HealthManagement, Volume 20 - Issue 2, 2020

Summary: Medical Informatics Europe (MIE) promises a rich programme covering latest developments in the field from both leading lights and emerging talent. speaks to Local Organising Committee Co-chair, Christian Lovis about what to expect.

How have medicine and information technologies changed in the last ten years and how do you see them advancing in the years ahead?

Both medicine and information technologies have had incredible evolution over the last ten years. But, I think that the most impressive evolution is the convergence of these two sciences. Today, it is impressive to see how medicine and information technologies are moving together and helping and benefitting one another. I don’t think that medicine is the only winner. At the end of the day, medicine is a huge driver for people, for research and for funding.

How is MIE supporting management and leadership in medical informatics?

MIE is covering the entire field of information technologies and medicine. It provides a very broad vision and understanding of the field. It is not a commercial or hype-driven conference. For more then 30 years, it has driven innovation and brought together experts from around Europe and beyond, about everything that is at the intersection of medicine and digital. It is a unique environment for an immersion in what is happening right now and where the future is moving.

The area of informatics plays a key role in precision medicine. What is the future of this targeted approach to medicine?

I think that many clinicians, physicians and nurses feel unconsidered when researchers who have never left their labs speak about “personalised medicine” rather than “precision medicine.” The marriage between the power of digitalisation and medicine is a major revolution in the medical world. It has already brought us major achievements, in diagnostics as well as in therapeutics. If this will be for the benefit of all or only of a few is a matter of societal will.

In my view, it is the responsibility of all of us to make it progress for all.

There will be a focus on standards at the congress. What’s the situation with standardisation? Do you think it’s possible to have global standards of operation?

I would not say that standardisation is a focus point; I would say that interoperability is a focus point. We are facing global challenges. These global challenges require us to work together, in collaboration rather than in competition. There are many ways to improve interoperability. Standardisation is just one instrument amongst others. It is not enough by itself and sometimes it can be counterproductive. What is necessary is that we work together; it is not necessary that we all speak the same language. But, we have to be able to communicate and share understanding.

What will be new this year at MIE and what do you hope the main take-aways will be for delegates?

Personalised health is at the centre of this conference. Also in the spotlight will be prevention, new tools and translational research, as is shown with the presence of the CERN at the event. CERN will show how fundamental physics can have direct impact on medicine. There will be many sessions on data and knowledge sources, how to build better sources for machine learning and how to share our resources. I am especially excited to hear the keynote of Patti Brennan, the director of the US National Library of Medicine. We also have a lot of young and passionate scientists that have already registered and submitted their work. This is what is the best part of the conference in my opinion: to feel the pulse of the young scientists. They hold the key to our future!