4 Takeaways from Vitalis 2023
Vitalis is the largest Nordic conference on e-health, and we were honoured to take part and visit it for the first time this year. We met numerous companies, experts and organisations of all kinds, working with innovation within digital healthcare. In this post we will share some learnings we took from this years conference.
1. The European Health Dataspace (EHDS) is approaching
The European Health Dataspace (EHDS) is one of 9 major EU dataspaces, and is currently a legislative proposal by the EU, aiming to unify an EU-wide standard for healthcare data as a connection between different nations within the EU. It further emphasises sharing of primary use health data between borders through interoperable standards, with an increased ownership of data being moved to the patients. EHDS also aims to clarify and strengthen the use of secondary health data, to aid in industry innovation by formalising standardized processes for requesting this data.
Although not yet law, large healthcare actors are already preparing for this shift within the EU, as it might have significant commercial effects. Data will be further standardized to move easily across borders, and secondary health data and its commercialisation will attract significant interest.
2. The EHDS faces major challenges
But it is clear that the EHDS, still is a long way from being implemented in reality, and there are several challenges to its implementation. For one - nations vary widely in their rate of digitalisation. This means moving data across borders is currently challenging. And even when data is digital, there is an inconsistent use of international standard between nations, further complicating interoperability. Secondary use of health data and its business model implications are also a big questions mark as of now, and new business models for monetising this data will be developed. The legal implications of this new architecture and patient ownership of data, is not fully settled. Experts therefore think that even though the implementation of the legislature might take a few years, it will take even longer to actually get going with the practical implementation.
3. AI is reaching all sectors of healthcare
Artificial intelligence has surged in interest as OpenAI released ChatGPT, and new LLM-models are getting rapidly dispursed through all sectors of the economy. Healthcare is no different even though it's highly regulated - as was clearly seen this year at Vitalis. From large incumbents to smaller actors, AI was widely discussed and already implemented in several solutions. The use cases of neural nets are broad, and various forms of statistical support in decision-making is now getting integrated both at and administrative and clinical level.
4. Decision-making will be guided via care flows
Platform24, Cambio, Doctrin, and Visiba Care are examples of companies focusing on automating the patient journey all the way from initial intake to outtake, through a layer of patient- and clinician facing tools to efficiently effecitivise care. These platforms digitalise a large part of the clinical journey and leverage data to do so. Unified care flows aided by large sets of data will become the new normal for healthcare in the coming years, and services will be either integrated or built to supply these platforms - where EHDS will serve as the legislative base for this kind of healthcare. Interoperability to these platforms, is key.
All in all, it's all about data these coming years. If you are innovating in healthcare.