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Dealing with Digital – What does Digital mean to you?

By April 22, 2022No Comments

Who knows what Digital is? Defining Digital is complicated and there is no universal definition, so without this, how do members deal with Digital?

Digital health applications are everywhere including wireless devices, hardware and software sensors, microprocessors and integrated circuits, the internet, social networking mobile and body area networks, health IT, genomics and personal genetics, laboratory instruments, personal computers, middleware and LIMS.

BIVDA has a Digital working party and these questions have been at the heart of the discussion over the course of the past 12-18 months.

The group has explored several topics, including the Commons Project and CommonPass, and how to data related to Rapid Antigen reporting is being tackled globally, NHSX Interoperability requirements and engagement with NHSX, the Governments Data Strategy and consultation response and an exploration of the industry view of data, digital and future innovation. The group developed and published a strategy paper on the Digital revolution as part of the Emerging from the Pandemic papers.

However, despite the relevance of topics and discussion points that have arisen from these meetings, it’s been missing the IVD mark.

IVD is a cutting edge, innovative industry, and we have the potential and opportunity to shape the future, but how can we do this if we can’t establish what Digital means to us as and industry, and to our organisations?

Doing nothing isn’t an option.

We risk sleep-walking into a Digital era that we are not influential in, we could be producers and not controllers, we could be regulated by other sectors, we could be driven to deliver to other specifications that don’t work for us, we could on the other hand, be content to do just that, but what we can’t do is wait and see for much longer.

We also have a duty and requirement to support member companies in operational IT.

The Chair and Vice Chairs of the Digital working party with the Secretariat have been looking into how to address the issue of Digital from a member requirements perspective. Attendance at the working party is essential to achieve this and to ensure that we can address what matters to members. Attendance for this meeting is often low, fairly unpredictable and variable even though the meetings are set in advance for the year, and all meetings are blended to allow for virtual and in person attendance. The logistics element is straightforward.

Therefore, it has to be either the content or the awareness of these meetings from relevant people within companies.

The Chair and Vice Chairs have different areas of expertise which should enable delivery of the necessary content and have identified 3 x Operational Digital Workstreams.

1) Operational IT – Day to Day requirements / challenges – Implementation of the whole Digital IVD and IT Solutions.

2) Data Streams – 360 Data Flows, including IVD, IT Systems, Interoperability, Data Standards and sets, Data aggregation, enrichment, and novel processing.

3) Connected Digital Elements – Remote / Personal / Digital IVD Devices, looking at distributed connectivity, mobile / telehealth services.

They plan to use Digital Governance as a framework approach to start / steer to start the engagement, based on 3 different operating models.

1) NHS IVD / Digital Service Model.

2) Non-NHS / Worldwide – IVD Digital Service Model.

3) What is a Digital IVD?

Based on the initial steering and member engagement from these topics, the Digital working party will set topics into the 3 different works streams so that there are consistent discussion points on each agenda.

The secretariat will be ensuring that Digital awareness is covered in other working parties through attendance and through the steering committee of Chairs and Vice Chairs, and companies will be surveyed directly by the secretariat to discover the level of digital engagement and organisational needs.

What we need from you is promotion internally to people in your organisations who are responsible for “Digital” whatever that may mean to you and feedback on what you want to see.

When we know how you deal with Digital, we will then know who best for us to deal with Digital.