The Digital | Health Days conference is the home stretch. The conference is the place where life science experts from around the world gather to debate, interact and get inspired. It is the place where pioneers in digital health show their breakthroughs and the curious can meet the future of healthcare. During the conference all finalists will present their idea to an investor panel and host demo sessions during breaks open to all conference participants. The winner is announced and receives a prize. Expect lots of fun, interesting conversations, valuable contacts and interest from conference participants and media.
First of all, let’s rewind a little. Last year’s event was a fantastic success and inspired us to continue to push the boundaries in digital health. Thanks to everyone who came along! So, over the next few months, as we count down to Digital | Health Days 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden on 25-26 August, we’ll be letting you know how our unmissable, event is shaping up.
You’ll find out about the pioneering speakers who’ll be sharing their exciting vision for the future, the workshops where you’ll discuss the issues of today and tomorrow in our world and the surprise happenings designed to open your mind and horizons even further.
Why we’ll be at Digital|Health Days 2014
Stockholm-based Swedish digital health company has been selected by Wired UK as one of Stockholm’s 10 hottest startups. Founded in 2008 with the vision to make people healthier and happier by using applied psychology and technology, the company is growing fast. Digital | Health Days 2014 is delighted that Lifesum is taking part in this groundbreaking event and we spoke to CEO Henrik Torstensson to find out more.
How would you describe Lifesum?
Lifesum wants to make people healthier and happier by helping them learn better habits on their journey towards a balanced, enhanced quality of life. We offer a service that supports our users in achieving a healthy, balanced lifestyle and we’ve achieved over 6.5 million downloads across Europe. Our app is available on Android and iOS, offers guidance based on users’ personal data and is tailored by them to suit their specific goals aims.
How do you see your role within Lifesum?
I make sure our entire team has the capacity, opportunity and necessary tools to create the best possible product and experience for our users.
Could you explain your involvement with Digital Health Stockholm?
All of us involved in digital health are on the frontier of a complete transformation of the global health market. Whether you’re a tech company, a pharma giant or an investor in digital health, the landscape is most definitely changing. We’re keen to contribute to and help build our rapidly developing sector as a whole.
Why did you decide to become involved?
We wanted to connect with the talented pool of individuals and companies engaging with digital healthcare solutions in Stockholm and globally. Being at this event offered us a way to achieve this in a unique and collaborative way.
Why do you think Lifesum needs to exist?
Modern life has a tendency to create barriers that prevent us from being as healthy as we’d like to be: long working hours, convenience food, or prioritising other things over exercise for instance. Lifesum offers life coaching from the pocket, making it easier for users to develop and hang to good habits, helping them to become healthier and happier in the long run.
Why would you tell someone to come to Digital|Health 2014 in Stockholm ?
The event offers a unique opportunity to meet companies and individuals from a vast array of radically different (albeit connected) industries. Whether a company is a tech startup or a huge pharma, development in digital health products will affect everyone. This is a great opportunity to discuss the wider issues and concepts that will touch us all.
What do you think are the challenges facing digital health right now? In Sweden, Scandinavia and globally?
The most fundamental challenge facing the digital health sector, in whatever capacity your product is designed to function, is to build a product or service that is engaging and entertaining enough to make sure users continue to use it. Only in this way will the benefits of the technology we’re building really become apparent.
How do you see the immediate future of digital health? And the long-term?
With over $1.35 billion invested in the digital health sector globally in the first quarter of 2014, the immediate future is bright both in terms of potential for innovation and also expansion. There are a lot of interesting developments and trends within the industry that show enormous promise, such as gamification, and I look forward to these
being discussed in depth at the event in August.
How does digital health feature in your own personal life?
I use Lifesum and our partner app Moves on my phone every day in order to follow a better diet and track my activity levels. Both have contributed significantly to changing and improving my habits and also sustaining a new way of behaving and thinking about food and exercise.
Thank you Henrik. We’re looking forward to catching up with Lifesum on August 25-26 at Digital|Health 2014.
