InnoStars, 2018

The EIT Health healthcare innovators community celebrates its annual Summit in Poland

7th December 2018

Over two days, over 400 attendees participated in panel sessions, matchmaking events and unparalleled networking opportunities to drive forward healthcare innovation.

The third annual EIT Health Summit brought together EIT Health´s unique community of Partners, award-winning innovators and international experts. It was hosted by InnoStars and the Medical University of Lodz, in the vibrant Polish city of Lodz, on 4-5 December 2018.

Pitch sessions, exhibition booths and online voting and questions made sure there was participant interaction and that discussions flowed over the two days.

A succession of thought-provoking sessions examined the opportunities and challenges within key areas of healthcare today with conversations continuing throughout the event and online across social media

The benefits and challenges brought by advances in technology and medical science were understandably at the heart of many of the sessions. In the Leadership and workforce development panel, automation and digitalisation were recognised as transforming the healthcare workplace.

Nevertheless, both panellists and the audience agreed that interprofessional and multidisciplinary skills are the competences that will most need developing in the existing workforce and in future generations alike.

While illustrating the game-changing opportunities offered by artificial intelligence, virtual reality and robotics, attendees were cautioned by the Emerging Technologies panel to ensure that its use is always needs-driven and adding value rather than being technology deployed for technology´s sake.

The Using existing Big Data to improve healthcare experts urged the audience to forge alliances around ambitious projects, engage with patients around consent and capitalise on the data available within the EIT Health consortium itself. Building on the work of the EIT Health Think Tank in Round Tables around the regions in recent months, the discussion set the stage for the Digital Town Hall, which will take place on Wednesday 19 December.

The discussion also briefly touched upon a key recommendation of the Round Tables, the development of an EIT Health Data Space, which would facilitate access to data through the provision of tools and resources such as a standardised patient consent form. The group acknowledged the potential of such a proposal.

In his conclusions from the Summit, Jan-Philipp Beck, EIT Health CEO, emphasised that EIT Health´s role in harnessing technology, novel approaches and Big Data to transform healthcare, must lie in facilitating, testing and incubating co-created methodologies and tools as well as collaborating and contributing to the related policy debates at regional and European levels.

Engaging policy makers and regulators at a city level was also key for the Healthy Cities of Tomorrow panellists who stressed the need to promote wellbeing and health as a key element in city decision-making for all areas from transport to housing, care, education and urban planning. They discussed the need for community building and equity in access to services and innovation in our ever-expanding cities. And, as with so many of the discussions at the Summit, panel members emphasised the importance of building solutions from the ground up involving patients and citizens.

This was taken up again in the Measuring impact in healthcare discussion where patient and end-user involvement is key, alongside measuring both individual and population level impact. Impact measurement is central to all at EIT Health and the deep dive into the issues of embedding systematic measurement from the beginning of projects is one that affects all partners.

Attendees were also introduced to GAITS (Guidance and Impact Tracking System), developed by CIMIT, which aims to measure reach and impact on patient care of innovative solutions coming to market. EIT Health will be exploring further similar processes and approaches in its efforts to continually improve the impact of health innovation through measurement.

The pace of the two days was invigorating with announcements and introductions to new tools by EIT Health and its partners. The Access to smart funding panel discussed the challenges in securing grants, equity and loans for healthcare innovation and focused specifically on the instruments available through EIT Health, including the first pan-European equity based crowdfunding platform

Two new WildCard challenges were announced focusing on Mental and brain health and Digital biomarkers. As in previous years, inspiring pitches from the finalists of EIT Health flagship programmes European Health Catapult and Bootcamp showcased the disruptive solutions that will be transforming tomorrow’s healthcare.

Encouraged to re-imagine and re-think the future of healthcare and wellbeing, Summit participants left Lodz inspired and energised to continue to capitalise on EIT Health’s transformative role in bringing ground-breaking ideas and products to market, helping to create world-leading businesses, and jobs both now and in the future.

The 2018 EIT Health Summit closed with an announcement that next year’s Summit will take place on 2-3 December 2019 in the centre of Paris with the support of the Mairie de Paris.

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