Maximising AI’s Potential in Healthcare

Maximising AI’s Potential in Healthcare

Insights from the Digital Health Society’s Breakfast Discussion at HLTH Europe 2024

AI, Digital Health

The Digital Health Society, in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson, hosted an engaging breakfast discussion on Wednesday, 19th June 2024, during the HLTH Europe Inaugural event in Amsterdam.
This gathering brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including Chief Clinical Information Officers (CCIOs), Chief Information Officers (CIOs), technologists, healthcare professionals, policymakers, patient advocates, and entrepreneurs, to explore the transformative potential of AI in healthcare.
The event was chaired by Bleddyn Rees, Chair of the Digital Health Society, who guided the discussion through a series of key questions and themes.


Key Discussion Points

Recognising Existing Excellence in Healthcare

While acknowledging the challenges faced by the healthcare sector, attendees emphasised the importance of recognising the excellent clinical treatments and services currently being delivered. This perspective ensures a balanced view, highlighting successes amidst the ongoing push for technological advancement.


Leveraging AI for Health Equity

The global demand for healthcare services and training is immense, meaning we need to make the most of technology and AI to meet these needs effectively. The discussion underscored the straightforward and administrative uses of AI, advocating for their prioritisation to enhance health equity. Clinical AI applications, however, require greater collaboration among life sciences, technology sectors, and healthcare payers to identify and implement the most impactful use cases.


Digitising Evidence and Protocols

To fully utilise existing medical evidence and protocols, digitisation is crucial. This shift not only ensures better accessibility but also enhances the application of these resources in everyday healthcare practices.


Regulating Outcomes, Not Technology

Healthcare is already a heavily regulated field. Participants suggested that the focus should be on regulating outcomes rather than the technology itself. This approach promotes innovation while ensuring safety and efficacy.


Building Confidence in AI

A recurring theme was the necessity of building and maintaining confidence in AI among all stakeholders, including healthcare professionals (HCPs), patients, citizens, and policymakers. Clear communication about the benefits and functionalities of AI is essential to reduce fear and build trust. Additionally, educating HCPs, especially those who did not receive technological training during their initial qualification, is critical.


Enhancing Efficiency and Reducing Clinician Workload

AI holds significant potential to improve healthcare efficiency, particularly in areas such as patient selection for clinical trials and reducing the cognitive load on clinicians. By automating routine tasks, AI can free up valuable time for HCPs, helping to alleviate stress and prevent burnout.


Risk Management and AI Performance

The use of technology in healthcare should be viewed as an aspect of risk management. Notably, AI solutions like Google’s Med-PaLM 2, which achieve almost a 90% pass rate in medical examinations, represent a considerable advancement compared to the traditional 60% pass rate for HCPs.


Ethical Collaboration for AI Deployment

Effective deployment of AI in healthcare necessitates collaboration across life sciences, technology, and healthcare sectors. This partnership must prioritise ethics, privacy, transparency, and mitigating data bias to improve patient outcomes. No single organisation or sector can achieve this in isolation; hence, collaborative efforts are paramount.


Sustaining Trust Post-Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased trust in health science, a sentiment that must be preserved and strengthened. All stakeholders should actively work to maintain and enhance this trust, ensuring that the lessons learned continue to benefit healthcare delivery.


Empowering Patients Through Technology

Technology must empower patients to self-manage their health, especially between healthcare appointments. This empowerment can lead to better outcomes, improved well-being, and enhanced prevention measures. Moreover, the democratisation of health data access is vital for fostering patient engagement and autonomy.



The discussion featured a range of experts who provided invaluable insights into the potential and challenges of AI in healthcare:

  • Angel Martin, Head Digital Health Advocacy EMEA, Johnson & Johnson
  • Anze Droljc, Business Development Director, Better
  • Ashley Mancuso, VP Medtech BISO & Product Safety, Johnson & Johnson
  • Claudia Herben, Global Head of Strategy and Operations, Johnson & Johnson Technology
  • Dean Andrews, Head of Developer Relations, Data Platforms, InterSystems
  • Jim Swanson, CIO and Main Executive Board, Johnson & Johnson
  • Jon Warner, US Ambassador, ECHAlliance
  • Liesbeth Siderius, Board Member, Rare Care World
  • Maarten Walravens, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, AZ Sint-Maarten
  • Nadine Hachach-Haram, Founder & CEO, Proximie
  • Nancy Mastroianni, Head of Investors & Networks, HLTH
  • Nick Schneider, Head of Division 511 on new technologies and data use, German Federal Ministry of Health
  • Rich Scarfo, President, HLTH
  • Richard Bergstrom, VP European Affairs, IQVIA
  • Shankar Sridharan, Chief Clinical Information Officer, Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • Susan Thomas, Director, Global Clinical Lead & Clinical Lead Health AI, Google Health
  • Dominik Boeke, Managing Director, President of Pharma Business, Sidekick Health

Looking Forward

The breakfast discussion at HLTH Europe 2024 highlighted the critical role of AI in transforming healthcare.HLTH and VIVE and now HLTH Europe provided great opportunities for multi- stakeholders to meet and share knowledge around the events. The insights and contributions from our esteemed attendees will undoubtedly shape our future initiatives and collaborations.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all participants and look forward to continuing these important conversations at future “Food for Thought” events.


The Digital Health Society


Over the last five years, the Digital Health Society, our partner I~HD, with the support of Johnson & Johnson,Microsoft and MSD have organised seven multi-stakeholder Round Tables to help develop the design of the European Health Data Space.
You can access the published reports here: Health Data Round Tables Update.


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