Microsoft partners with Digital | Health Days 2014
We’re delighted that Microsoft is partnering with us for Digital | Health Days 2014 in Stockholm 25-26 August. We spoke to Mathias Ekman, Industry Development Marketing Manager for Microsoft Healthcare in Sweden to find out about why Microsoft believes our future lives in cities will shape digital health and more.
So, why has Microsoft chosen to become involved, Mathias?
I went to last year’s event and thought it was really great. I discovered a new meeting place for different types of people involved in all aspects of digital health. I liked the way they were looking at things from all angles, from the citizen to the innovator, to try and solve problems. I was very keen to get Microsoft involved this year.
Why is what Microsoft is doing so relevant for this event?
If I can set the scene a little. We’re looking at a future where 50% of the population will be living in cities where there will be a lot of population-related healthcare issues like diabetes and so on. In fact, we’re already seeing this. The emphasis is changing from simply prescribing medicine to giving citizens the tools to stay healthier to avoid becoming sick. I’m talking about doctors prescribing the uses of apps and exercises to their patients in order to make them more engaged and active during the time in between appointments. To meet the demands from the growing and elderly population we have to find new ways to provide care and recovery outside the hospital.
At the very highest level, Microsoft is helping to gather information on global trends such as population management through CityNext, an initiative which is all about empowering and engaging people to change their lives and future. As you’d imagine, a key aspect of CityNext is enabling cities to provide better access to healthcare and more personalised services through an ecosystem of smart devices and mobile solutions. So CityNext helps organisations to transform their infrastructure to meet the demands of a mobile-first and cloud-first world and create Healthier Cities.
As you can see, we fit right into the digital health landscape and we’re really looking forward to talking to both traditional healthcare systems providers as well as the entrepreneurs and innovators in this sector. From our point of view, the more people with different interests coming together to solve problems the better. Within CityNext we often refer to this as it is now time to do ‘new with less’.
What do you hope the event will achieve?
We’ll be doing everything we can to help conversations get started. Obviously we’re keen for people to talk to us about how Microsoft can help them with their challenges - exploring ways to use big data in a truly collaborative way, for example. But it’s also about the whole debate. Here I think that the maturity model developed by IDC Health Insights is a very good framework. The model is intended to develop clarity of vision, a common language, and a strategic road map for key leaders and innovators in the city's ecosystem. It is important for the city to work toward a balance in maturity across all measures described by the model. And hopefully we can continue this dialogue at our event for Healthier Cities in December, hosted at the EBC in Brussels, in order to export ideas or solutions from Sweden to an EU or International level.
Playing devil’s advocate, do you see any downside to the brave new world of digital healthcare?
It’s a fair question. We need to be careful to strike a balance between maintaining the integrity and trustworthiness of data gatherers and the acknowledged value of the data itself for things like population studies. There’s also a quality issue: if the data collected is not that good, it won’t be useful for healthcare organisations and could even be dangerous.
As far as citizens are concerned, I could see how the pressure to be in control of all your data could cause stress but to my mind the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Most, if not all, of us surely welcome the opportunity to take responsibility for our own health today and in future.
Speaking of which, do you use any healthcare apps?
Yes I do. I use RunKeeper, Bing Health & Fitness which I have connected to HealthVault. Evergreen is another app that offers real value not only to the individual but also to city employers, city mayors and business decision makers.
Thanks very much for your time, Mathias, and see you at Digital | Health Days 2014.
Face to face with AbbVie at Digital|Health Days 2014
With just a couple of weeks to go until Digital|Health Days 2014 in Stockholm, we’re delighted to be able to bring you this interview with Jan Arne Jakobsen. Jan is Managing Director of AbbVie Sweden, an increasingly dynamic, open-minded force in pharma and an enthusiastic supporter of our groundbreaking event. We talked to Jan about AbbVie’s particular perspective on digital health and patient focus…
Why is AbbVie so closely involved with Digital|Health Days 2014?
