Digital Health Society Summit
Liz Ashall-Payne Colour-2

Liz Ashall-Payne

Founding CEO, ORCHA

Passionate about the opportunities that technology and particularly apps offer to improve health and care efficiencies and outcomes, Liz founded ORCHA, the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Application determined to present a way to offer much needed guidance to app developers to help raise app quality, as well as helping the public and professionals to confidently find and apply apps that could genuinely improve public, patient and organisational outcomes.
Initially a Speech and Language Therapist, Liz has almost 20 years NHS experience. She has successfully led innovative change and service transformation in complex health economies.
She has led national and European change programmes to deliver transformational shift and has experience of working collaboratively with Public Sector, Industry and Academia.

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Andy Bleaden

Director Ecosystem Development, ECHAlliance

Andy Bleaden has had long career in both funding and social care going back over 25 years and has been recently working in Greater Manchester at Stockport where he specialised in Adult Social Care, Robotics, Telehealth and Telemedicine, Regeneration and Dementia. He also formed alliances with pan European groups most recently with the EIP-AHA, Coral and Covenant for Demographic Change.
In addition, he has also been working as an External Expert for the European Commission since 2013 and also with the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) on the new Health KIC and also working for the new Urban Innovation Actions as an expert.
He brings a wealth of experience and skills in securing and management of strategic external funding, procurement, innovation funding and forming and development large and complex partnerships across Europe.

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Magda Chlebus

Executive Director Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA)

Magda Chlebus is Executive Director Scientific & Regulatory Affairs at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), representing the R&D-based pharmaceutical industry in Europe.
Magda and her team are in charge of following policy and legislative developments that influence the research and regulatory environments for the healthcare industry in Europe. This includes public private collaborations (inter alia the Innovative Medicines Initiative), enabling and sensitive technologies and the interface between new science and technology and regulation.
She joined EFPIA in 1995. Her experience covers public and government affairs mainly at EU level, on a range of legislative and non-legislative files in the area of research, development and access to medicines and enabling technologies. Magda, a Polish national, holds a Master Degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Warsaw.


René Coffeng

Engineering Manager,Mobile Digital Health team at GE Healthcare Finland.

René Coffeng is Engineering Manager in the Mobile Digital Health team at GE Healthcare in Finland.
During his 25 years in Finland he has been driving new technology development for the monitoring of vital signs and other physiological parameters. He has a background in embedded software and electronics and has been part of platforming of cardiac and respiratory parameters for internal sharing and OEM purposes.
Prior to that he worked in medical device companies in the Netherlands.
At GE Healthcare is active in different collaboration networks with adjacent medical device companies and suppliers. This includes working with companies co-located in the Health Innovation Village, and different innovation projects such as Connected Health with hospitals, research institutes like VTT and other partners.


Rachel Dunscombe

CEO of the NHS Digital Academy, Global Lead at KLAS Arch collaborative

Rachel Dunscombe is CEO of the NHS Digital Academy and global lead for the KLAS Arch collaborative – a group of organisations creating academic quality evidence for Digitisation. She was formerly the CIO of the Salford Royal/NCA Group one of the 2 most digitally mature organisations in the NHS. She has worked across the health, care system as well as in the private sector and Europe. She is currently visiting professor at Imperial College London and a member of the UK government’s AI Council.


Tomaž Gornik

CEO of Better, co-Chair of OpenEHR Foundation

Tomaž Gornik is an experienced manager of teams building world-class software products for more than 20 years. He has a proven track record delivering innovative turn-key solutions for large clients in telecommunications, finance and healthcare. He is always challenging teams to build better software using state-of-the-art technology, architectures and processes and has a good understanding of software platforms, architecture, deployment and business models.
Tomaž is CEO of Better and co-Chair of OpenEHR Foundation.

Kuva: Miikka Pirinen

Hannu Hämäläinen

Senior Advisor, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Finland

Hannu is promoting IHAN- fair data economy and the secondary use of social and health care data by building up data driven innovation ecosystems in well-being and health.
He was chosen in 2017 the second influential person in Finnish Healt Care by Mediuutiset.
He was a ministerial advisor and project manager over ten years in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health building the next generation innovative social and health care services with digitalisation. He has been building and implementing several national strategies like the eHealth and eWelfare strategy and the Health growth strategy for RDI. He was developing the information management for social and health care reform and was leading the preparation of the enabling regulation for the secondary use of social and health care data.
He has the experience over thirty years in the social and health care national ict-systems, registers and statistics in Finland working as the director of division, innovation director and the leading advisor of innovations in National Institute for Health and Welfare and National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health. He has studied and published several articles and publications on innovations processes, social and public innovations.
He has been the chair and the member of several national committees and boards in innovations, eHealth and eWelfare. He has been also active in several international committees, working groups, advisory boards in EC/SANCO, EC/DG INFSO, in the Board of Directors of European Health Telematics Association (EHTEL) and Nordic Countries.

