Modern Digital Health: Inaugurations, Digital Health and Powerful Women

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A pandemic-free text.

In a season of inaugural addresses, I am humbled to have one of my own...


As this new year begins, I begin it with the launch of this column – a space where, once a month, I will serve as an observer in this ever-expanding healthcare ecosystem. From my vantage point as a business school law professor, an academic director of an MSc in Health Management & Data Intelligence, an interface with the industry and public health sector, an adviser to start-ups and young professionals, I look forward to share with you insights and international perspective on current (and future) topics.


For this inaugural column, I thought that, for a change, I would avoid talking about – yes, you guessed it – the constant headline in the industry since last spring. Let’s delve into other topics, more optimistic and brighter than the pandemic (ouch), and beyond the notion of uncertainty.


What is certain is that in digital healthcare there is hope and an innovative future to believe in. And, in keeping with this inaugural mood, who better to bring into the spotlight than two of the most powerful people from the European Union who are building a creative and innovative horizon for us to look forward to: President Ursula von der Leyen and Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager.


On her latest State of the Union address (16 September 2020), President von der Leyen reminded us that in the last year, the health systems were put to the test, showing us the limits of a model and bringing into focus the fragility of our community of values.


She also referred to a very promising NextGenerationEU project, a plan to design a future, and not running (sometimes aimlessly) ahead of circumstances, contingencies, pandemics... She also proposed to build a “stronger European Health Union”, through the EU4Health project, the European Medicines Agency and ECDC (European Centre for Disease and Prevention), along with the creation of an agency for biomedical advanced research and development (a European BARDA) – all these priorities will be on the agenda during the Global Health Summit later this year in Berlin.


During her speech of 18 September 2020, Margrethe Vestager she set the stage of innovation in the healthcare sector when she referred to supercomputers developing digital human twins to simulate the biological processes that will allow us to develop better, faster and more effective medicines and treatments. By multiplying the computing capacities, we can also model a ‘Planet Earth twin’, allowing us to predict and design future policies and innovation for diverse topics, including climate change.


5G and connectivity was also on her speech, a best practice toolbox for this digital agenda. 5G deployment will have a great impact on business development, services and users’ needs. Healthcare will also benefit, as this digital transformation (it’s already on its way) will continue to accelerate bringing newer, more complete and more reliable services in patient care.


The innovation revolution is already here, and Executive Vice-President Vestager has referred to the simplification of services such as digital tax declaration and electronic medical prescriptions, on a European Union level, together with the reaffirmation of the protection of personal data online of the European E-identity proposal.


A breath of fresh air. Just what the doctor ordered.

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Published on : Mon, 1 Feb 2021

moderndigitalhealth Inaugurations, Digital Health and Powerful Women

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