Approximately 180 delegates came to Oulu´s Nightless Night, a connected health ecosystem conference that took place at Pohto, in Oulu on June 11.. Connected Health is mainly described as a model for healthcare which uses technology to improve the delivery of health and provide flexible opportunities for consumers to engage with clinicians and better self-manage their health.
The conference was officially opened by Mayor Matti Pennanen, who spoke of the city’s core values --courage, fairness and responsibility – and of Oulu´s long-standing reputation in technology.
The conference highlighted the ecosystem-like nature of healthcare, where various stakeholders such as biotechnology, pharmacology, medical technology, consumer products, health innovation, health technology, mobile and business services all participated to improve a wider understanding of the concept of Connected Health. High quality, easy access, citizen-centric services, broad use of novel technologies and affordable healthcare were key concepts during the conference.
Mr. Brian O´Connor, chair of the European Connected Health (ECH) Alliance with ecosystems in Northern Ireland, Oulu – Finland, Catalonia – Spain, New York, Manchester – England, North West Coast - England, Scotland, Athens – and Greece, explained that Connected Health is an umbrella term for eHealth, mHealth, digital health, telehealth etc, and that being part of an international network is necessary for transforming health, wellness and social care delivery and creating economic growth. He emphasized that the ECH Alliance is a non-profit organization with only one mission: namely, to deliver leadership for the development of connected and Mhealth markets and practice across Europe and beyond.
Dr. Andrew Watson, from the Center for Connected Medicine in Pittsburgh, USA, gave an overview of the US health reform, linking his practices as surgeon to IT and health outcomes. “Americans don´t live longer than people in countries that spend much less on health care” he stated. “ The US needs to reform its health system and therefore we need the stakeholders to connect”. Watson, in daily working life a practicing surgeon in the division of Colorectal surgery talked about patient engagement, fundamental problems of access accountability and the challenges of transforming the health system.
Dr. Kenji Shuto Special Assistant to the Governor, Kanagawa, Prefectural Government in Japan focused on Healthcare New Frontier” for a Super Aging Society explained how medical innovations in Japan had resulted in massive by sanitary improvement “ Via cloud techniques toilets are turned into clinics testing urine on diabetes and cancer, he told the audience. With a median age of 46 years, an average lifespan of 84, and a quarter of the population over 65, Japan is purported to have the highest proportion of elderly citizens in the world and a sweeping review of many medical systems is needed, according Dr. Shuto.
The goal of the Nightless-Night conference was to inspire and motivate to find connected health solutions as well as to set up new international collaborations leading to health improvement, job creation and economic development.
During the panel discussions several local and international delegates talked about future diagnostics, affordable healthcare, trends in medical technology, and health ecosystems value proposals.
Matchmaking opportunities and a speaker’s corner gave participants a chance to network and present their companies.
OuluHealth was established in 2012 and is well on its way to building a health ecosystem which will support innovative work and underpin reform strategies, change management processes to initiatives and put into effect comprehensive, innovative patient-focused health service management and delivery structures.