Join the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) at its inaugural Digital Health Lab Day this October 3, 2019. Organized by the ZHAW Digital Health Lab, the event will feature interesting discussions by researchers and practitioners on the latest trends and solutions in digital health, exciting presentations on ZHAW research projects, as well as interactive workshops.

I recently spoke with Prof. Dr. Sven Hirsch, the Scientific Chair of the event and director of the lab, on why interdisciplinary collaboration is necessary for healthcare innovation, and what event attendees can expect at the first ZHAW Digital Health Lab Day.

Aisha Schnellmann: Why was ZHAW Digital Health Lab founded, and what is the role it intends to play in the healthcare industry in Switzerland and internationally?

Prof. Dr. Sven Hirsch: The ZHAW Digital Health Lab is a virtual ZHAW-wide competence centre established at the end of 2018. It brings together experts from the fields of technology, healthcare, applications and health economics within ZHAW. This strong interdisciplinary collaboration is what enables the ZHAW Digital Health Lab to develop patient-oriented solutions and innovation that meet the current challenges of digitisation in healthcare.

AS: Tell us more about your role at the ZHAW Digital Health Lab.

SH: We manage the lab together with our board of directors and are in the phase of ramping up our visibility. Our lab cooperates with national associations, start-ups, established companies, hospitals, insurers, health service providers, and university partners. The next step we are working on is internationalisation. We have currently established contacts in the Greater Boston Area, USA, and India to institutionalise cooperation, and are in discussion with partners in the EU.

AS: You are currently working on a project that uses sensor technology in disease characterization of intracranial aneurysms. What do you hope to achieve with this work, and what is your personal motivation behind this endeavour?  

SH: Through this research project, we intend to improve the analysis and prediction of intracranial aneurysms – little pouches in brain vessels – that could be dangerous to patients. To look for disease patterns, we have built statistical tools enhanced with machine learning to better analyse large amounts of clinical data. These insights directly benefit patients by improving the decision process of disease management.

We have always collaborated closely with clinicians to solve real-world problems with better quantitative or mental disease models. Because our purpose-driven research is highly interdisciplinary, we work with clinicians, biologists, computer scientists, and engineers to benefit patients. It is definitely rewarding to see our research saving lives and to be a part of such a diverse research community intent on improving healthcare.

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AS: How would you describe the digital health landscape in Switzerland? Who are the main drivers of digital health innovation in the country?

SH: Switzerland is a hub for artificial intelligence, machine learning, and health technology supported by excellent corporate and academic research. But in my opinion, the digital health landscape in Switzerland is still fragmented.

Nationally, innovation in digital health is strongly driven by the bigger universities. There is an increasing number of digital health start-ups, but these are still in their early stages. The big pharmaceutical multinational companies are primarily interested in the development of new drugs or in improving their existing products. The hospital and care provider landscape is further fragmented, with the electronic patient record still pending after years in development.

We have all the right ingredients, but nobody is putting these together to prepare a meal.

AS: What is certain though is that new technology will continue to impact healthcare delivery in significant ways. What are some examples of ongoing ZHAW projects that are leveraging on such new technology, that will be showcased on the Digital Health Lab Day?

SH: At the Digital Health Lab Day, we will discuss the latest trends and solutions in digital health such as technology-assisted movement training for people with limited functional capacity, the significance and reliability of smartphone accelerometers, and the state of AI in healthcare.

AS: New applications of health data will also be discussed at the event. What are some new ways ZHAW projects are processing and using health data to advance medical research and development?

SH: For example, the ZHAW Digital Health Lab is working on a collaborative customer-oriented project with the Department of Health and a major insurance company involving evidence-based tips on health topics and mobile apps to improve healthcare behaviour. The lab is also working on FairCare, an EU project focused on improving the coordination of formal and informal care.

AS: What do you think are the top three emerging technologies that will transform the healthcare industry and how medical care is provided?

