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Patients more important than IT at MYiHealth

​Which exciting new opportunities does healthcare imply for digital startup companies? That is the wrong question, if you ask the founders of the new international conference MYiHealth. If it were up to them, the interesting question is instead: How can the digitalization trend improve the lives of patients?

Virtual care centers. Armbands that report blood pressure value directly to your patient medical record. Apps that let you see your doctor at home on the sofa. New innovative ways of making use of digital support are popping up in health care every day, often to make use of limited resources in a smarter way.

"The digital revolution has meant fantastic new opportunities for health care. But so far, the focus has been too much on the technical platforms and on finding areas of application for those in the health care sector. We want to turn that way of thinking around and focus on the patient. What is interesting is not the digital technology in itself, but how it can be used to improve people's lives," says Anders Ekblom, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Karolinska University Hospital.

Anders Ekblom is one of the initiators of MYiHealth, an international conference in the area of digital health that will be held in Stockholm in the middle of September. During the two days of the conference, the interface between IT and health care will be illuminated in various ways, always with a clear patient perspective and with the patient's best interest as the express starting point in the discussions.

"Some of the foremost speakers in the world in this area will be present during MYiHealth. One example is Jamie Heywood, who is the co-founder and chairman of PatientsLikeMe. He is an American engineer who started a research institute when his younger brother was diagnosed with the muscular disease ALS. Another example is Albert ”Skip” Rizzo from the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, which uses virtual reality technology to treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. There will also be workshops where participants can discuss with researchers and with various patient organizations,” says the other initiator, Uno Fors, who is a professor in the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences at Stockholm University.

"There is great international interest in these matters, in which Stockholm and Sweden are in the forfront thanks to our close collaboration between researchers, the public sector, the business community, students and investors. Gathering these various groups for a joint conference with the focus on the patient will give the trend a real push forward," says Professor Fors.

MYiHealth will be held on September 20-21, 2017, and is being arranged by Stockholmsmässan at the request of the four sponsors: Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University, the City of Stockholm and the Stockholm County Council.

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