Founding CEO, ORCHA
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.
Special Advisor, European Patients’ Forum
Nicola Bedlington is Special Advisor at the European Patients’ Forum. Until recently she was Secretary General and joined as its first Executive Director in June 2006. She was the Founding Director of the European Disability Forum, an umbrella organisation uniting over 70 European disability NGOs to advocate for the human rights and inclusion of disabled citizens in Europe (1996 to 1999), and prior to this she worked as an external expert for the European Commission, heading the NGO unit within the HELIOS Programme (1991 to 1996).
From 2004 to 2006, she worked for the Swiss Government, leading the Environment and Schools
Initiatives Secretariat, an international government-based network set up by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development focusing on innovation, action research and policy development in the field of Education for Sustainable Development.
Whilst in Switzerland, she has also worked as an independent consultant/evaluator, specialising in European social and development policy and health advocacy.
Nicola studied business and human resource management in the UK and France.
Head of e-Health and Cybersecurity, Ministry of Health, Croatia
Hrvoje Belani, MSc EE, acts as a head of e-Health and Cybersecurity within Independent Sector for IT and e-Health at Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia. He is experienced software engineer, ICT expert and project manager in e-health, representing Croatia in various international, EU-funded projects, like epSOS, INCA, EXPAND and ASSESS CT. He is MC member of ENJECT network and a member of eHealth Security Experts Group within ENISA.
He gained his Master of Science degree in electrical engineering, majoring in telecommunications and informatics, from University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, and currently enrolled to PhD study. He has finished Academy for Political Development of the Council of Europe, the UN Academy and Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education. He is also an adjunct senior lecturer at VERN’ University of Applied Sciences in Zagreb.
Deputy Director, Technology, Digital and Innovation for Health and Social Services, Welsh Government
Fliss Bennee is the Deputy Director for Technology, Digital and Innovation for Health and Social Services in the Welsh Government.
Before joining the Welsh Government, Fliss has worked in the UK civil service and the financial sector. Career highlights include roles as the head of data governance for the UK government, work on technical and data standards, developing the first open data principles and technology code of practice in GDS and leading a national review of the third sector.
In her current role, Fliss is responsible for the development of policy and strategy for digital, data and technology in health and social care in Wales. She is a trustee-director of the open source project Corteza
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.
Chief Technology Officer, Digital Health & Care Institute Scotland
Chal leads on our technical strategy and is responsible for the way we support and deliver technical innovation, by applying systems thinking and methodologies in support of our DHI innovation model. He is devoted to the idea that citizens can be empowered to take an active role in their own wellbeing. Chal believes digital health offers tools to achieve this, and the DHI has the fresh perspective necessary to reconceive of the relationship between the citizen and those who might care for them.
Director, Centre of Health Technology, University of Plymouth, UK
Dr Chatterjee (aka AC) (BEng, MSc, PhD, MBCS, FHEA) works as Associate Professor of Digital Health & Education & Head of Digital Education & Dy Director of CHT, University of Plymouth, UK. He is the coordinator for the South West interdisciplinary Technology Consortium for Health and Care (SWITCH), which is a digital health ecosystem for the South West of England. As part of this initiative we have brought together a range of stakeholders (Hospitals, Primary Care, Councils, Businesses) to facilitate knowledge mobilisation, capacity and capability building in the South West of England. He is also the Deputy Director of Centre of Health Technology and the Ehealth Productivity & Innovation in Cornwall & Isle of Scilly project. His current research interests are to explore (i) If and how rapidly evolving digital technologies facilitate capacity building for sharing and consuming practices of technology use in healthcare and Education (ii) how to improve the use, adoption and diffusion of decentralised and disruptive technologies to deliver contextual and personalised healthcare (iii) addressing implementation and evaluation challenges across increasingly distributed health technology ecosystems.
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.