SH: I believe a paradigm shift needs to happen in healthcare. Healthcare systems need to be human-centric with a focus on providing truly personalised medical care. Harnessing and unifying health data in smarter ways is one step in this direction. Connecting patient data into registries, reducing barriers to use of health data for statistical purposes, analysing health data from wearables, and enabling the interpretation of sensor data in real-time in clinics are examples of potential game-changers. Data fusion and machine learning will also become increasingly key tools in drug discovery and efficient clinical trial management.

At the same time, it is important to highlight that health data security and privacy should constantly be a top priority. Healthcare is highly regulated, and for good reasons. We should therefore collectively push healthcare innovation while safeguarding ethical rules.

AS: What can participants expect from its inaugural Digital Health Lab Day?

SH: The Digital Health Lab Day is a milestone in the work of the still young ZHAW Digital Health Lab. We are looking forward to keynotes from Prof Dr. Tavpritesh Segti (Indian Institute of Information Technology), Prof. Dr. Claudia Witt (University Hospital Zurich) and Dr. Ignacio H. Medrano (Savana Médica). In addition, there will be practice-oriented workshops in the afternoon. The event will end with a networking dinner where you can make new contacts and shape the future of healthcare with us!

We look forward to seeing you there! For more information, please visit:

 

 


About Prof. Dr. Sven Hirsch

Sven Hirsch

Prof. Dr. Sven Hirsch is a researcher and lecturer in the field of complex biomedical systems at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW). He heads the research group biomedical simulation and directs the ZHAW Digital Health Lab. In his work he merges statistical approaches like machine learning with mechanistic modelling to reproduce disease mechanisms and clinical pathways. He is active in health research to develop new disease biomarkers from clinical images, time series signals, and patient data to improve diagnosis and care. He has contributed to the understanding of intracranial aneurysm by simulating blood clotting and angiogenesis. His research activities now converge on digital health technologies and on making these promising tools useful.

 


About the author

Aisha Schnellmann is a Singaporean sociologist by training, interested in healthcare, education, and sustainability issues. She is passionate about producing content that promotes meaningful dialogue, focusing on print and digital content that resonates with a strong call-to-action. Based in Zurich, her interest in digital healthcare grew from the conversations she had with committed medical staff in rural hospitals in Asia, who remain hard-pressed with the technology available to them.

Digital transformation is set to revolutionize how hospitals deliver care. But is digital technology being harnessed equally effectively across all aspects of the healthcare system? “Not quite,” pointed out Pamina Göttelmann, Business Development Manager of imito AG. “Digital technology is well-adopted in areas such as diagnostics and treatment. But if you look at systems for documentation management and communications, technology can still play a bigger role in improving how these processes work.”

In hospitals today, for every hour a physician spends with a patient, they spend an estimated two hours updating the patient’s electronic health record. Unsurprisingly, a recent survey by Merritt Hawkins found that more than 78% of physicians experience periodic feelings of professional burnout due to factors such as loss of clinical autonomy, diminished time with patients, and the administrative burdens of updating electronic health records. “The workload and documentation load of nurses and doctors have increased. Today, everything needs to be documented, and this can be incredibly time-consuming. This is where new technologies can help,” she elaborated.

We rely on medical professionals to provide excellent medical care especially in their direct interactions with patients. So, when hospitals utilize digital technology to improve their legacy documentation management and communication systems, doctors and nurses will be able to focus on what matters most – the patient.

Smartphone technology makes better doctors

We recently spoke with Pamina, who shared with us about how her team is harnessing smartphone technology to streamline clinical processes in hospitals in Switzerland. The imito mobile app integrates seamlessly into the various systems used in hospitals (e.g. user identification, electronic medical records, archival of images), equipping medical professionals with a user-friendly tool to document photos or videos and communicate directly at a patient’s bedside, scan and save important documents, and digitally measure wounds, everything directly saved in electronic medical records, only while using a smartphone.

