Interview with Kaisa Immonoen-Charalambous

Kaisa Immonoen-Charalambous
Director of Policy, European Patients’ Forum

What are the impacts of the digital technology on the health care system from a patients’ perspective?

KaisaI can say that this is actually something we have not studied in depth yet, but it is really coming, since, clearly, it could be very transformative. If it means, that patients would have a greater range of accessible services in terms of leaving your home or not to get medical advice it is a very good thing, because most patients don’t want to go to the hospital if they don’t have to. They prefer to get advice close at home and I can imagine that it can be helpful as mentioned for carers of older people and parents and so on. It has a lot of potential, however, I am not sure in real life how much it will manifest. Continue reading

Interview with Martin Seychell

During the Greying baby boomers’ plenary today you made a point on Health Workforce. How can you make sure there is collaboration with the WHO and the European Commission? How can you make this binding and that the transition of workforce is not hampering any countries?seychell

We have been working for a number of years with the Member States and stakeholders on Joint Actions. Joint Actions on programmes, which are funded through the EU health programme, where we bring stakeholders together to discuss important issues and health workforce has been one for many years. The first step that countries have to take is forecasting its health workforce. Health workforce is a very specific workforce, as it requires a long period of training before they are starting to give back their expertise. Without forecasting, we would take a leap into the dark. Countries cannot do this individually. Countries can’t calculate the needs for how many people to train because you need to factor in that these people might move. In addition, professions benefit from working in different settings, so it should be part of this circulation. Then we need to look at the skill mix. The skill mix has to be updated, hard and soft skills. Not just academic training but also the role of the doctor, nurse and pharmacist. The health systems of tomorrow are not going to be the same as the health systems we have today.  Patients are also changing, they will not be passive, they will have knowledge about their conditions and our workforce need to have the skills to have dialogue with the new type of patient. Continue reading

Interview with Matthias Reumann

Matthias Reumann received the Masters of Engineering in Electronics with the Tripartite Diploma from the University of Southampton in 2003 and continued his PhD studies at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Reumann focused on translational research in cardiac models and his PhD with summa cum laude in 2007. The research was awarded with two prestigious research awards by both clinical and biomedical professional societies. Reumann continued research in multi-scale systems biology at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY. His work focused on creating high resolution heart models that scale on supercomputers. He expanded his research interest to Genomics in 2010 at the IBM Research Collaboratory for Life SciencesMelbourne, investigating higher order interaction of single nucleotide polymorphisms in breast and prostate cancer. 

reumannIn 2011, Reumann build up the healthcare research team at the IBM Research – Australia laboratory with focus areas in healthcare analytics, medical image processing and genomics. The goal in genomics was to bring next generation sequencing into a production environment in a public health microbiology diagnostic unit. Reumann moved back to Europe in December 2013 and joined the IBM Research – Zurich laboratory where his research focusses on sustainable, resilient health systems research to bridge the divide from bench to bedside to society. Continue reading

EHFG 2016 Conference Report and Movies

The year 2016 is coming to an end, and we are taking stock: Our EHFG Conference Report is finalised and available online, providing you with a detailed recap of what was discussed in Gastein this year.

We are also proud to present our EHFG 2016 conference movies:


For webcasts, outcomes and pictures from the conference please also have a look at our homepage.

We are wishing you happy holidays and a good start into a successful and healthy 2017!

P.S.: The main theme for #EHFG2017 has been decided:

Health in All Politics – a Better Future for Europe.

4th to 6th October 2017

Interview with Nick Fahy

You mentioned that some partnerships will flourish whereas others will vanish. How do you think that pieces of work can keep momentum, especially with a variety of key stakeholders?fahy

Key point for me is that the public sector needs to play a leading role as facilitator. The ability of organisations like the European Commission to create a space to bring people together is very powerful. If you are part of creating and shaping a partnership you have ownership. Without ownership and engagement people don’t have their commitment to it. An example is the cancer partnership in which I was involved. We took an approach that was not purely led by the institution. The traditional way the European Commission does something is that you set out your ideas and you may have some laws and you may have some money, but key is that the Commission decides everything. With the cancer partnership we took a different approach, where we were not going to decide everything, but take an approach where we set out some basic ideas and then we are going to have a stakeholder driven, co-creation approach. We had the most terrifying meeting I ever had in my life, where we had all the different stakeholders in a massive room and we had two days where we had the patients, the industries, governments, all the organisations and they wrote the detailed strategy and the work programmes and they led the discussions and not us. That partnership is still continuing, opposed to other partnerships that have vanished like dew in the morning. I am personally convinced that it came out of the fact that it had the kind of stakeholder innovative approach that was inspired by Gastein. Continue reading