skip to Main Content

Five Things We Learned from the Conference about Health Innovation 2017

On Thursday, 16 November 2017, CHI along with the Copenhagen Healthtech Cluster and CACHET (Copenhagen Center for Health Technology) invited to the conference Innovation as a Driving Force in the Health Sector of the Future. Did you miss the conference or do you just want to look back? Then start reading here where we will focus on five important points that we took home from the conference.

In November 450 researchers, teachers, health professionals, consultants, politicians and students gathered at the Maersk Tower to become more educated with respect to the health sector of the future. Throughout 10 different workshops, panel discussions and presentations we discussed and were introduced to the latest knowledge as to how to create the best framework for innovation in the health sector. We will summarise the five key points from the conference here:

1. The health study programmes must be willing to adapt

The health sector is constantly changing. New technologies, new procedures and new health solutions are flourishing, making it difficult to predict where the health sector is heading.

The students at the health study programmes are unquestionably one of the cores of the future health care system. But how do we handle the country’s health study programmes when we are to teach students to cope with a health care system we do not know yet?

”It is important being adaptable for change.”

It is important to teach students to be willing to adapt and adjust to the changes in the health sector, said Jack Kreindler, the keynote speaker.

“Denmark has strong research environments within both technology and health. We must be better at combining the strong research traditions with innovative thinking. In order to solve the challenges in the future health sector, it is important that the students meet across professions”, says Anette Birck, Director of Copenhagen Health Innovation.

2. Let go of the silos: We need to cooperate with each other

Working together across professional groups is equally important as teaching future health care professionals to be willing to adapt.

Innovation in the health sector involves a coupling of knowledge about technology and knowledge about health in practice. Today, the health sector is characterised by the idea that knowledge is locked in ‘silos’. But in order to succeed in coping with new solutions and technologies in the health sector, it is necessary to think across silos and ensure cross-sectoral collaboration.

We must be better at thinking innovatively and at collaborating among hospitals, universities, companies and students within both health and technology education in order to cope with the challenges we are facing in the health sector.

3. We should be better at using available, existing data

“Would you board an airplane that had not been checked for fifty years?”

This question was asked by Jack Kreindler during his keynote speech on Thursday afternoon. Naturally, the machine Kreindler talked about is the body.

Today, we have far better opportunities to investigate our own ‘machine’ than ever before, says Kreindler. With the technology that is available today, we can check our own health, such as our blood pressure, much more often and more efficiently than we have previously been able to.

There is much talk about what we can do to prepare for the technology and opportunities of the future. But it is equally important that we apply and streamline the data and the technology already available to the health sector today.

The biggest challenge is not the access to data, but how we implement the application of health data in practice. It is tempting to continue using the old solutions, but we have to incorporate health data and technology in order to solve the existing challenges, said Jack Kreindler.

4. The use of new technology must take the end user as its point of departure

In order to succeed in applying health technology, it is important that we focus on those who need the new technology in practice. This was one of the main messages at the initial session at the conference on what it will take to succeed in innovation in the health sector.

“Cross-collaboration is important – but it’s even more important to involve those who need technology in practice.”

This is a statement by Helena Hansson, nurse and postdoc at the Copenhagen University Hospital, on the question of how we benefit from innovation in the health sector. It is important that we work together across professions, but it is equally important that we focus on those who need the technology in practice.

We must take the end user as our point of departure and consider how both patients and professionals may benefit from innovative solutions in the health sector.

5. Denmark must be better at applying health data

Denmark has a long tradition of using health data for research, treatment development and prevention in the health sector. But we are behind compared to other Nordic countries.

“We have the same challenges in the Nordic countries when it comes to the application of health data. Globally, Denmark is a leader in accessing health data, but we need to be better at applying health data in practice”, says Henning Langberg, CEO of Copenhagen Healthtech Cluster.

Denmark has the highest quality of health data, but Finland is better at applying health data in practice. We must be better at utilising the health data that is already available so we can create the best solutions for patients and health care professionals.

Den Europæiske Socialfond