 

 

 

Photos: Imito AG

“Smartphone technology is not a new technology, but it is relatively under-utilized in the healthcare sector, especially in hospitals,” she explained. At least officially. According to survey results, more than 50% of doctors who work in hospitals use their smartphones for clinical documentation. These are exchanged via Messenger apps such as Whatsapp to gather feedback from more experienced colleagues. Under these conditions, data security is a concern.

When implemented effectively, however, app technology can help keep electronic health records accurate and facilitate the transfer of patient medical data between different healthcare institutions.

The cost of going digital

The benefits of digitally transforming processes in hospitals are well-documented. In fact, healthcare professionals Pamina’s team spoke to want these systems improved. But convincing decision-makers in hospital management to invest can be a challenge. “If the IT department in the hospital is strong and innovative, they are more likely to get pilots funded. Otherwise budget can be a real issue,” shared Pamina.

This is because overhauling legacy documentation management and communication systems, while necessary, can be costly. As a significant example, The Lucerne Cantonal Hospital purchased a new clinical informational system from the American software manufacturer, Epic, for 65.4 million francs (excluding MWST) in 2016. This cost includes the investment and operational costs for 8 years. A centralized IT solution for all medical, patient-related, and administrative data, implementing it requires the hospital to significantly rethink how its systems operate, how its medical professionals work, and the care that its patients receive.

Though hospitals that opt for digital health products that integrate with their current systems instead of a complete overhaul will find it lighter on their wallets, budgets for such changes still remain tight. This is where having the support of healthcare professionals can make a huge difference. “You have to be very patient. But if your product’s core functionalities are based on solving real pain points that doctors and nurses feel every day, it will eventually succeed. If you show healthcare professionals the potential benefits, their support could mean convincing hospital management to implement your solution,” explained Pamina.

Transforming patient care by supporting digital hospitals in improving its processes, therefore, is a marathon, not a sprint.

What’s next 

The future of the digital hospital looks promising. Many new technologies continue to emerge to bridge the gap between patient care and process. New models of digital hospitals continue to develop, such as the “cognitive hospital”, a next-generation hospital that is a “smart” facility itself and a strategic partner in patient care.

However, much of this future depends on how the healthcare industry solves this major challenge: Ensuring medical data security while enabling interoperability between systems. “The digital hospital is data-driven. Sharing medical data across healthcare institutions, however, is so difficult because it remains in isolated information silos. This is one of the reasons why progress continues to be slow,” concluded Pamina.

 


About Pamina Göttelmann

Pamina_GAfter completing her master thesis “Setting Investment Priorities for Mobile Solutions in Hospitals”, Pamina deepened her acquired knowledge with valuable field experience in mHealth. As a project manager at the University Hospital of Zurich, she initiated the introduction of mobile clinical app solutions in the hospital and was responsible for the development of its corporate mobile strategy. She has co-authored and shared some of her field experience in two publications. Pamina joined imito in November 2018 as the Business Development Manager.


About the author

Aisha Schnellmann is a Singaporean sociologist by training, interested in healthcare, education, and sustainability issues. She is passionate about producing content that promotes meaningful dialogue, focusing on print and digital content that resonates with a strong call-to-action. Based in Zurich, her interest in digital healthcare grew from the conversations she had with committed medical staff in rural hospitals in Asia, who remain hard-pressed with the technology available to them.

For more information about the next “Women in Digital Health” events

Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to transform the healthcare industry, poised to impact the cost, quality, and access to healthcare worldwide. From streamlining the drug research process, enabling personalized patient care, to fixing inefficient miscommunication within medical institutions, the list of ways in which AI will shape how we deliver patient care continues to grow. In fact, according to a research report by Global Market Insights, the global ‘Healthcare Artificial Intelligence Market’ is expected to surpass USD13 billion by 2025. The healthcare industry however, continues to present challenges that threaten to slow down this progress. What are the key opportunities and obstacles facing companies and institutions developing healthcare artificial intelligence, and how will they affect you? 

