The DiCE collaboration involves 20 organisations from nine countries, representing the manufacturing industry, research, and recycling sectors.
Use of digital health devices is predicted to increase rapidly over the next five years, with expected annual global growth rates of almost 20% by 2027. Devices such as smart pill boxes, electronic blood collection devices, wearable monitors, and intelligent labels are increasingly being used to improve healthcare efficiency and conditions for patients, but these devices present an expanding e-waste challenge.
DiCE equally aims at empowering citizens to manage their health. End-users as well as healthcare providers, value chain stakeholders and local authorities will be invited to participate in co-creation sessions. These sessions will discover the incentives needed to incorporate practical solutions with special attention to the return of the proposed products
DiCE will identify ideal locations for digital health device collection boxes for return in Belgium, Slovenia and Spain. These pilots will enable us to have a better understanding of the mix of products present locally and make further adjustments where necessary. With the addition of hospital networks in Germany, DiCE will also create an innovative European approach to policy-making, adjusting for regional needs, enviroment and economy.
As with many other electrical and electronic equipment, digital health devices contain critical and valuable raw materials that are important to the European economy. With the latest figures from Eurostat and the United Nations showing that less than 40% of all e-waste is reported as being properly recycled in the EU, and less than 20% globally, this growing waste stream is a challenge.