The path of healthcare into the digital future - eHealth Symposium 2023 offers new material for discussion

Celine Jörns


Kaiserslautern. Pandemics, supply chain problems, price explosions - also in 2023, healthcare will be confronted with numerous challenges. How innovative digital solutions can be used to meet them and what current developments and innovations there are to be found in the health sector were discussed again this year at the eHealth Symposium Südwest. The event took place for the 6th time in a row on 25 January 2023 - this time finally outside Zoom and Co at the Business + Innovation Center Kaiserslautern.

"Rethinking healthcare digitally - this is how it works!" was the motto of this year's event. A total of 11 keynotes, expert presentations and presentations of startup solutions showed more than 200 participants the medical path to the digital future and provided plenty of material for discussion among the interdisciplinary audience of experts from medicine, research, business and politics.

f.l.t.r. Thorsten Hemmer (Westpfalz-Klinikum), Daniel Stich (Ministry of Science and Health Rhineland-Palatinate), Stefan Weiler (bic), Stefan Kohl (5-HT Digital Hub Chemistry & Health), Andreas Klüter (Empolis Information Management)

The Rhineland-Palatinate digitisation of the health care system

The event started with a welcoming speech by Daniel Stich, Ministerial Director in the Ministry of Science and Health of Rhineland-Palatinate. He emphasised the outstanding importance of further advancing digitalisation in the healthcare sector and the important contribution that the 6th eHealth Symposium Southwest makes to this with the exchange between different stakeholders. "The Rhineland-Palatinate state government is very committed to supporting digitisation in the healthcare sector. As the Ministry of Health, we are starting here and will equip the health offices with modern IT equipment in the future - both hardware and software. In addition, the 24 health offices and the other public health service authorities in the state, such as the State Examination Office, the State Office for Social Affairs, Youth and Supply and also the Ministry, will receive a uniform process and data platform that covers all aspects of work on site," Stich said.

Demographic change, lack of skilled workers and regional care, changing patient expectations. These are only some of the challenges that exist in the healthcare sector and make digital innovations necessary. In his keynote speech "Transformation of innovation in everyday clinical life", Prof. Dr. Reinhard Meier, Chief Physician at Westpfalz Klinikum GmbH, presented promising digital approaches ranging from telemedicine, robotics to artificial intelligence and showed how these can and should be integrated into the healthcare system.

An interdisciplinary audience of experts from the fields of medicine, research, business and politics has the opportunity to exchange information on the latest developments.

Medical technology in focus: lectures on the future of healthcare

This was followed by a series of exciting medical presentations that filled the programme throughout the morning.

Rania Abbas, Partner Manager of Thieme Compliance GmbH, presented how their E-ConsentPro product range can digitally support anamnesis and information. Patients can record the medical history data independent of time and place.

This was followed by a presentation on the use of artificial intelligence in teleradiology. Dr Torsten Möller, CEO of reif und möller diagnostic-network ag, reported on initial experiences and the advantages of AI in teleradiological diagnostics and routine.

Up to now, the success of compression therapies has mainly been determined with analogue measurement methods, for example by measuring the circumference. Joana Schiller, Smart Medical Textiles Specialist at KOB GmbH, presented new measurement methods that use digital data to monitor the success of the therapy and support all persons involved in the therapy.

Christoph Lipps, a researcher at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, then presented the 6G-Health research project, which is investigating sixth-generation mobile communications as a key technology in the health sector.

Daniel Knopp, Director of Nursing Services of Barmherzige Brüder, and Janina Müller, Deputy Head of Nursing Services of Pflegegesellschaft St. Martin, showed how nursing can work in the future with the help of smartphones as an interface for wearables and communication. Particularly in patient documentation, everyday nursing care can be made considerably easier by networked digital solutions.

Peter Weiß, CompuGroup Medical, and Dr Benedikt Kämpgen, Empolis, rounded off the expert presentations. In their presentation "Benchmarking meets Artificial Intelligence" they illustrated how hospitals can achieve added value with their data.

From skin clinics to baby monitoring: eHealth startups present innovative solutions

In the afternoon, various innovative eHealth startup solutions were presented.

With its digital skin clinic, Derma2go offers a holistic solution to accompany patients throughout their dermatological health journey. The service can help improve preventive measures, support fast and accurate diagnosis and therapy as well as monitoring of treatment.

The startup mentalport has developed an app that uses artificial intelligence to improve users' mental health in everyday life. The app can be used by companies, for example, to assess the risk of mental stress, to implement occupational safety measures and for employee coaching.

LEEVI Health is developing a sensor bracelet to help monitor the health and development of babies. The startup's digital solution can detect acute health problems, recognise chronic health problems at an early stage and support prevention by taking into account more than ten body signals.

The presentations were concluded by Breathment. The startup offers a digital aftercare programme for COPD patients to close the care gap between hospital discharge and further treatment.  It combines an AI-based therapy app with telemonitoring.

Exciting expert presentations and innovative startup solutions in the field of eHealth

The way forward into the digital medical future

Andreas Klüter, Managing Director of Empolis Information Management GmbH, illustrates the contribution the event makes: "The digital transformation comes with a flood of medical data. Data that wants to be used for the benefit of patients and healthcare providers. Artificial intelligence is playing an increasingly important role here. Empolis is proud to contribute to the eHealth Symposium Southwest and thus to the regular exchange of experiences."

Thorsten Hemmer, Managing Director of Westpfalz-Klinikum GmbH, also emphasises the relevance of new digital approaches: "As one of the largest healthcare providers in Rhineland-Palatinate, we are very interested in finding innovative digital solutions and breaking new ground. The goal is to further improve the medical care of our patients and to make our employees' work easier."

And also in the future, innovations in health care will be promoted in the southwest. "We want to bundle our local competencies in health, biotechnology and AI even further in the future. This is made possible by a grant from the Ministry of Science and Health of Rhineland-Palatinate to establish the Health Innovation Hub right here in Kaiserslautern," says Dr. Stefan Weiler, Managing Director of Business + Innovation Center Kaiserslautern GmbH (bic).

The digitisation of the healthcare system is therefore by no means standing still - this was once again made clear by the event.

"This is the sixth time that the E-Health Symposium has shown how innovative and active our southwest is in the area of digitalisation of the health system," Stefan Kohl, Managing Director of the 5-HT Digital Hub Chemistry & Health, aptly summarises.

The eHealth Symposium is a joint event of Business + Innovation Center Kaiserslautern (bic), Empolis Information Management GmbH, 5-HT Digital Hub Chemistry & Health and Westpfalz-Klinikum GmbH.

See you next year!

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