Mike Short is Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of International Trade. Previously he held many very senior roles in the telecommunications industry, latterly in Telefonica/O2, as well as playing the key role in the formation and development of GSM Association as the lead organisation driving the adoption of digital mobile communications standards globally.
What was your motivation to support Trillium II, including becoming our first Ambassador?
Mike sees the world of digital health and care as entering a period of very rapid change, offering huge patient benefits and helping to overcome real skills shortages. No longer is a digital health intervention appropriate just in one country, or even in one region, such as the EU; increasingly, successful digital health and care services are global. At the same time some individual organisations – even very large ones – may see short-term economic benefits in operating walled gardens, preventing service interoperability outside those walls. He therefore sees the role of Trillium II as a vital counterweight to this drive: by showing the way with a single worldwide standard summary health record with globally recognised HL7 FHIR standards, Trillium II can be a catalyst to promote interoperability and thus support better access to prevention, diagnostics and care records, in that global change he is seeing.
Where does Trillium II fit into this broader process?
Clearly the International Patient Summary is not sufficient to make that change happen on its own – once the concept is widely accepted though, it will provide the basis on which we can work out how best to share data, how to handle approvals, and how to make significant parts of more systems resilient and interoperable. Patient centred data access also needs to be in the mix.
Is there a special reason for promoting EU involvement in Trillium?
These systems need to work at scale to be cost effective. Mike also makes the point that the FDA in the USA is seen as working more closely with Digital businesses, as reflected, for example, in the fact that almost twice as many Health apps have FDA approval as Medical Devices than have CE certification in the EU (as Medical Devices under the MDD/MDR).
This suggests the importance of promoting Trillium II to app developers and systems integrators is a way in which their apps will be usable in both the EU and the USA.