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Connected Care at the EU Regions week

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Within this year´s EU Regions Week , the Regional Development Agency Bucharest-Ilfov organized a workshop on Innovative technologies and partnerships in developing regions, in partnership with COCIR and our client Philips. The event, chaired by MEP Jan Olbrycht (EPP, PL) presented the benefits of public-private partnerships supported by EU Funds.


The participants had the opportunity to reflect together on how to access to innovative healthcare solutions that improve European citizen´s daily lives. Views from Romania regional authorities -Mrs Claudia Ionescu- and Polish project from the Silesian University of technology – Prof Marek Gzik- were presented. DG REGIO, represented by Team Leader Mr Marek Przeor presented the new EC proposal for the next MFF in relation to Smart specialization. Mr Reinier Schlatmann, CEO of Philips CEE challenged the audience with the need to address the increased life expectancy in the EU with a consistently decreasing birth rate and the impact of such a trend in health care budgets. Digital transformation – and Connected Care - will play an important role. Not only it revolutionizes diagnosis and treatment, broadens access to care and helps overcome resources constraints, but also enables a shift to prevention and outcome based care – he quoted. MEP Jan Olbrycht during his opening speech mapped current situation in European Union. He mentioned among others case of Brexit, boarders control, European enterprises and area of research & technologies. He pointed that new Cohesion Policy will be focused on smart specialization aimed to develop less developed areas in fields mentioned above. Europe is becoming smarter by promoting innovative and smart economic transformation throughout research, skills and digitalization, but also by synergy of different levels of administration providing fusion of knowledge among regions.

Digitalization allows citizens for easier adaption to many activities on a daily basis (intelligent transport, open data, medical treatment, etc.). Data use can play enormous role in building the healthcare system, what was showed on Romanian example. The technology that saves life must also face the issue of GDPR. Panelists mentioned case of data protection – how it can be treated in open data system. Open data system must provide safety of users’ data but shouldn’t limit their activities.
Authorities should raise awareness on what is needed to develop the healthcare system in each country. Philips corresponds to local needs with its solution and wants to be close to inhabitants. Cooperation between public institutions and private companies can be also seen in Silesian region, where Philips cooperates with Silesian University of Technology. As a result of this cooperation they are creating the Silesian Center for Engineering Support for Medicine and Sport at the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering of the Silesian University of Technology. The aim of this initiative is to establish long-term cooperation between both units in the area of business support, teaching and research activities with elements of management of health care units and running Bio-IT projects. As part of this initiative, it is planned to prepare and conduct joint studies, exchange students and lecturers, as well as to develop activities related to effective, modern management of health care units.
Ultimately, patients will benefit from cooperation between the Silesian University of Technology and Philips Poland. Due to the aging society, a limited number of places in hospitals, as well as a limited number of specialist doctors, it is necessary to introduce new solutions that will improve the treatment process from diagnosis, through hospitalization, to caring for the patient at home.

Panelists agreed that strong regions build strong Europe.

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