General Secretary, HL7 Foundation
Catherine Chronaki is the General Secretary of the HL7 Foundation, active in eHealth Policy and Standardization initiatives. She led eStandards that developed a roadmap for collaborative standards development in large-scale eHealth projects, Trillium Bridge that examined the feasibility of the transatlantic exchange of patient summaries, and Trillium II that advanced international patient summaries (IPS) standards with an innovative global community of practice for digital health innovation. Currently, Catherine participates in the FAIR4Health project that uses HL7 FHIR to deliver FAIR datasets. The just-started Gatekeeper project explores HL7 FHIR IPS in the Web of Things. Catherine currently serves as vice president for Working Groups at the European Federation of Medical Informatics and on the Digital Health Society Task Force #1.
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.
Director, Digital Health Observatory and Coalition of the Willing
Technical Engineer, and Graduate in Psychology. After working as a Clinical Psychologist in a General Hospital, in 1979, he was elected mayor of Manresa (Spain). In 1988 he began his career as civil servant in the European Commission in Brussels, where amongst other projects he led EURES employment network. From 1994 to 1999 he was Secretary General of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament.
In June of 2004 he was named General Secretary of the Department of Health of the Government of Catalunya. In September 2005 the Government requested that he start up the “Bioregion of Catalonia” (Biotechnology) and from January 2007 to May 2013 has been CEO of TicSalut Foundation (ICT Health).from the till April 2017 has been Director of “mHealth” at Mobile World Capital Barcelona.
Social Research Director – Rare Barometer Programme Lead, EURORDIS-Rare Disease Europe
Sandra Courbier is Social Research Director – Rare Barometer Programme Lead at EURORDIS-Rare Disease Europe, a non-profit alliance of over 800 rare disease patient organisations from over 70 countries. She is running the Rare Barometer programme, a survey programme that aims to collect rare disease patients’ perspectives to support evidence-based advocacy at EURORDIS. She has recently published a paper presenting the results of a large quantitative survey on rare disease patients’ perspectives on data sharing and data protection together with the recommendations derived from the survey. She participated in several European Commission-funded projects with a role of facilitating the generation of rare disease patient opinions on ethical, legal and social issues. Prior to joining EURORDIS, Sandra worked for the French Government information service obtaining a broad experience of health-related surveys and studies, public communication and public affairs.
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.
Industry Executive for Health and Lifescience, Microsoft Western Europe
Mathias Ekman is Industry Executive for Health and Lifescience at Microsoft Western Europe. His role is to work with key stakeholders at our Governments as well as innovative start-ups to accelerate the digital transformation. The goal is to democratize AI in order to address some of the hardest challenges in society.
He joined Microsoft in 2014, prio to this he held several leading positions at different consultant companies working with clients in the field of connected vehicle, advanced analytics in the financial sector as well establishing solution for screening of colorectal cancer.
Mathias holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics focusing on large scale computing for solving problems explained by quantum physics
Managing Director, Cluster Saúde de Galicia (CSG) – Galician Health Cluster
Gisela Garcia-Alvarez, Doctor in Biochemistry by education and citizen of the world by
vocation, has more than 15 years of experience in health systems in Europe and Asia.
Her interest in management led her to direct the first health and life sciences cluster in
Singapore in 2010, combining it with her research and teaching activities. Life brought
her to Galicia where she works as Managing Director of the Galician Health Cluster
since end of 2016.
In three years, she has developed a successful internationalization strategy of the
Galician healthcare and social care companies, attracting public funding and
investment for the ecosystem and the region. She has also placed CSG as a direct
channel of communication between regulators, providers and users.
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.
Chief Executive Officer, Kuopio Health
Passionate developer of innovation ecosystems with over 20 years of extensive background in a variety of executive and expert roles in business development and research organizations. Currently Aki is working as a CEO of Kuopio Health Co-op, which is an open innovation ecosystem committed to promoting well-being, food industry and healthcare technology competence, research and business life as well as health care industry awareness. Kuopio Health conforms to an open innovation model in combining the public sector, the academic world, business life and end-users enabling the creation of new solutions and networks. It provides excellent healthcare expertise and training together with a quality operating environment and business networks for Finnish and global healthcare technology companies and innovators.
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.
