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WIL Breakfast Debate "Innovation in Healthcare" at the European Parliament in Brussels

06 Dec 2016 17:32 | Anonymous

On December 6th, 2016, WIL Europe has organized its last Breakfast Debate of the season at the European Parliament in Brussels, which focused on Innovation in Healthcare, as it is on the brink of massive change by facing unprecedented challenges. To discuss this timely subject, WIL Europe was honored to have a panel of diverse and high-level speakers such as Elena Bonfiglioli, Senior Director Health Industry, Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA) at Microsoft; Karin Kadenbach, Member of the European Parliament; Elinaz Mahdavy, Director of European Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at Orange Healthcare and Deborah Papiernik, VP, New Business Development, Technology and Strategic Alliance Ubisoft Entertainment.


Opening the discussion, Thaima Samman gave a general introduction on the subject, explaining how challenging innovation in healthcare can be while digital disruption is taking place. Health service is one of the least developed one which doesn’t adapt easily to the recent digital challenges. As a public service, Health has high regulation, that goes beyond the one in the economic sectors. The challenge is therefore to find a good balance between innovation and regulation, increasing efficiency while ensuring protection and the privacy of the patients. For Elena Bonfiglioli, this balance must be found in trusted technologies, to capture data in a seamless way and ensure protection. We are at a cross road for the future of health.  Systems of intelligence are the enablers of health digital transformation   in four different ways:

  • new ways to engage with patients. how to empower stronger collaboration and communication amongst healthcare professionals and between professionals and patients, with virtual health solutions.

  • optimizing clinical and operational effectiveness, with the aim of extending the capabilities of health professionals with systems of intelligence and advanced analytics, not replacing them with robots.

  • transform the care continuum.

For more info on the scenarios and references on how digital transformation is coming to life across these scenarios and across several European countries, you can visit the web demonstrator at www.healthdigitaltransformation.com


Karin Kadenbach shared with Elena Bonfiglioli the idea that a transition point has been reached in the health sector. She advocated within the European Institutions to put health issues at the top of the political agenda, as she believes it is a shared competency between EU institutions and member states. In that regard, the Third Health Program named “Health for Growth”, 2014-2020, aims at fostering health in Europe by encouraging cooperation between EU countries to improve the health policies that benefit their citizens and encourage the pooling of resources.

Elinaz Mahdavy, echoed Karin’s words in terms of encouraging a better cooperation between stakeholders, governments and policy makers, in order to actively support innovative initiatives, reward excellence and achievement, and scale up successful projects. While 37% of the European population is expected to be 60 or more by 2050, in addition to the rise in chronic diseases and in the healthcare expenses and lack of health professionals especially in rural regions; traditional healthcare systems can no longer cope with these issues without a fundamental transformation. Digital revolution should therefore be embraced fully, as part of the solution. Digital health is at the intersection of two universes: the medical world and the IT world to ensure the continuum of care. As an e-Health market is now growing, telecom operators such as Orange promised to be at the heart of the process to transport and host massive collection of health data in a secure way. However, adoption has so far proved to be challenging. It requires, among other things, working on change management to move from a “Cure” to the “Prevention” mode and on the other hand to train doctors and patients to use ICT technologies and payers to be less reluctant and play the game to close the loop. We need to find the right business model for the eHealth solutions, and ensure interoperability of the health systems beyond boundaries. 

Deborah Papiernik, believes that the videogames industry has also a major role to play in the changes amongst the healthcare industry. Ubisoft has succeeded by immersing gamers into the world they build and engage them in the experiences they create. Implemented in the healthcare system, gamification can improve users and patients’ engagement in medical treatment. Gamification makes medical treatment more intuitive, more educative, and more fun, facilitating patients’ engagement in their health. Through 4 different experiences led by Ubisoft, Deborah illustrated how video games can help:

Dig Rush http://www.slate.fr/story/98803/dig-rush-traitement-amblyopie

In a wish to further engage WTP Emerging Leaders and Alumni in the network, WIL has decided to welcome a WTP Talent to the speakers’ table to wrap up the session. Here, Claire Jones, Head of Group Purchasing for McLaren Technology Group and WTP talent shared her personal insight on the subject and summarized the main outcomes of the discussion for the audience. 


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