The Future of e-Health: evidence-based policy-making in the era of data-driven healthcare

ESPON Conference
22nd May 2019 // Oulu, Finland


Healthcare systems across Europe are facing similar challenges such as rising costs, increasing multi-morbidity, changing demographics and growing resource gaps (i.e. urban vs. rural, digital divide). Technology-enabled solutions are being developed in new ways, co-created by communities, enterprises or research centres. This offers new ways of receiving and providing healthcare services and leads stakeholders within national and regional healthcare ecosystems to progressively adjust the way they interact with each other, as well as with patients and the public. Such adjustments, however, open issues related to health data management, transparency, patients’ trust, telemedicine deployment or up/re-skilling healthcare professionals.

The ESPON conference on “The Future of e-Health: designing evidence-based policies in the era of data-driven healthcare” aims at raising awareness on the link between the digital transformation of healthcare systems and territorial development, with the objective of inspiring strategic orientations and fostering the integration of the territorial dimension within different policies at all governance levels.

Can policy-makers frame the digital transformation of healthcare systems, the cross-border movement of health services and data in order to achieve regional development objectives? What role does e-Health play in territorial development? How can digital transformation policies contribute to territorial cohesion across Europe, at city, regional and national level? Is interregional collaboration taking place in this field, and how is this impacting regional development?

Together with representatives of the European institutions, policy-makers and relevant stakeholders from the national and regional healthcare ecosystems, the conferences wishes to offer a frame for discussion and provide answers to policy-makers seeking support in the decisions:

  • that remove technological and infrastructure obstacles;
  • that address the challenges to cross-border movement of health data and prescriptions;
  • that embed eHealth solutions in territorial governance and cross-border / transnational cooperation.

The first session on “Transforming Healthcare across the European Unions: policies, practices and visions” aims at discussing the key challenges faced by public authorities when implementing the digital transformation of healthcare value chains and ecosystems. What actions are local and regional authorities taking to deploy reforms? What is the role / scope of the cooperation within departments, between authorities and across borders and Member States? Does this cooperation impact territorial development? Following the presentation of the latest ESPON research results on “e-health – Future Digital Health in the EU”, the second session will look into transnational / cross-border cooperation via platforms, partnerships and agreements on digital infrastructures. The ESPON conference is taking place in Oulu, a city which boasts a well-earned reputation of being a forerunner in digital health technologies located in Finland, one of the three strongest economies in the world in the field of health technology. With the third session, participants will experience a unique occasion to learn about the OuluHealth ecosystem from those who are part of the community are: voices from the field will answer questions on the future of data-driven healthcare promoted by co-creative innovation platforms and ecosystems?

Side events on the 21st of May include a site visit to the Oulu University Hospital Testbed, where health products and services are tested in collaboration between companies and healthcare professionals, as well as a reception with buffet dinner offered by the City of Oulu, during which local companies will showcase the latest medical technologies.
16.00 – Transport to Oulu University Testbed
18.00 – Reception with buffet dinner (City of Oulu)
More information here!

REGISTRATION: (deadline: 15th May 2019, at 13.00 CET)


Moderation by Ms. Minna Komu, Oulu Health Network Director

09.00 Registration and Welcome Coffee

09.30 Welcome and introduction
by Mr Kyösti Oikarinen, Chair of City Executive Board
by Ms Sinikka Salo, Leader of Change in reforming social welfare and healthcare, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of Finland
by Mr Martin Gauk, Project Expert, ESPON EGTC

Opening – Finding inspiration in failing healthcare systems

10.00 Keynote speeche
“People-powered and data-driven innovations in health: the 110 day challenge” by Ms Sinead Mac Manus, Senior Programming Manager, Health Lab NESTA Foundation
Questions and Answers

Part 1 – Transforming Healthcare across the European Union: policies and visions

10.30 “Digital transformation of health and care in the European Union” by Ms Birgit Morlion, European Commission, DG CONNECT, e-Health, Well-being and Ageing Unit

Voices from the field – panel discussion

– Catalonia Region, Fundacion TICSALUT -Josue Sallent, Generalitat de Catalunya
– Campania Region, ProMIS -Maddalena Illario
– Digital Health Europe, Ms. Veli Stroetmann, Project Coordinator, EMPIRICA
– University of Oulu – Mr. Jarmo Reponen, Professor of Practice, Healthcare Information Systems

“Connect, share and protect: Three priorities for an EU Health Data Ecosystem” by Ms Lucia Medori, Instinctif Partners, Chair of the Committee on Data and Healthy Societies, European Health Parliament

12.30 Lunch Break

13.30 Presentation the latest ESPON research results on “eHEALTH – Future Digital Health in the EU” by Peter Varnai, Technopolis EE

Questions and Answers

Part 2: Transnational and Cross-Border Cooperation via evidence-based policy-making

– Nordic Institute for Interoperability Solutions – Mr. Ville Sirviö, Chief Executive Officer
– Estonian Information System Authority – Ms Hannalore Taal – Ministry of Social Affairs (Estonia)
– S3 Partnership on Personalized Medicine – Karoline De Bruine (East Netherlands)
– S3 Partnership on Personalized Medicine – Dirk Plees (Limburg)

Questions and Answers

Part 3 – Learning from experience: Finland
Moderation by
Ms. Maritta Perälä-Heape, Director at the Centre for Health and Technology, University of Oulu

15.00 Social and healthcare integration – the Oulu experience
Ms. Kirsti Ylitalo-Katajisto, Director of Healthcare and Social Welfare at City of Oulu
Mr. Ilkka Luoma, Chief Executive Director, Oulu University Hospital

15.20 Introduction to OuluHealth ecosystem
Ms. Minna Komu, Network Director

15.40 The future of data-driven healthcare promoted by co-creative innovation platforms and ecosystems

– OuluHealth, Network Director Ms. Minna Komu
– Buddy Healthcare Ltd, CEO, Founder, Jussi Määttä
– Virtual Hospital, Health Village, Ms. Pia Liljamo, Development Manager, Oulu University Hospital
– OuluHealth Labs Mr. Timo Alalääkkölä, Manager, Testing and Innovations, Oulu University Hospital

Followed by a moderated round-table on the roadblocks, lessons learned, and potentialities of data driven future healthcare.

16.30 Concluding Remarks

16.45 End

← Back to events