After last years' exciting event and subsequent meetings with some of the conference founders, we came to realise that the abundance of healthcare and IT players in Sweden and the Stockholm area in particular presents a growing opportunity. We intend to leverage new technologies to improve the quality of people's lives, and this is a great forum for stimulating new ideas and fostering new relationships. We were also happy to contribute to the goal of getting patients to play an increasing role in the conference.
How does digital health fit with Abbvie's vision?
AbbVie’s purpose is to make a remarkable impact on people's lives, and that increasingly entails combining breakthrough new therapies with innovations developed outside the drug development lab. For example, AbbVie and Telia-Sonera announced a joint initiative to develop digital services that will help patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) exercise better control over their disease and life situation. The services, to be rolled out in the fall of this year, will also be linked to the Swedish IBD quality register, providing a unique opportunity to improve care for individuals as well as the health care system as a whole.
A key aspect of Digital|Health Days is patient empowerment. AbbVie is clearly very patient-focused. Would you say you're exceptional for your industry?
I see that the entire industry is re-thinking the relationship with the true end-beneficiaries of our products and services. We at AbbVie have made this our single most important guiding principal.
What are the business benefits for AbbVie for such close patient involvement?
By putting needs of those dealing with diseases first, we create a trusting relationship with others involved in health-care delivery, and this opens the doors to better collaboration, increasing our ability to impact peoples' lives. As I see it, the more positive the impact we have with current medicines and solutions, the more sustainable our business model. And that makes AbbVie better able to grow and pursue new unmet medical needs by.
And the benefits for patients?
By seeing people affected by disease, in other words patients and everyone involved in their lives, as the key participants in healthcare, and always striving to get their perspectives and contributions, we will be able to secure true benefits for them.
Is there a potential downside for patients who allow pharma companies access to so much of their data?
In the end, it all revolves around trust. The industry must continue to build that trust by being transparent and truly living the patient-centered healthcare mantra.
AbbVie has a close relationship with e-Patient Dave. Why?
I would like to characterise the relationship between AbbVie and Dave as a respectful one. I really appreciate Dave's energetic and knowledgeable advocacy for better patient involvement in choices around their care, and I would suspect that Dave sees AbbVie as a trendsetter in the industry especially when it comes to focusing on patients.
Where do you think digital health is at today and what are your predictions for the future?
I believe the healthcare industry is still in the early days but with rapidly growing capabilities and willingness to experiment which is fantastic. The result is a large number of services, and I see this trend continuing. There are also an increasing number of projects to integrate services, medical journals and other data into new compelling solutions, efforts which for the most part have fallen short in the past. The next few years could be a turning point, and I think that Sweden could play a role in achieving some headway in this area, both in the public and private space.
How are you looking to benefit from attending Digital|Health Days 2014 for AbbVie and personally?
We are eager to stimulate ideas on new ways to help patients and meet potential collaborators. DH 2014 is a great networking forum, and it will provide stimulus that we can bring back to our day to day jobs in the various therapeutic areas within AbbVie.
How does digital health figure in your own life? (Do you use a fitness app for instance?)
Personally I've been using a fitness tracker. It has some wearable sensors including a wristband, and a mobile app. I am tracking and logging activity and a few other metrics. Though I don’t use it all the time, it it's helping to highlight some of my good and bad habits, nudging me toward the good ones. I hope I can keep it up!
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
We are planning an engaging, interactive "Track" on the first day of DH 2014. Hope to see many participants there!
Thanks Jan! See you at Digital|Health Days.
AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company with the focus and passion of a leading-edge biotech along with the expertise and structure of a long-established pharmaceutical leader. But innovation does not stop in AbbVie’s research labs. The company also looks for unmet needs of patients in their daily life, so that we can make the most positive impact beyond what our medicines provide. This makes AbbVie a good company to partner with as it knows the best solutions come from an open, collaborative approach that starts with understanding people first.
The AbbVie offices are in Solna, just north of central Stockholm.
+46 70 789 44 50