It aims at facilitating relationships, mutual understanding, scaling-up, and at increasing the impact of innovative technology driven solutions in the reference market.
The I2M Plan is going to be implemented throughout 2019 and 2020. It will create the ground for expanding the opportunities of adoption and cross-border scale up of innovative AHA solutions.
Events around the I2M Plan have picked up speed since the end of June 2018.
The I2M Plan has been developed using a co-design methodology. It involved proactively the stakeholders (Key Opinion Leaders) identified during the first stages of the I2M work that resulted in the “Map of investment and gap analysis”.
The Key Opinion Leaders met on three occasions. They discussed how to address barriers to greater impact of AHA innovations most effectively.
An additional on-line meeting took place on 29th August 2018 to further validate and consolidate concepts and prioritise those services and actions deemed as most urgent by the AHA stakeholder community.
Based on the insights collected through this participatory process, a first version of the I2M Plan has been conceived. The Plan foresees a number of actions and services that have been prioritised based on stakeholders’ indications and time and resources availability. It should be considered as a living document. It will be updated until 2020, with two future releases.
A number of actions are going ahead during the first half of 2019.
During January 2019, the I2M team worked in close collaboration with the eHealth Hub project. This led to the existing eHealth Hub platform being leveraged: it enables health and social care organisations to showcase information related to their needs and interests, and suppliers potential opportunities for marketing their products and services. As a result, the platform has been updated and enriched for AHA stakeholders to introduce information about themselves and seek matchmaking opportunities. All Reference Sites and EIP on AHA Partners wishing to navigate and populate the platform, can access it on https://platform.ehealth-hub.eu/.
In addition, the I2M team are joining forces with the Blueprint team to review the unmet needs identified in the last release of the Blueprint and prioritise them. This will be done to identify the most urgent unmet needs which need specific support in order to find adequate solutions to be tackled.
Soon after, a Call for Innovators will be launched to identify AHA ICT-based solutions best fitting those unmet needs. An international matchmaking event will be arranged in conjunction with a relevant European event, such as the 2019 EIP on AHA Conference of Partners.
Moreover, a training session on AHA innovation adoption will take place. Its aim will be to increase the knowledge and the capability of the demand side’s stakeholders in the management of innovative procurements.
An Adoption Award will also be launched to scout for, and enhance visibility and generate knowledge around, successful examples of adoptions. The award will be addressed to both the adopting healthcare organisations and the suppliers developing the AHA solutions.
Timely information on all the events that will be organised in 2019 around the I2M initiative will be published on the EIP on AHA portal.