 We recently spoke to Susanne Suter, software engineer at Supercomputing Systems AG, at the ‘Women in Digital Health’ event where she was a guest speaker. She shared with us about these opportunities and challenges, and the innovative healthcare projects her team is currently working on to harness AI technology for good.

How do AI and machine learning work?

 “When we talk about AI nowadays, we mean data-driven systems and machine learning,” explained Susanne. During a training process, machines are essentially fed a tremendous volume of high-quality data, what each piece of data means. When this learning phase is completed, the machines are able to predict or classify any new data that is inputted based on its stored knowledge – hence developing its intelligence.

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This ability of AI to analyze tremendous volumes of medical data and recognize meaningful patterns within these data sets has proven groundbreaking in healthcare innovation.

The benefits of AI

 For example, AI technology has made it possible to detect potentially life-threatening medical issues in patients early enough so that they can be treated quickly. Supercomputing Systems AG is working on a project with Prof.Dr.med. Emanuela Keller from the University Hospital in Zurich, to develop an AI research system that monitors and analyses real-time medical data of patients at the neuro-intensive care unit, predicting for example the occurrence of brain hypoxia in patients before it happens so that effective preventive action can be taken.

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Pharmaceutical companies are also exploring ways to adopt AI technology in drug development; speeding up the drug discovery process and reducing costs. For example, Berg Health is using massive volumes of data from patients with diseases such as prostate cancer in order to identify new targets and develop new drugs. In Europe, global biopharmaceutical company Sanofi recently signed a 250 million Euros collaboration-deal with leading British drug design company Exscientia to discover bispecific small-molecule drugs against metabolic diseases.

The success of AI technology in healthcare, therefore, hinges fundamentally on its access to quality medical data – and lots of it. Collecting quality medical data however continues to present a real challenge for many companies working on harnessing AI technology for good.

Powering AI technology is challenging

Collecting quality medical data is time-consuming. “From my experience, 30 to 50% of time needed to develop an AI system is spent collecting quality data,” shared Swiss Supercomputing AG software engineer Susanne Suter. Furthermore, medical data in most countries continue to be siloed in disconnected systems that are difficult to access. In some cases, this data still resides in handwritten records stored in file cabinets in the doctor’s office. As expressed in Forbes, “Data must flow freely through AI systems to achieve real results but extracting data from handwritten patient files or PDFs is cumbersome for us, and difficult for AI.”

Successful collaboration by experts from fields including medicine and data science is also necessary in developing useful AI systems in healthcare. In a project with Dr. med. Peter Maloca from the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB), Susanne’s team is developing automated analysis systems that can detect retinal tissues and medical conditions such as tumors in eyes. The team used over 2,000 images taken from an estimated sample of 650 different eyes. Each image had to be marked by experts, i.e. the retinal tissues are drawn on each image, before this data was fed to AI systems as part of the machine-learning process.

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Additionally, companies developing AI solutions for healthcare have to actively consider issues related to cybersecurity and data protection. For AI systems that need to be connected to the internet to make use of powerful cloud-based backends, sufficient cybersecurity needs to be put in place to protect it against hacking. Because AI systems depend on the integrity of large medical data sets to be effective, sufficient measures also need to be put in place to ensure that medical data (e.g. from databases maintained by hospitals and other medical institutions) remain protected.

What’s next

The potential AI in technology has in transforming how we receive medical care continues to grow. However, much of this progress still depends on the speed at which the healthcare industry successfully undergoes digital transformation. Additionally, as its success hinges on its access to a high quantity of medical data, questions remain about how the development of AI technology in healthcare will benefit from current efforts to return data ownership to the people – efforts that thereby free medical data previously siloed in medical institutions and restricted by data consent laws, back in the control of people who can consent their transaction.

“AI will ultimately help us in decision-making, but we are still quite far from a reality where machines can think and draw their own conclusions. And in thinking about how to collect quality data, it’s important to remember, the person who owns the data has the power,” concluded Susanne.