Programme Lead, National Data Resource & Digital Health Ecosystem Wales
Paul has a talent and passion for turning data into intelligence and using this to improve performance. Paul worked for the Royal Navy, Revlon PLC and Lloyds TSB in various intelligence, modelling, finance and transformation roles. As Assistant Director for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust Paul and was the senior link with informatics and clinical directors. Paul also led a programme for NHS Improvement, to transform productivity, costing and value-based healthcare across England. Paul is currently leading the National Data Resource and the Digital Health Ecosystem Wales programmes for the NHS in Wales.
Head, Medical Evidence Generation Primary Care at Sanofi
Angela is a passionate professional in the field of Real World Evidence and advanced analytics with 20 years of experience in clinical as well as epidemiologic research. In her most recent assignment as head of evidence generation within primary care at Sanofi Angela is responsible for the generation of medical evidence in particular leveraging existing real world data and advanced analytics including machine learning for the primary care portfolio. Further she is involved in the data generation strategy leveraging wearables and digital solutions. Angela held several positions within Biopharma and Academia spanning from scientific research , project management, business development and business operations. Before embarking on a career in Biopharma Angela worked as an epidemiologist for the German National Research Center for Environment and Health conducting observational studies of particulate air pollution and cardiovascular health. She holds a MSc in Applied Nutrition, a MPH in Epidemiology as well as a PhD in Environmental Medicine and recently completed an executive MBA.
Project Manager, Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia, Finland
Sanna Inkeri works as a Project Manager at the Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia, Finland. She is currently leading an Interreg Europe funded project called INTENCIVE (Innovation and Technology Enhancing Customer Oriented Health Services) which aims at improving quality and accessibility of health services for all citizens in the ageing society through user-oriented and innovation-driven health technology. Sanna has a master’s degree (Econ.& Bus. Adm.) in International Business and several years of experience working with a variety of international projects on different fields.
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.
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.
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.
Commercial + Marketing Excellence Lead, Johnson & Johnson
Angela is currently the Commercial + Marketing Excellence Lead for Johnson & Johnson EMEA
Medical Devices sector – responsible for driving the internal transformation of the J&J OneMD Commercial + Marketing effectiveness standards, tools, thinking & culture. This includes championing the discipline and approach of cross-functional, integrated planning to better serve customers. She also leads Data Strategy development for EMEA MD – enabling data as an asset and exploring new data governance models to deliver better patient outcomes, including from digital health solutions.
Most recently, Angela was the Marketing Director of LISTERINE®, AVEENO®, JOHNSON’S® Body
Care and o.b.® brands at Johnson & Johnson Consumer China; leading the cross-functional team to improve personal healthcare routines. Additionally, she served as Marketing Excellence (Mx) Champion for JJCC, helping bolster marketing competencies and core skills for the organization.
Since joining Johnson & Johnson in 2003, Angela has consistently demonstrated the ability to build high performing teams, develop talent, and deliver robust results. She has served in roles of increasing responsibility across a variety of in-line and strategic marketing positions, spanning numerous Consumer categories including oral care, OTC, beauty and baby. Additionally, she has a strong track record for driving strategic innovation and digital strategies.
Angela is a “Double Hoo,” having graduated with an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia’s
Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. She
continues to stay connected to her alma mater as a guest lecturer and through various activities including recruiting.
Senior Manager, Global Health at EY
As part of EY’s Global Health team, Emily works with health systems and organisation around the world to develop and implement health technologies, including everything from artificial intelligence, blockchain solutions, health information platforms, EMRs and more. Emily has an academic background in clinical informatics, including a clinical informatics research fellowship with the Stanford University School of Medicine, and has 10 years’ experience delivering technology-enabled transformation programmes. Emily is passionate about contributing to the developing body of literature on digital health and has peer-reviewed publications in the International Journal of Medical Informatics, Applied Clinical Informatics, and Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
President, Board at the Shared Services of the Portuguese Ministry of Health (
Prof. Martins is an Internal Medicine Specialist. He obtained his PhD degree from the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge with a thesis on “The use of Mobile ICT in clinical Settings”. He holds a Master in Management from the University of Cambridge on “How to teach Management and Leadership to Medical Students” and a Masters in HIV/AIDS from the University of Barcelona. He has several
publications in the area of Mobile computing in healthcare and many conference presentations/keynotes in the area of eHealth.
