South DENMARK eHealth ecosystem is ECHAlliance Ecosystem of The Month – September

13th September 2021

The nice feature of the ecosystem of the month is to showcase to our growing community of 20,000 experts,  860 organisations and 70 Health Ecosystems some of our older ecosystems. The South DENMARK eHealth ecosystem is one of the shining stars in the network of ECHAlliance ecosystems and it is little wonder with strong regional stakeholders, great champions, 4* EIP-AHA reference site status, proven EU funding collaboration across many well known projects and strong technology readiness levels matched with clinical excellence. This was the first ecosystem group I ever worked with many years ago and it is great to showcase them now.

1. What is the approximate stakeholder breakdown of your ecosystem?

The South DENMARK eHealth ecosystem has a long history as an established ecosystem with strong collaboration across quadruple helix partners. The ecosystem includes: 

Government/health provider partners such as The Region of Southern Denmark: Regional Development, Health Innovation Centre, Odense University Hospital, Hospital of Southern Jutland, Hospital of South West Jutland, Lillebaelt Hospital, Psychiatric hospital, Psychiatric Services, Cross-Sector Collaboration Department and General Practice Department. As well as the region’s 22 municipalities and the NIMS Network for International Employees in South Denmark municipalities. In the ecosystem, we also host the annual WHINN – Week of Health and INNovation conference.

Industry partners are represented by members in South Denmark-based offices for clusters and industry support: Danish Life Science Cluster, South Denmark European Office, Healthcare DENMARK, Enterprise Europe Network, as well as MedCom and sundhed.dk.

Research and Academia partners include University of Southern Denmark (SDU), University College Lillebaelt, University College Syd, Centre for Innovative Medical Technology (CIMT), The Danish Centre for Clinical Artificial Intelligence (CAI-X) and Centre for Clinical Robotics (CCR).

Civil Society partners through strong collaborations with different patient associations such as The Diabetes Association, The Heart Association, eHealth City Svendborg, multiple user panels (patients and relatives) and Danish Nurses Organisation.

2. Who are the top 3 champions from your Ecosystem?

When it comes to SMEs, 3 champions stand out in the South Denmark ecosystem

·       Applikator (documentation, communication and planning system for care professionals)

·       Gibotech (automation and intelligent logistics)

·       Abena (sensors and decision support)

3. What EU funding/collaboration are you involved with, or you would like to be part of?

Across the ecosystem partners, we have a strong history of active collaboration in EU projects and networks across most EU funding schemes such as H2020, CIP, FP7, 3rd Health, INTERREG, ERASMUS+. Key projects include but are not limited to: ACCESS&ACCELERATION, DEMANTEC, DELIVER, DISH, EURIPHI, EXCELIVING, HANC, Health-CAT, ImpleMentAll, JADECARE, MAST, MasterMind, PROMISS, ProVaHealth, SILVERPCP, SITless, SmartCare and WIPP. 

We will continue to be active in international projects to share knowledge and experiences and co-create strong and valuable solutions for the future healthcare sector.

4. What are the key priorities and themes for your ecosystem?

Across our diverse ecosystem partners we have many thematic focus areas, however some of the highest priorities across partners are:

  • Digitalisation and health data
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Healthcare robotics
  • Personalised treatment and medicine
  • Mental health
  • Green transformation
  • Agility and resilience
  • Implementation and change management
  • Digital Skills

5. What is your primary strength as an ecosystem?

Our primary strength lies in a long history of strong collaboration across sectors and joint focus areas and priorities as well as a strategic approach when it comes to health innovation, exemplified by the Regional Innovation Strategy and Digitalisation Strategy, the Regional Health Vision and the Regional Growth Strategy. The geographic proximity of key partners in the Odense Health Innovation hub and the Odense Robotics hub is a key factor for enabling the strong collaboration as well.

When it comes to connected health, there is a significant technological readiness level in the Region, which is strongly enabled by a well-established infrastructure and collaboration agreements with a focus on person-centred integrated care processes, e.g. through the SAM:BO agreement based on the MedCom standards for electronic messaging adopted by all hospitals, municipalities and most GPs in the region. This backbone for digital communication as well as the Shared Medication Record and the ehealth portal Sundhed.dk and regional initiatives and projects make up the foundation for the strong interconnected digital communication.

When it comes to successful innovative solutions, our ecosystem partners also have a strong focus on participatory design, which takes its point of departure in the needs of the users and the work- and patient flows that solutions will be integrated into. Beyond technology, we need to understand why we develop new solutions and which value they will bring to our citizens, healthcare staff and healthcare sector. And we focus on co-creating solutions for the future healthcare sector. For this purpose the Region has established the Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark as the central innovation unit which support regional partners in their local innovation efforts and coordinates the regional health innovation ecosystem.

6. Who are your clinical champions either hospitals, clinicians, specialities

We have very strong clinical champions in our regional ecosystem in our 4 main hospital units who have strengths in different fields. For example, Odense University Hospital has a strong collaboration with the University of Southern Denmark, with whom they run the Centre for innovative Medical Technology (CIMT), The Danish Centre for Clinical Artificial Intelligence (CAI-X) and Centre for Clinical Robotics (CCR). The hospital has experience from several acknowledged international projects. The Centre for Telepsychiatry in the Region of Southern Denmark is also a main player in Europe when it comes to mental health, e.g. through the ImpleMentAll project. In addition, our hospital units Lillebaelt Hospital, Hospital of South West Jutland and Hospital of Southern Jutland each have their strong specialties.

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