The future of AI in healthcare looks bright, and it will surely be an exciting area of healthcare innovation to watch over the next few years.

susanne-suter-foto-2017

Susanne Suter, Dr. sc. Computer Science University of Zurich, has been successfully involved for over 15 years in multidisciplinary innovative projects at the interface between computer science, biology and medicine (including scientific prizes, third-party funds and publications). Since four years, she is working for Super Computing Systems as a software project leader and engineer producing custom-tailored medical software systems such as a patient monitoring system at a neuro-intensive care unit, second-opinion case-review systems for medical doctors, and an automated surveillance service to track the health condition in human eyes.

About the author

Aisha Schnellmann is a Singaporean sociologist by training, interested in healthcare, education, and sustainability issues. She is passionate about producing content that promotes meaningful dialogue, focusing on print and digital content that resonates with a strong call-to-action. Based in Zurich, her interest in digital healthcare grew from the conversations she had with committed medical staff in rural hospitals in Asia, who remain hard-pressed with the technology available to them.

For more information about the next “Women in Digital Health” events

In the life of a person, for whom daily intake of various medications is a necessary evil, an easy-to-use and efficient reminder is a life-saviour. When it comes to meds, everything has to work precisely. I know how easy it is to forget to take a pill on time. I also understand that the price is high for forgetting to take the medicine. After all, you can never expect to reach the desired effect from pills if you don’t take them, right? The challenge of keeping track of the prescribed medications can be met with a smartphone in your hand and MyTherapy Med Reminder downloaded on it.

MyTherapy_Blutdruck

MyTherapy is a must-have application for every person who has to take medication regularly. This digital helper can take some weight off your shoulders by allowing you to set reminders for all kinds of medications, measurements and activities. I am going to present you a list of strong points of this application and explain why, in my opinion, it is one of the best reminder apps I have ever used.

  1. If you are looking for an application that can connect you with your doctor and do all the job of explaining him how successful you are in following the prescription, MyTherapy is a good tool for that. The application allows you to share reports with your physician. These reports are handy because they visualize the progress in your treatment which makes it easier for the doctor to detect any inconsistencies in your medication schedule. He can also decide if the dosage of your medication needs some correction, because all the measurements and symptoms can be entered and saved, making it easier for your doctor to understand the effect of the given medication portion.
  1. MyTherapy is an application that is incredibly easy and convenient to use. After registering and entering your personal data, you can create a list of all the medications you take throughout the day. If the medicament is not in the database, you can enter the data manually, thus saving all the necessary information about the medicament and creating a reminder. There is a long list of symptoms and activities that you can choose from when you are to report in detail how you feel and what you do during a day. You can also be reminded to describe how you feel after taking a medicament and save this information for later to review with your doctor. Another useful feature is the ability to set reminders for meds that demand a different schedule of intake – every hour, every day or every week. Afterwards, all you need to do is just cross them out as you complete the task, feeling satisfied and happy.

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  2. In many applications, the importance of communication between app developers and app users is neglected. However, the creators of MyTherapy seem to be willing to change that, communicating actively with the app users and trying to help in any way to work on the improvement of the app. They are working with us to deliver a product that meets our needs and ensures that all users are satisfied with the results. It is essential to be able to share your opinion and, in some cases, criticism with the people responsible for the usability and functionality of the app.

There was just one little drawback that I encountered while using the app. The list of medicaments that I could choose from was very short and I had to type all the information manually. Scanning the barcodes of the meds didn’t help, because all the medicines I take were not available in the database. It is just a minor flaw but it was a bit frustrating because the list of the pills I am taking is pretty impressive and not a single one could be scanned. Fortunately, this little thing doesn’t have a bad influence on the overall performance of the application, because once you are done with entering the data, you can relax while the app is working its magic.

