The first ever “European Health Tech Summit”, hosted by MEP Dr. Stelios Kympouropoulos, EPP Coordinator in the Special Committee for Covid-19 (COVI) and EPP Vice-Coordinator in the Committee for Public Health , was successfully completed, in the European Parliament, from March 21st to March 23rd. The summit was composed by 4 multi-stakeholders panel discussions, all dedicated to the role of technology in health. Distinguished representatives of the public and private sector, technical experts, as well as academia, offered their unique perspective and constructed a fruitful discussion.
The Summit’s inaugural panel on “Pandemic Management and Preparedness - Telemedicine and the Role of Innovative Technologies in Securing a Safer Future” focused on telemedicine and digital health, their evolution, challenges and opportunities as well as prospects for the future. Speakers highlighted that the Covid-19 pandemic was a springboard for further action and systematization of the use of telemedicine, while also stressed the need for common policies and legal frameworks towards managing telemedicine, as an efficient, alternative method of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
In the second panel, co-hosted by MEP Stelios Kympouropoulos and MEP Dennis Radtke on “Future-proofing health professionals’ skills for the digital transition”, the latter as the EPP Coordinator in the Committee on Employment and Social Rights, underscored the importance of a mutual European Strategy defining European standards for patients’ care but also health workers’ working conditions. MEP Kympouropoulos underlined that equipping health workers with the right skills is a key challenge in order to enable the EU to fully harness the potential of technology in healthcare, while highlighting the need for a truly multi-stakeholder approach and adequate national and European funding. Other panellists touched upon the necessity of creating a life-long learning culture, and the challenges for Europe, as a leader of innovation in medical devices, towards providing quality upskilling and reskilling opportunities for health care workers.
The European Health Tech Summit second day continued on Wednesday, 22nd of March, with a four hour panel discussion including showcases of artificial intelligence and extended reality technologies in the health sector, co-hosted by MEP Stelios Kympouropoulos and MEP Maria da Graça Carvalho. Well-renowned speakers, answered the question of how technology can help detect or tackle a disease, while MEP Kympouropoulos and MEP Carvalho confirmed the prominent role and significance of the digital innovation in the health sector. Panellists presented the initiatives and projects taking place in the area of medical developments in digital devices and the use of artificial intelligence algorithms. Following, holographic, virtual and augmented reality technologies were brought into spotlight; highlighting their contribution in the health sector, the opportunities and the challenges faced. According to the speakers, human-machine synergy will be of paramount importance in the future, improving patients’ diagnosis and treatment outcomes. The audience, joining with physical presence, had the opportunity to be introduced to such innovative medical technologies through interactive demonstration and testing.
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