EU's Call for Proposals: Large scale implementation of digital innovation for health and care in an ageing society
An ageing population is increasing demand-side pressures on public health and social care providers across Europe. These pressures undermine the long-term sustainability of existing models for delivering care services to the ageing population.
The challenge is to scale up outcome-based innovative digital health and care solutions across EU borders through joining up actions in procurement of innovation. Digital health and social care solutions have been tested and have demonstrated success in smaller scale settings. However, despite cooperation initiatives amongst regions through INTERREG programmes  or the transfer of innovation schemes of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA), large-scale deployment of digital health and care solutions across EU borders remains limited. There is a lack of collaborative efforts in public purchasing of innovative ICT-based solutions for active and healthy ageing and successfully engaging demand and supply sides in scaling up innovation. This is the case in particular for digital solutions integrating health, social or community care and informal care, IoT enabled independent living solutions that allow the citizens to live safely and independently at home therefore avoiding institutionalisation, or tele-care solutions and tools supporting for self-care and person-centred care. Moreover, take-up of these ICT-based solutions by both public care providers as well as people in need for care is a crucial factor in successfully alleviating the demand-side pressures on public health and care provision. Supporting the public procurement of innovation helps public authorities by aggregating demand and sharing the inherent risks associated to deploying new innovative solutions that can be integrated with existing public health and care provision systems.
This topic will contribute to the Digital Single Market Strategy priorities on digital transformation of health and care (notably to the priority on user-centred integrated care), to the Scaling-Up Strategy of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) and will support the EIP on AHA Reference Sites contribution to the Digital Single Market Strategy, notably the priority focusing on user-centred integrated care. The actions supported will target large-scale deployment of digital health and care solutions across different regions in Europe. In line with the priority actions of the EIP on AHA Scaling-up Strategy, the scope of this PPI is to specify, purchase and deploy ICT based solutions (made up of services and ICT products to enable the provision of services) for active and healthy ageing through a common supply and demand side dialogue, which can deliver sustainable, new or improved health and care services promoting patient feedback in which public procurement approaches for innovative solutions lead to improved outcomes. Proposals should:
- Be driven by clearly identified procurement needs of the participating organisations and building on a deep understanding of the needs of the ageing population, as well as the needs of the relevant health and care providers;
- Support sustainable deployment of new or improved person-centred and outcome-based services promoting patient feedback by providers involved in the procurement of solutions for digital health and care providers, including networking of inpatient and outpatient care, nursing services and care homes;
- Contribute to the creation of scalable markets across Europe in innovative solutions for active and healthy ageing;
- Specify measures that will ensure the sustainability of solutions beyond the lifespan of the proposed project, notably taking into account levels of acceptance with users and professionals as well as health economics considerations.
- Engage public and/or private procurers from each country participating (at national, regional or local level) that have responsibilities and budget control in the relevant area of care or supply of services;
- Be based on a complete set of common specifications for end to end services;
- Demonstrate that the implementation phase will reach "large scale" (i.e. sufficient scale to achieve statistical significance) through region-wide deployment across multiple regions of Europe;
- Contribute to the use of interoperable solutions based on open platforms and take into account existing best practices and standardisation initiatives;
- Provide robust safeguards to ensure compliance with ethical standards and privacy protections and take account of the gender dimension;
- Contribute with good outcome-based practices that are impact measured according to the MAFEIP methodology and can be made available for replication across other regions (e.g. "detailed plans" for larger scale sustainable uptake of innovative solutions for active and healthy ageing, reference material and guidelines, manuals and education materials) through the EIP on AHA innovative practices repository.
- Contribute to the development of national strategies to stimulate the procurement of digital innovation for health and care services based on the outcomes achieved at national level.
The European Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately through PPI. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Proposals of this topic should follow the specific requirements for innovation procurement PPI supported by Horizon 2020 grants as set out in General Annex E of the WP.
The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas:
- Growing awareness and successful use of public procurement to boost ICT innovation applied to integrated care and active and healthy ageing, implemented across the whole chain of care ultimately benefiting the growing ageing population across Europe;
- Contribution with data and experiences to regulatory and legislative process development addressing potential barriers to procurement of innovative solutions for active and healthy ageing;
- Contribution of an open and comprehensive socio-economic evidence base for ICT investments in the field that can support the development of sustainable business models (e.g. cost-benefit analysis, increased efficiency of health and care systems, impact assessments, return on investments, quality of life improvements for users, ethics, safety gain and user satisfaction);
- Support initiatives on interoperability and standardisation that can contribute to defragmentation of the market for ICT based active and healthy ageing solutions;
- Creation of economic boundary conditions that can support long-term sustainability of health and care systems and emergence of new business models to develop ICT innovation for active and healthy ageing in Europe;
- Support forward-looking, concerted public-sector investment strategies that benefit from joint approaches across different regions;
- Create new opportunities for market uptake and economies of scale for the supply side for ICT based solutions and services for active and healthy ageing in a Digital Single Market for Europe.
- Contribute to inform policy measures that foster the take-up of ICT solutions for active and healthy ageing.
 Scale AHA http://www.scale-aha.eu/2016-twinnings.html
 Proposals should make use of the European global navigation satellite systems Galileo and EGNOS (Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service), if relevant.
 Proposals are encouraged to follow the principles of Green Public Procurement as appropriate, see http://ec.europa.eu/environment/gpp/index_en.htm
 See www.mafeip.eu
Source: European Commission
Illustration Photo: Continuous Glucose Monitoring Device (credits: Ted Eytan / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))