Conclusion

All in all, I would say that this application is great. If you use it, you don’t have to be afraid to miss a single pill anymore. It takes all your medications and overall health data under control and helps you stay organized to help regulate potential health problems. The application does its job in simplifying complex medication schedules and taking your mind off from constant control over your health maintenance. This very sophisticated reminder has everything that a person with a chronic condition needs to maintain his health and lifestyle on the habitual level.

The application is free to download on the App Store or Google Play.

Evgeniya Jung, a digital nomad, studied at the department of International Relations in Russia. She moved to Switzerland two years ago and since then she has been travelling and working on improvement of her German skills. She has particular interest in digital healthcare due to having Type 1 Diabetes, which gained her vast experience with the health care systems in different countries.

Pictures: zVg by MyTherapy / http://www.smartpatient.eu/de/

Dependence on digital technology to improve personal health is a growing phenomenon.

Is there an app for that?

Last winter, I came down with a burning fever and spent the weekend drifting in and out of a self-medicated stupor. I don’t remember much of those two days, except the fifteen minutes I had spent downloading apps that promised to accurately take body temperature (if you place your finger on the smartphone’s camera).
With the market exploding with smartphone apps that suggest and advise on personal wellbeing by collecting and analyzing your data, there is now an app for almost everything related to personal health: from monitoring sleep cycles, moderating food intake, planning exercise regimes, to tracking ovulation cycles. Judging from the overwhelming focus on fitness digital products and wearables at CES 2016, this is only set to increase.

People now know their bodies better and are well equipped to make informed health choices based on their personal data. This personally collected data can additionally help doctors treat their patients better, with an accurate medical and health history available for easy download.
The entry of digital technology in healthcare fundamentally has the potential to reshape the way we approach personal healthcare (i.e. Predict-and-Prevent model versus Break-Fix) and increase the efficiency of healthcare delivery by nipping common illnesses in the bud before they are fully-blown, easing the workloads of overworked doctors in overcrowded hospitals.

Digital health data often overlooked

However, this true potential of personal digital healthcare remains unrealized. While going digital has made strides in informing lifestyle choices, the health data collected continues to be fragmented at best, and is often not incorporated in the patient diagnosis process. In fact, 42 percent of polled consumers using digital health data say their data often goes nowhere. Although most of the consumers are willing to share this data with their doctors, the uptake by medical health practitioners remains lower in comparison.
Doctors want to receive their patients’ health data feeds and do recognize the meaningfulness of such data in informing their diagnoses. But the lack of tools to unify and transform this data to inform smart medical decisions has halted their uptake.
The true potential of personal digital healthcare it seems, will only be realized when going digital shifts from just fitness and lifestyle to the establishment of an integrated digital environment that securely connects patients (and their data) with doctors at all stages of the medical process (diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment).

The future of healthcare

So what would a fully integrated digital healthcare environment look like?Wearable technology tracks accurate and long-term medical and fitness history (including measuring body temperature). This personal health data is automatically uploaded into a cloud, which is accessible by medical professionals. For minor illnesses, doctors are able to diagnose quickly and provide a treatment plan for the patient virtually, and arrange for medicine to be sent home (paid for via internet payment gateways). This leaves doctors with more time to focus on treating major illnesses that require a face-to-face interaction.

A major issue that needs to be tackled before integration can effectively take place is that of data privacy and security. It is one thing to share information about your sleep cycles with your mates, and quite another to share sensitive medical data (e.g. your DNA sequence) about your body to a cloud. In Switzerland, people are already uncomfortable about the national transport system retaining data of their daily commutes on the trains. It is then needless to say a fully integrated digital healthcare environment will take a lot of getting used to.

There are naysayers who also fear an overreliance on digital technology in healthcare can have devastating consequences. Like an elderly woman who does not take her regular medication because her notification app did not alert her to, as an example.

Ready or not

It is undeniable that the digital disruption in healthcare is underway. Judging from the current speed of innovation we are facing these days, a fully integrated digital healthcare environment may not be so far away in the making. Ultimately, the digital transformation will herald a new era in patient healthcare and personal wellbeing.