He is the President of the Board of SPMS the Shared Services and eHealth/IT authority of the Ministry of Health, since April 2013 until present date, after having served for 2 years as Adjunct for Health IT to the Health Secretary of State of Portugal. He was responsible for setting up the Health Information Sharing Platform for Electronic Health Records in Portugal, Nationwide ePrescription/eDispensation, national vaccination records, and many other national ehealth projects. In the past he has worked as CMIO – Chief Medical Information Officer at Hospital Fernando Fonseca for 5 years. He started and coordinated for 3 years the Center for Investigation and Creativity in Informatics, where he supervised projects in robotics, mobile computing and database exploration and intelligent systems. He is currently studying for Master in Administrative Law (Universidade Católica Portuguesa).
Since 2018 he was elected as co-chair of the eHealth Network, the EU body responsible for eHealth Policy in the Union, by Member-States and was Portugal representative since 2012. He has been participant in several EU funded interoperability projects, like epSOS and others and the coordinator of EXPAND thematic Network, and is presently the coordinator of the joint action from EC to work on fostering eHealth in Europe with more than 27 Members States (eHAction).
He has been teaching health professionals’ health management, leadership and medical informatics in Universidade at Beira Interior (UBI)
Director General, International Affairs, Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Veli-Mikko Niemi has been Director General and the Head of the International Affairs Unit of the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health since January 2018. The unit is tasked with developing, planning and coordinating the Ministry’s International and EU affairs. From 2014-2017, Dr Niemi worked as Director General of the Ministry’s Department for Promotion of Welfare and Health. Dr Niemi worked as Director of Food Safety at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry from 2007-2014, and before that as Deputy Director General. He also worked as a national expert at the European Commission from 1998-2000.
Head, Real World Evidence, Senior Director, Janssen Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA)
Enkeleida has over a dozen of years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry in various roles in the field of Patient-Reported Outcomes (PRO), Health Outcomes (HO), Market Access (MA) and Real-World Evidence (RWE). She currently works with Janssen (pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson) as Senior Director, Head of RWE for the EMEA region. Prior to this role Enkeleida worked with Eli Lilly, UCB, as well as in consultancy (MSource and Business & Decision). Outside of these organizations, Enkeleida has also been chairperson of the RA Working Group within the Critical-Path (C-Path) PRO Consortium, a steering committee member of the PCORI project “Integrating Patient Centred Outcomes in Arthritis Clinical Care”, a contributor in various Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) projects, and finally contributor to the Outcomes Measurement in Rheumatology Clinical Trials (OMERACT) initiative. Before working in the pharmaceutical Industry, Enkeleida worked in various industries as consumer psychologist with a special interest on behavioral economics. She holds an Executive Master degree from the Solvay Business School in Marketing and Advertising and a University degree in Psychology from Université Libre de Bruxelles, in Belgium.
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.
Head of Development, Vaasa Hospital District
Tony Pellfolk, PhD, acts as the head of development at Vaasa Hospital District (Finland). He has worked with interdisciplinary research and development in different positions during the last 20 years and the last 10 years with management. Tony has worked within social care, health care, specialized hospital care and in the university sector. Welfare technology constitutes a major opportunity to maintain and improve the welfare system. Our joint vision within Vaasa Welfare technology ecosystem is to bring technology to people in order to enhance welfare.
Director, Centre for Health and Technology at 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Programme Executive, Digital Health Ecosystem Wales
Catrin Rees is the Programme Executive for the Digital Health Ecosystem Wales (DHEW) which is a partnership between the Life Sciences Hub Wales and the NHS Wales Informatics Service. The aim of DHEW is to make it easier and faster to adopt digital healthcare technologies in NHS and Social Care in Wales. Catrin is an experienced marketing and project officer, having spent most of her career in the media training and special effects industry before moving over to digital health at the start of the year.
