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Pre-commercial Procurement for Digital Health and Care Solutions


Support the health and care service provider to procure the development of digital services that can facilitate the transition to integrated care models across health and social services and country-specific cross-institutional set-ups, including decentralised procurement environments and collaboration across institutions. Key challenges that could be addressed are patient empowerment, self-management, patient safety, patient involvement, chronic disease management, diagnosing, hospital logistics, skills and independent living. These challenges could be addressed by ICT-based solutions such as, e-Health, telemedicine, and mHealth, to be defined through the market consultation process. This should result in early adoption and demonstration of the potential for scaling-up the services and positive impact with evidence of appropriate incentives of various actors. Legal, ethical, gender and socio-economic issues should be addressed as appropriate.

Proposals should deliver and:

  • be driven by clearly identified user needs guiding the procurers of the buyers group[[Proposals are encouraged to follow the principles of Green Public Procurement as appropriate, see]];
  • be driven by 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 supply of health and care services;
  • demonstrate strong commitment of end-users and their communities in the co-creation process;
  • as applicable contribute to the use of interoperable solutions based on open platforms and take into account existing best practices and standardisation initiatives;
  • validate the benefits (both clinical and financial) of ICT-based services in comparison to traditional healthcare services;
  • provide robust safeguards to ensure compliance with ethical standards, patients’ rights and privacy protection;
  • include clear time-lines, a well-structured work-plan aligned to the objectives of the different phases and according particular importance to the role played by the preparatory phase; (templates[[Reference to template to be added]] made available by the Commission are strongly recommended to be used in particular as concerns the call for tender) and;
  • address training aspects, digital health literacy and new collaborative innovation principles and practises, management, and retention of healthcare staff under this topic.
  • build on expertise from and align with other relevant actions such as PIPPI[[]] and EURIPHI[[]].

The procurers, hospital clusters, care services providers and other parts of the regional ecosystems should share knowledge, test results and needs to better coordinate the primary and community care, and stimulate local responsibility for care services, monitoring and rehabilitation. This may include aspects such as organisational processes, digital health literacy, workforce training, e-health workforce, financing and business models, hospital and telemedicine services, home care, patient centeredness, development of shared open source IT-based platforms, data integration, standards (supporting interoperability) and regulatory issues, management and retention of healthcare staff.

The service innovation should facilitate the early adoption and transferability (to other local contexts) of successful solutions addressing the innovation gap. Multi-policy/strategy collaboration across institutions (hospitals and institutions under the responsibility of municipalities or regions), industries, academia and user communities capable of establishing dedicated operational programmes are necessary to safeguard both the service and business performance metrics and the growth potential in the innovation chain.

The proposals should include the methodology foreseen to measure progress and validation process applicable in the tendering phase, towards the key performance areas of quality of care, sustainability and economic value within the selected key area of intervention, see e.g. MAFEIP[[Monitoring and Assessment Framework for the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing – MAFEIP:]]. Sufficient travel allowances for regular information days concerning the procedures and thematic networking events (e.g. related to relevant co-ordination and support actions including SC1-HCC-04-2018[[EC Horizon 2020 SC1-HCC-04-2018: Digital health and care services – support for strategy and (early) adoption, pp. 95-98,, funded project: PIPPI:]]) should be foreseen. A plan to implement the services should be included. In that context investigation of complementary procurement approaches (see e.g.[[Targeted consultation on the draft Guidance on Public Procurement of Innovation,, EC DG GROW, 04/10/2017]]) including value based procurement are encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 4 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Proposals for this topic should follow the specific requirements for pre-commercial procurement (PCP) supported by Horizon 2020 grants as set out in Annex E of the WP.

Digital solutions supporting a continuum of care across a range of health and care services can relieve the pressure on governments to provide more cost-effective health and care systems by improving the use of healthcare and health outcomes. In this context the challenges are to network, lead and facilitate health systems research, innovation and digitisation in view of addressing key areas of interventions in health and care services including health promotion and disease prevention.

The proposal should provide appropriate indicators to measure its progress and specific impact in the following areas:

  • Established path to innovation, evidence of benefits of disruptive technologies that can support the development of sustainable business models, improved user and market engagement, strengthened procurement community, evidence of healthy innovation ecosystem including researchers, users, eHealth and other solution providers and procurers. Evidence in key performance areas i.e. quality in health and care, sustainability of the delivery system and economic value.
  • Increased opportunities for solution uptake across wider international procurement markets by aiming at interoperable solutions that are validated through field testing by participating procurers in multiple countries across Europe and contribution to standardisation where relevant.