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EIT Health Summit Series: Highlights and lessons learned

EIT Health Summit Series explored the most critical topics in healthcare innovations over 4 days of discussions and networking.

Held over four days from 23 November until 4 December 2020, EIT Health’s largest annual event brought together some of the world’s leading experts to share invaluable, first-hand insights from the worlds of business, education, research and healthcare delivery. This year’s agenda explored how healthcare can transition to better meet patient needs through High-Value Care (HVC), how we can realise the full potential and adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and the urgent need for New Business Models that enable innovation to thrive. The Summit Series closed with our EIT Health Catapult Final and awards ceremony, where the most exciting and promising BioTech, MedTech and Digital Health Start-ups competed before a jury of experts, industry stakeholders and investors.

Day 1: Implementing AI In Healthcare: Success Beyond The Buzzword

The panel topic for the opening day was moderated by EIT Health’s Director of Innovation, Jorge Juan Fernández. He noted that EIT Health’s extensive work with activities that involve AI encouraged research and discussions, as well as the publication of EIT Health’s report on “Transforming Healthcare with AI”. Panellists Dr. Bertalan Meskó and Dr. John Halamka agreed that (AI) will not replace clinicians but rather those clinicians who use AI will replace those who don’t. Dr. Meskó, Director of The Futurist Institute, maintained that AI will relieve administrative burdens, allowing medical professionals to spend more time focused on patients. Dr Halamka, president of the Mayo Clinic Platform, noted that by analysing raw data from patient monitors in the home, AI enables remote medicine. “It delivers the same quality and the same outcomes at a lower cost in non-traditional settings.”

Day 2: High-Value Care: Evidence-based Transformation in Patient Care

The session covering High-Value Care was moderated by Christina Åkerman, Chair of the EIT Health High-Value Care Forum Advisory Board, who said: “We need to take the waste out of the system and make the care high-value care.” Three expert panelists, Pieter de Bey (Santeon), Henk Veeze (Diabeter Nederland) and Jan Hazelzet (Erasmus MC) presented the ways in which their organisations had taken a high-value care approach to reduce healthcare costs and improve results by focusing on what patients want. Henk Veeze, Senior International Medical Director of Diabeter Nederland, a diabetes care centre that rewards good health outcomes to encourage high-value care, presented an interview with one of his patients who said that his experience with Diabeter was the first time anyone had asked him what he wanted as a patient. Jan Hazelzet, Professor of Health Care Quality & Outcome of Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands, said the big challenge to implementing High-Value Care in an institution is encouraging buy-in from staff, while on the European level the challenge is achieving comparable patient data.

Day 3: New Business Models: Meet Consumer Demands and Remain Competitive

In this session, healthcare leaders presented exciting new business models and approaches and debated how health can keep up with the rapid pace of change. First, Kurt Höller (Director of Business Creation, EIT Health) and Ariel Stern (Harvard Business School) looked at the current landscape and discussed new business models across the EU and US with case study examples. Next, Gottfried Ludewig (German Federal Ministry of Health) and Kristina Lagerstedt (1928 Diagnostics) looked at digitalisation and innovation from an EU perspective.

Day 4: EIT Health Catapult Final & Awards Ceremony

EIT Health’s premiere pitch contest showcased the nine most exciting and promising biotech, medtech and digital health start-ups. ‘Methinks AI’ took first place in the Digital Health Category for its solution of using imaging technology to reduce time to treatment in stroke patients where every second counts. The BioTech category was won by ‘UVera’ for its solution to provide natural, safe, potent, stable and eco-friendly UV protection, while the MedTech award went to ‘New Born Solutions’ for its solution to improve the detection of infectious diseases such as meningitis in new-borns. The competition awarded a combined total of more than one million euros in funding and continued support to promising start-ups as they develop their products and services.

Kurt Höller, Director of Business Creation, EIT Health comments; “Support is especially important during periods of uncertainty such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, as we rely on these innovative and agile small companies to provide smart solutions to growing healthcare issues. We look forward to welcoming our winners into the EIT Health family, and supporting them with accessing our network to grow their connections, develop their knowledge further and obtain resources that can help them on their way towards making their solutions a reality for patients and citizens across Europe.”

All four sessions from this year’s virtual event are now available to watch, on-demand HERE.