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EHTEL member Tic Salut Social, hosted a set of fantastic insights into future digital health directions with the support of the association.

During EHTEL 2019 Symposium, More than 75 percent of all the attendees expressed an interest in working in the health and care areas on AI, data sharing, and integrated care. Also on their minds were cybersecurity, digital health literacy, and robotics in health and care.

aaaAn overview

On 3-4 December 2019, close to 120 health, care and digital experts gathered together in the stunning Caixa Forum in the city of Barcelona.
Top of the agenda was to imagine 2029: aiming to foresee where digital health and care will be heading over the next decade, with the input of a great selection of experts and thought leaders. AI, data sharing, and health self-management were among of the core topics.
The two-day Symposium provided an in-depth opportunity to understand today’s realities, and to dip into future trends. The event focused on the future ten to 20 years.
It also – given EHTEL’s 20-year history – took the opportunity to look back through a celebratory video.
The gala dinner too provided a unique opportunity to celebrate the contributions and inputs of five former EHTEL Presidents.

AI and the steps towards 2030

On 3 December 2019, insights into health data gathering took the audience back to the early 19th century. They then moved forward to the smart cities and communities of 2030.
Deep-dives took the audience into the innovations occurring in locations such as Catalunya, Finland, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Scotland. Clear opportunities abound for tremendous steps in the next European presidency leadership countries, such as Croatia and Germany.
Opportunities for AI-supported work in challenging yet immensely wide-ranging health and care areas over people’s life-course: intensively targeted could be dermatology, the effects of infectious diseases, obstetrics, and (diabetic) retinopathy.
On the agenda too was social care supported by social robotics. All these directions need to be fair, equitable, and accessible.

Fairness – in technology and in social terms

On 4 December 2019, key questions were how can people and patients benefit from a fair data economy, especially in the health and care fields. Great insights came from a coordinated Finnish team from SITRA, Finland’s lead innovation institution.
The Netherlands also showed to what extent there is good, fertile ground for these ideas. What it means to manage not only my health and my care, but to do this with the assistance of my data is clearly core. In a socially and societally aware Europe, it is not just ‘me’ who ought to benefit, but many other citizens and Europe’s economy too.
Presentations spanned diverse technologies and what they have to offer but also covered the societal, economic, and ethical challenges facing Europeans today and tomorrow.

Three workshops with the support of the European Union

Three workshops, put on with the support of European projects, worked closely on issues related to future directions in health and care in Europe:
  • WE4AHAand I2M report the outcomes of their training session in a separate article.
  • InteropEHRate took a look at meaningful data, its interoperability, and how this can be placed in the hands of people.
  • DigitalHealthEurope brainstormed with some 30 attendees, and the support of the Mentimeter polling tool, to see how data can be used and re-used – especially for research purposes. They also started to describe what content people would like to see in the upcoming European Health Data Space.
All three activities showed that stakeholders’ and people’s involvement in future directions will be key.
In health and care, things need to change in the way people decide.
This led the Minister of Health of the Catalan Government, Barcelona, Spain to conclude the two-day event with a set of strong, insightful messages:
Let’s look at what is needed for people to be healthier in ten years’ time than they are now. While useful technology needs to be next to people, things need to change in the ways that people help to decide.”

To visualize EHTEL Symposium programme in details and download panels presentations, visit the Symposium page
To see more pictures of the Symposium panels, venue, dinners and more, click here

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