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Prof. Dipak Kalra, PhD, FRCGP, FBCS

President,  The European Institute for Innovation through Health Data (i~HD)

Professor Dipak Kalra, PhD, FRCGP, FBCS, plays a leading international role in research and development of Electronic Health Records, including the reuse of EHRs for research. A former London general practitioner, he has over the past 25 years led the development of standards on EHR interoperability, personal health records and data protection, and leads multiple EU Horizon 2020 and IMI projects in these areas. Dipak is President of The European Institute for Innovation through Health Data (www.i-hd.eu). This is a multi-stakeholder not for profit body that supports healthcare and research organisations, and patients, to capture and reuse better quality health data. Dipak is Professor of Health Informatics at University College London, and Visiting Professor at the University of Gent.


Mikko Kauppinen

Village Chief, Health Innovation Village & Energy Village

Creator of Health Innovation Village at GE, Energy Village – startup ecosystems and open innovation platforms for #digitalhealth and smart energy solutions.
Innovation ecosystem developer with a passion to create new businesses and startups. Consulting large corporates on creating startup ecosystems. Co-founder and investor in startup companies.
Previously, finance director with diverse industry background and vast international business experience.


Miikka Kiiski

Business development executive,IBM Finland

Miikka Kiiski is a business development executive at IBM Finland, currently responsible or running the Watson Health Center facility in Helsinki and developing IBM’s healthcare partner ecosystem. Miikka has an extensive background helping both public and private sector clients grow for over 25 years. Currently working closely with the startup ecosystem. Miikka has an M.Sc in engineering. He enjoys fencing, cycling, reads history and is interested in platform economy and digital transformation.

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Brian O’Connor

Chair, ECHAlliance

After growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Brian developed his career as a consultant, manager and investor. He has worked in the UK, US and Hong Kong and has vast experience as a company director in a variety of industries.
He is currently providing strategic advice to Governments, International organizations and companies on the challenges facing healthcare in general and specifically on the Connected Health opportunity. He created the European Connected Health Alliance, a not for profit organisation which connections Governments, Industry,Research Institutes, Health Services, Patient Groups etc The Mission is to listen to the needs of patients and citizens and to introduce solutions, to provide better care.

Maritta Perälä-Heape

Maritta Perälä-Heape

Professor of practice, Director, Centre for Health and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu,

Maritta Perälä-Heape, Professor of practice in data-enabled health care and innovation ecosystems; Director, Centre for Health and Technology (CHT; www.cht.oulu.fi), Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland. She is managing the strategic R&D&I collaboration between academia, business and public healthcare sector (OuluHealth ecosystem; www.ouluhealth.fi). She is actively contributing to the policies on health-related data practices and competence building in exploiting the next generation data sets for the development of future predictive service provisions. The current focus is in building national research and innovation knowledge Hub (DigiHealth Hub) in Finland, and creating synergies with European innovation partnerships and smart specialization strategies. She acts as an expert in several national and international boards and steering groups.


Sami Perälä

Development Manager, Well Being Technology, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences

Mr. Sami Perälä has degrees in nursing, operating room and anaesthesiological nursing and paramedical nursing (Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences), as well as Master degree in health sciences (University of Kuopio). He is also a qualified teacher in vocational education (Tampere University of Applied Sciences) and has a degree in professional development in management (University of Tampere). He worked with South Ostrobothnia Health Technology Development Centre as an expert for seven years and then as an executive director for twelve years. He was the locomotive for South Ostrobothnia becoming one of the first eHealth regions in Europe. He has lot of experience different projects in local, national and international level. Currently he is the Developing Manager of Well-being Technologies at the SeAMK.


Ion-Gheorghe Petrovai

Co-Founder and Project Manager, FreshBlood HealthTech Community

Ion-Gheorghe Petrovai MD has an extensive experience in healthcare intrapreneurship, entrepreneurship and business development, that he uses as Co-Founder and Project Manager at FreshBlood HealthTech Community, an initiative that brings together and supports innovators in healthcare also as EITHealth RIS Hub for Romania and driver of the Transilvanian Ecosystem part of the ECHAlliance.
Regularily an invited speaker on healthcare innovation at medical conferences, he helps in validation and go to market for Romanian and Eastern European Healthcare Startups that are part of the FreshBlood Support Network and supports institutions that want to implement healthcare innovation initiatives/teaching programs.
Always looking for and developing the people that can and want to improve the healthcare ecosystem.

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Tapani Piha

Special Adviser to the Finnish EU Presidency, Former Head of Unit at the European Commission

Tapani Piha worked in the European Commission from 2001 and served as Head of Unit for 14 years until August 2018. During this time he was responsible for digital transformation in healthcare, building digital cross-border exchange for e-prescriptions and patient data, setting up the European Reference Networks for rare diseases, implementation of the Directive on patients’ rights in cross-border health care, developing policies on Health Technology Assessment (HTA), health strategy, health information, expert advice for health systems, health law, health research coordination, and worked also Head of Unit for Human Resources.
Since 2019, he has advised the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in relation to the Finnish EU Presidency. He also belongs as Special Adviser to the Fipra International Network.
After completing a medical degree in 1980, he studied epidemiology, interventions on health behaviours, health promotion and cardiovascular disease. He served the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, and coordinated Finland’s EU policies in health in 1995-2001. In the World Health Organization, he worked as Regional Adviser in the European Regional Office in 1989-94.


