Traditionally, charities have undertaken biopharma collaborations with industry, however with the power of digital technologies ever-increasing, the scope of industry collaboration has broadened. There is an awareness that technologies could bring benefit to patients quicker and more conveniently. And since charities themselves do not necessarily have the in-house expertise needed to develop digital health solutions, strategic partnerships with technology companies could help to successfully target areas of unmet need.
Such partnerships require significant consideration, and there are a number of stages that will be involved before you have a usable solution. 'Digital Essential Partnerships: a guide for charities working with digital technology companies' seeks to provide some high-level guidance on what the process might look like, and how it might best be approached. It also includes some case studies of the fantastic collaborations already happening in the sector.
As well as the practicalities of undertaking a partnership, there are many ethical considerations that come with pursuing a digital partnership. Our ‘Navigating the Digital Health Ethics Landscape: Questions for charities to ask digital technology company partners’ offers a key tool in thinking about what to ask partners to understand what the ethical implications of a collaboration might be, and in turn determine whether these are acceptable. While these questions are specifically aimed at digital technology companies, they were borne out of ‘Navigating the Digital Health Ethics Landscape: A framework for understanding ethical principles for digital health’ which highlights nine core principles that are important across any digital health work, whether with industry or not.
Despite their diverse nature, charities and industry have unique strengths to offer. Research collaborations can speed up the development and availability of new treatments, therapies and diagnostics. Working together with industry ultimately delivers benefits for patients.
AMRC has developed An Essential Partnership guide for charities working with industry. It gives examples of how some organisations set up their research collaborations.
We recommend that charities working with industry take measures to ensure they maintain independence, integrity and transparency.
Find out more in our briefing papers and resources