The RETENTION project had its first Policy Engagement Workshop on the 26th of January 2023, led by the London School of Economics.
The panel included Professor Christos Chizas – President of the National eHealth Authority of Cyprus, Dr David Sanchez Ortiz – Scientific Director of the Rural Medicine Foundation in Spain, Mr Ed Harding – Director of the Heart Failure Policy Network, Dr Panos Minogiannis – General Manager of the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Greece, and Ms. Rebecca Angerstein – Medical Affairs at Abbott. The workshop was Chaired by Dr. Vasiliki Bistola from National Kapodistrian University of Athens and organized by the Dissemination and Communication team of RETENTION consortium.
The workshop started with a thorough presentation of the RETENTION project, its technical platform and clinical trial design by Dr Maria Haritou, the project coordinator, and Dr Ioannis Basdekis, the technical coordinator. This was followed by a description of the policy component of the platform (policy dashboard), its expected design and how it can support policy makers in evaluating and modifying current policies, and developing new ones according to the needs.
The floor was open for the panelists to share their questions, feedback and recommendations. They expressed their support for the project which they considered to be very timely for Heart Failure policy in general, especially with regard to the evidence base it will provide. Dr Minogiannis stressed the importance of legal considerations in remote monitoring and potential financial challenges if patients, from countries not yet reimbursing digital health technologies, may access those technologies in a different country. He also commented on the RETENTION platform’s potential to improve healthcare providers’ performance. Mr Harding suggested collecting data on costs (costs of providing the platform and reduction or increase in cost of HF patient management) in order to integrate clinical evidence with financial evidence needed for policy makers to make decisions. The platform should also provide insights into how RETENTION affects healthcare providers’ productivity and satisfaction and whether it shifts the care load from specialists to GPs. In this case, Mr Harding advised to define which healthcare professionals can run the service (nurses, pharmacists).
On the other hand, Mr Harding recommended a stratification in data analysis to define the patient groups that would benefit the most from this platform, which will support policy makers in reducing inequalities by identifying groups that should get the service first. Ms Angerstein welcomed the evidence RETENTION would provide on medication adherence and on hospitalisation rate and A&E visits which are important elements to present at hospital and policy levels.
Finally, the panelists reiterated their support for the project and their willingness to cooperate with the Consortium to facilitate RETENTION’s outreach and impact.
Here the link to watch the full recording: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CskxD5wDcbg
This RETENTION-Project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 965343.
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