About the Author

Aisha Schnellmann is a Singaporean sociologist by training, interested in healthcare, education, and sustainability issues. She is passionate about producing content that promotes meaningful dialogue, focusing on print and digital content that resonates with a strong call-to-action. Based in Zurich, her interest in digital healthcare grew from the conversations she had with committed medical staff in rural hospitals in Asia, who remain hard-pressed with the technology available to them.

Moodpicture: http://cohesivethinking.com/2014/06/11/digital-healthcare-marketing/

From 10th to 12th May 2016 the 7th edition of Health 2.0 Europe will be back in Barcelona. Ready to reshape digital healthcare, the fascinating venue comes along very internationally, with healthcare actors from all over the world, showcasing more than 50 live demos on stage. We asked Aline Noizet, one of the organizers of the conferences at Health 2.0 Europe about the objectives of the upcoming event and her engagement at the Bayer Grants4Apps® Coworking in Barcelona.

Aline, what makes the Health 2.0 movement so special and how does the upcoming Health 2.0 Europe conference in May 2016 differ from the many other venues about digital healthcare?

Health 2.0 conferences are very international, very hands-on and with a special focus on digital health startups. We believe that they will lead the way into the future of healthcare.

Aside from our 7 international conferences taking place once a year (US, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, India, Japan, Korea), we are spread around the globe with nearly 100 local health 2.0 chapters. And that’s very much reflected in our conferences: Our speakers and demoers on stage are from many different countries and we make a point in bringing diversity on stage in order to have an overview of what’s happening in the different countries, bringing different perspectives and sharing best practises.

We bring together different actors of the digital health ecosystem in order to improve the way healthcare is delivered through innovation and new technologies

In Health 2.0 Europe in May, you will be able to see more than 50 live demo on stage – 4min presentations where companies are demoing their solutions from a user perspective. No slides no video.

If you want to see how healthcare is being reshaped through innovation and new technology, mingle with international digital health champions who are shaking the system, investors interested in digital health projects, then Health 2.0 Europe is the place for you to be.

Which topics and issues will be discussed at the congress?

This year we really want to focus on bringing digital health champions. We don’t want just talks, we want action. We don’t want just predictions, we want experiences, results and outcomes.

In order to do that, we will be bringing on stage those who are shaking things:

  • Empowered physicians and nurses who are using digital tools in their daily routine
  • Investors who have been investing in digital health projects this past year
  • Successful entrepreneurs whose solution is improving efficiency, reducing costs and proved to be a positive return on investment.
  • Insurance companies that are reimbursing apps or medical devices
  • Empowered patients who have become CEO of their own health
  • Companies who are collecting and analyzing data, leading to better decision making
  • Governments who are references in adopting and implementing new technologies
  • Pharma companies who have found a solution in digital health in the ‘beyond the pill’ challenge

We are also preparing some thematic hands on sessions, which promise to be a great source of information, knowledge and entertainment. More information will be published soon on our website.

Which digital health champions are a must-see?

It’s complicated to pick some, as the champions who will be at the conference, on stage or in the audience are all really inspiring champions in their own way.

Patients like Domingo Escudero o Nuria Zuñiga are great examples of empowered patients who are not only using digital tools to manage their own chronic disease but also to help others.

Another inspiring champion is Rafael Grossmann, the surgeon who carried out the 1st surgery using Google glasses. He will be on stage to share his experience as a pioneer using new technologies and especially Augmented Reality tools. He will also share some insights on the new Google glass project.

Without a doubt, our other keynote speakers Esther Dyson,reference in US in digital health and investor in various digital health related companies, Julio Mayol, digital health reference in Spain,Pēteris Zilgalvis head of ehealth and innovation at the European Commission and Damien Marmion, head of digital at AXA will bit great source of inspiration too.

