The digital transformation of cancer care

European Cancer Organisation

New Digital Health Network will focus on embracing new and existing digital tools

The advance of digital technology continues to revolutionise all our lives on a seemingly ever-increasing basis. The provision of cancer care is no different.

As highlighted by the MedTech Week theme – Creating Solutions for a Healthier Tomorrow – healthcare stakeholders must embrace the innovations needed to shape better care.

I believe opportunities abound to improve practice in all areas of cancer care through better deployment of technology. This includes taking up tools already available, as well as harnessing rapidly emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

However, I also know that doing this in an effective and cost-efficient manner is no easy feat. Careful consideration is required with respect to avoiding implementation pitfalls, sharing best practices, and the overall vision of the future of cancer care we want to achieve together.

With this in mind, the new Digital Health Network of the European Cancer Organisation will aim to assist the European cancer community and policymakers in navigating the challenges of digital cancer care and maximising its possibilities. The network includes representatives from the Member Societies of the European Cancer Organisation, its Patient Advisory Committee, Community 365 and invited stakeholders.

The network participants have identified three initial priorities for us to focus on. We will set out to define and promote research needs, and to seek to provide a platform for promoting approved education opportunities for healthcare professionals on digital health.

We are also determined to identify and respond to relevant policy initiatives at the EU level. These include the Cancer Mission and Europe's Beating Cancer Plan. Digital health topics, such as GDPR, the European Health Data Space and the EU Cancer Mission Board's proposal of a European Cancer Patient Digital Centre, will also be central to our work.

Let’s use MedTech Week as an opportunity to think about the potential positive impact of technology on cancer care, adding momentum to the new Digital Health Network. Only by working together can we identify a sustainable path to cancer care’s digital future.

Mike Morrissey is Chief Executive of the European Cancer Organisation. The Digital Transformation of Cancer Care session will feature in this year’s European Cancer Summit (18 & 19 November).

Mike Morrissey

Mike Morrissey joined the European Cancer Organisation as its Chief Executive in July 2019, having previously worked at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) as their COO. Mike has a respected track record in leading and re-energising international not-for-profit organisations in the health and other policy sectors. He has served in various leadership roles and brings with him over 20 years of experience in association management. Mike is recognised for developing and managing global collaborations as well as for supporting strategic leadership and operational implementation.

Prior to joining the ESC in 2016, Mike was Executive Vice President & Chief Global Officer at the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) and Managing Director of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA). Mike’s early career was as one of the leading tennis officials in the world when he worked for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and umpired many finals at Grand Slam and Davis Cup events.

Mike’s services for the European Cancer Organisation are secured through his management company ‘Morrissey Global Management’.