Bleddyn Rees

Deputy Chair and Digital Health Society, Digital Health Expert and Lawyer, ECHAlliance

Bleddyn is a vastly experienced commercial lawyer with 30 years experience of outsourcings, privatisations and complex contracting and projects. He has a unique CV for a private sector lawyer, having spent three and a half years on secondment as General Counsel of the Commercial Directorate of the Department of Health.
On his secondment to the Department of Health he advised the Minsters (Prime Minister, Secretary of State, Ministers of State), Special Advisors and NHS organisations and gave evidence to the Health Select Committee and the Public Accounts Committee. Bleddyn has a very detailed understanding of the UK health sector and regulatory framework.

Sanna Rimpiläinen

Dr Sanna Rimpiläinen

Head of the DHI’s Research and Knowledge Management team, Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI), Glasgow

Dr Sanna Rimpiläinen works at the Digital Health and Care Institute (DHI), Glasgow, heading the DHI’s Research and Knowledge Management team and overseeing DHI’s research, knowledge and data management activities. She also leads on college engagement and workforce development agendas for the Institute, and sits in two governmental strategy groups. Sanna oversees the DHI’s master’s studentships provision in digital health and care and works to strengthen that domain across the Scottish education landscape.
Sanna has a PhD in Education. Her work at the DHI pulls together the diverse strands of her career, including her interdisciplinary research expertise, work with different aspects of technological innovations from their inception and production to appropriation and use as part of diverse learning and working practices.


Roberta Savli

Senior Manager in the Healthcare Systems department, EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry and Association

Roberta Savli works as Senior Manager in the Healthcare Systems department of EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry and Association. She has more than 10-year experience in the EU Health policy-making, having worked previously in a patient organisation, in the European Commission and the European Parliament.

SItra. Photo: Miikka Pirinen

Jaana Sinipuro

Project Director, Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund

Jaana Sinipuro is a Project Director at Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. She is an experienced ICT and management professional and a dialogue-loving doer, currently leading a human-driven data economy project called IHAN®. With her team she aims to build a foundation for a consent-based method of fair data exchange and to set up European-level rules and guidelines for a new kind of data economy.
Prior to IHAN®, Jaana managed an extensive Digital Health HUB project creating a new operating model for a one-stop shop for collecting and distributing well-being data. By reforming legislation for the secondary use of healthcare data and offering high-quality data and services, Finland aims to be one of the most appealing countries for pharma and healthcare R&D&I. Before joining Sitra, Jaana worked as a Senior Advisor at SAS Institute. She is a certified Enterprise Architect with over 20 years of experience within data, analytics and knowledge management and has been quoted in numerous publications.


Valentina Tageo

International Projects Director, ECHAlliance

Valentina graduated in Political Economics and obtained a Master in European Project Management. Valentina has over 12 years’ experience in international project management and proposal writing under several funding programmes (e.g. FP7, H2020, INTERREG, URBACT, among others).
She has been working as Research Project Manager at different healthcare, research and industry organizations (e.g. Technical University of Milan, IESE Business School, Badalona Serveis Assistencials, Ab.Acus srl and Open Evidence), as well as providing grant preparation and management services as independent consultant to public administrations like Barcelona City Council and the Catalan Agency for Health Information, Assessment and Quality (AQuAS). Valentina’s fields of interest and research are digital health and social innovation and transformation of public services.
At ECHAlliance she leads the International Projects Unit, coordinates the operational activities of the Digital Health Society initiative and designs the content of international events.
Lastly, Valentina recently funded a research and consultancy firm promoting digital social innovation in Barcelona (Wise Angle).


Priit Tohver

Advisor, E-Services Innovation at the Ministry of Social Affairs in Estonia

Dr Priit Tohver, MD, is the Advisor for E-Services Innovation at the Ministry of Social Affairs in Estonia, overseeing the digital transformation and innovation of health and welfare systems in Estonia. Priit’s key function is to direct global cooperation in e-health between Estonia and a variety of stakeholders. He is the official representative of Estonia in the eHealth Network and the Global Digital Health Partnership. He thus works closely on cross-border interoperability issues both for the primary and secondary use of health data. He is part of the core group leading the effort to reform the secondary use of health and social data within Estonia. Priit is a doctor by training and has previously served as an advisor to the Estonian Mission in Geneva on diplomatic matters related to health, development and trade, covering organizations such as WHO, UNCTAD and WTO. He also has six years of experience as a civil society and global health activist, having also served as the Regional Director for Europe at the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA). He is a member of the World Health Organization Roster of Experts on Digital Health.


Mark Van Gils

Research professor, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Mark van Gils is research professor at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. With more than 20 years of experience in health data analysis, he guides research in developing artificial intelligence solutions that support decision making for care of complex diseases. Mark has worked with renowned university hospitals and health tech companies, and has extensive experience in coordinating EU projects. Alongside working at VTT he is an adjunct professor at Aalto University. Through his work, van Gils is contributing to a future where the emphasis of healthcare is on disease prevention instead of treatment. Ultimately, he finds sharing the joy of discovery with highly skilled experts to be the best part of it all.