You are not only a passionate health innovator but also the program manager of the Bayer Grants4Apps® Coworking in Barcelona. What is this place offering for startups?

Grants4Apps® is a very exciting project and very much aligned with Health 2.0 vision, as it is bridging the gap between startups and big industry companies. It is part of Bayer’s global open innovation approach, which includes a number of successful crowdsourcing and co-working initiatives. It started in Berlin 3 years ago as a 3 month accelerator program and was brought to Barcelona last year in a slightly different format. The idea is to support and incubate digital health startups with promising projects and get more involved in the digital space which will without any doubt play an important role in the future of the pharma industry, especially in the ‘beyond the pill’ challenge that pharma are facing.

We always see Pharma as being the ideal target customer because they are said to have money, but Pharma can actually be more partners than customers. That’s what Grants4Apps® is proving.

Bayer has been pioneer in collaborating with startups and an early supporter of Health 2.0.

On June 11 2015, our event at the EB Zurich was a huge success, thanks to our fantastic four speakers, all coming from renowed hospitals in Zurich. There was:

– Andrea Heiniger, Social Media Manager, University Hospital Zurich.

– Stefan Lienhard, Project Leader Social Media, Hirslanden Private Hospital Group

– Renate Good, Head of Corporate Communications, Hospital Bülach

– Patrick Jola, Communications Officer & Assistant to CEO, Forel Clinic

After some opening words by our CEO & CMO, the four speakers presented their institutions social media strategies in a short presentation. After that, the public had the chance to discuss the topic in an inspired atmosphere with lots of questions and a refreshing networking reception afterwards.

Thank you all for making this first event unforgettable!

Take a look at HEALTHINAR’s trip to Barcelona and taking part in the Health 2.0 conference in Barcelona: Watch the story here.

The Health 2.0 conferences really are the place to be if you are interested in patient-provider communication, consumer health, data analytics and healthcare tech. All this was shown in exciting panels and more than 50 demos. Some interesting examples were:

– iRCP: http://bit.ly/1dh3GZw

– Hospital Simulation by Attensi: http://www.attensi.com/

– Simplifying diagnostics my MESI: http://www.mesimedical.com/homepage/

– Sense.ly with their virtual nurse Molly: http://sense.ly/

– The mobile wound management tool Wounddesk: http://wounddesk.com/

And of course we were also very impressed by the Jessica Feder, Chief Digital Officer at Bayer and the Grants4Apps Accelerator-Programme, check it our here: https://www.grants4apps.com/accelerator/

However, they were many more impressive demos and panels, we would like to thank them and of course to the awesome organisation of Health 2.0. See you all next year the latest!

Last but of course not least, we are proud to present to you our 4th speaker at the next HEALTHINAR-event: Renate Good, Head of Corporate Communications, at Hospital Bülach, near Zurich in Switzerland.
A few years ago, Renate wrote a paper about social media and hospitals, titled “Wie viel Social Media braucht ein Spital? Quantifizierung der Social Media-Nutzung Amerikanischer, Deutscher und Schweizer Spitäler“, where she took a look at the social media use of diverse American, German and Swiss hospitals. Her conclusion, back then in 2011, was that it was unclear if and how much social media a hospital was needed. There were very few examples of institutions that used this new communication channels. However, Renates Goods prediction was that with an increasing competition and therefore more competitive pressure between hospitals, the need for more customer or patient loyalty would also rise. In terms of that social media would be taken into further consideration for a communication strategy in hospitals. If we look at the situation today this has mostly become true. With SwissDRG (Swiss fee-per-case system) there’s more competition, especially between private and public hospitals in Switzerland and also quite a few institutions are using various social media channels.
So it’s most interesting that the Hospital Bülach, where Renate Good works, is still not present on these channels. We are looking forward to Renates presentation and a lively discussion, thanks for participating!

More about the Hospital Bülach: http://www.spitalbuelach.ch

More about Renate Good:  http://www.spitalbuelach.ch/index.php?id=1652