Director, Stichting Mijn Data Onze Gezondheid
Gaston Remmers is a Dutch Patient Advocate with Inspire2Live with experiences in osteoarthritis, heart attack and cancer of the tongue. He is co-founder of Platform Patients and Food Netherlands, Director of Foundation My Data Our Health and Chair of the Holland Health Data Co-operative. His main focus is to establish transformational networks among stakeholders that together can do things they can never do alone. Trained as an agroecologist (MSc) and rural sociologist (PhD), he makes ample use of his professional experience in the field of sustainable agriculture, food and societal development. As an expert on Citizen Science, he is very keen on bridging the gap between lay-people knowledge and professional knowledge, in order to create solutions that fit the ecology and sociology of a specific group or individual. He currently co-leads a large Dutch consortium on Citizen Science in Health called MyOwnResearch.
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.
Participant in Nightscout, founder of Sensotrend, MyData advocate
Mikael Rinnetmäki is living with type 1 diabetes, participates in Nightscout, the open source community developing citizen-centric innovations for healthcare, is a founder of healthtech startup Sensotrend, and a MyData advocate. Sensotrend, a founding member of MyData.org, recently won a design contest for wellness apps integrated into the Finnish national Kanta PHR platform, and is integrating the Nightscout API on that platform. A personal health record platform is an ideal basis for an ecosystem for health and wellness apps, where data is exchanged in citizen-centric ways.
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.
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.
Director, Empirica Communication and Technology Research
Veli Stroetmann is Director of empirica Communication and Technology Research in Bonn, Germany. She holds an MD and a PhD in Medical Informatics. Over the last 25 years, she has been coordinator and partner in EU funded studies and projects on digital health policies and strategies, business modelling, interoperability, scaling up of personalised health and care services, integrated care, impact and regulatory assessment, socio-economic impact analysis and evaluation. Currently she is coordinating a large EU Support Action “DigitalHealthEurope: Support to enabling the digital transformation of health and care in the Digital Single Market”. She is leading work on the “Blueprint for Digital Transformation of Health and Care” for the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing.
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).
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.
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.
Coordinator Greek Network EIP on AHA, Greek Ministry of health
Th. A. Vontetsianos, MD, PhD, Consultant Pulmonary Physician and Head of the E-Health Unit in “Sotiria” Regional General Chest Diseases Hospital of Athens. Dr. Vontetsianos was born in Athens, Greece, he graduated the Medical School of Athens University and received his PhD degree from the same University. He has been specialized in Pulmonary Medicine (1978-1982) and sub-specialized in rehabilitation and Chronic Care in University of Colorado Health Science Center (1986-88). Since 1989, he has been serving as first line Consultant Pulmonary Physician in “Sotiria” Hospital of Athens and since 1999, he is the founder and
medical director of the e-Health Unit of it. He has been the coordinator of multiple national and EU projects (IST, E-Ten, CIP, Horizon), where the Unit was involved and he has published over 100 national and international papers, book chapters and
conference presentations. In 1991 he was awarded by the Greek Ministry of Government Administration for his contribution to the introduction of Medical Informatics in clinical practice of the public hospitals, and recently by EC, as winner
in the e-Inclusion Awards 2008. Since 2014 is the Coordinator of the Greek EIP on AHA National Network.
CEO, Manus Neurodynamica Ltd
Rutger is founding CEO of Edinburgh-based Manus Neurodynamica Ltd – the company that created the NeuroMotor PenTM (NMP). The NMP is a medical device which objectively and accurately assesses for neuromotor impairments. While working with a small consulting firm, Rutger developed ideas to utilise neuroscience from his earlier PhD research to create novel, easily implementable clinical tools. Manus was founded as a channel to realise those ideas. Rutger coordinated the EU project, DiPAR, which facilitated initial product development and clinical validation. Prior to his PhD, Rutger gained experience in biomedical engineering (J&J Cordis Europe, Philips DAP and Medical systems) and project management for the Dutch healthcare sector (Cap Gemini). He also has post-graduate degrees in Bioengineering and Business administration.