The ECHAlliance, in partnership with the Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA) has organised a workshop in Boston on 25th October titled “The Digital Health Society: Europe meets North America”, within the Connected Health Conference (CHC) 2017 which attracted more than 2000 attendees.

Organised jointly with our sister organisation, the Canadian Integrated Health Alliance (CIHA), the DHS workshop has gathered participants from USA, Canada, Europe, Middle East, South Korea, China, South America… The delegates, large companies and start-ups, policy-makers, researchers, clinicians, investors… took the opportunity of this interactive international event, to discuss and exchanges ideas around the deployment of Digital Health and key topics such as public policies, Telehealth, patients’ empowerment and behaviour change, and Blockchain in healthcare.

Brian O’Connor said:

We observe that the Digital Health Society (DHS) movement, centered on people and determined to act, is not only aligned with European context but also with the global trends of our sector. Everybody we meet stress the fact that the time has come to execute the Digital transformation of health and care systems in the world for the benefits of citizens. The DHS movement started in Tallinn with the Estonian EU Presidency is now global!”.

ECHAlliance and CIHA thank especially the supports and sponsors of this workshop: Kaia Health, Wise Technology Healthcare and Stella Technology.



Europe, USA and Canada are facing the same challenges regarding the need for their healthcare systems to change and to adapt to the Digital Society: bringing services better designed for the users, more data-driven processes and decisions, more preventive rather than curative, managing better the complexity of a multi-stakeholders system, and avoiding perverse effects of the traditional fee-for-services model, setting-up outcomes-based models.

In 2017, European Presidency is assumed by Estonia, one of the most digitized country in the world. The Ministry of Social Affairs of Estonia and the ECHAlliance have developed a movement called “The Digital Health Society”, bringing together policy-makers, large companies, start-ups, healthcare providers and professionals, citizens groups, researchers, insurers… to progress the digitization of healthcare systems and foster the free flow of health data across Europe. 

This 1-day international workshop has been the opportunity for stakeholders from USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and South America to exchange views and strategies, and discover partnerships and business opportunities.

Programme: summary of the agenda

Shark Tank

6 innovators have pitched in front of the audience and answered questions from our “sharks” Brian O’CONNOR (ECHAlliance) and Alex SZUCS (CIHA), moderated by Mark Stevens (Enabled Health)

o   Kari KOHTAMÄKI, Key Account Manager at VTT (Finland, Europe)

o   Colin EDWARDS, Chief Scientific Officer at patientMpower (Ireland, Europe)

o   Tina WELLMAN, Vice President of Sales, North America, at Pulse Infoframe (Canada/USA)

o   Charles ALLAN, CEO at NXTSENS (Canada)

o   J. Manassé THEAGENE, President at 360Medlink (Canada)

o   Larry STEINBERG, Executive Vice President at Cloud DX (USA/Canada)

See presentations here


Digital Health: policies, trends and business opportunities in Europe and in North America

This session has been the opportunity to contrast and compare the current development around Digital health between Europe and USA, through example of public policies and multi-stakeholders initiatives.

o   Laurance STUNTZ (USA) described how the state of Massachusetts has deployed a complete strategy around Digital Health in order to bring benefits to the population through improvement of healthcare services delivery and at the same time has created various programmes in order to support companies and start-ups to create new businesses and jobs.

o   Matthew HEIN (USA) presented how the US Department of Trade and Commerce can support companies to export their products and services abroad.

o   Julien VENNE (Europe) presented the Digital Health Society movement developed recently in Europe under the Estonian EU Presidency, and bringing together a large group of stakeholders focused on bringing benefits and better care to EU citizens. View Presentation Here 


Telehealth as usual practice

Moderated by Sajid AHMED, CEO at Wise Healthcare, this session explored several success stories of implementation of telehealth services in USA, Canada and Europe. Telehealth is usual practices for many clinicians nowadays, and our panellists have explained which benefits they have observed on the ground.


The Consumer in the driver seat for managing health

The WHO defines empowerment as “a process through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health”. Whether we are healthy citizens or chronic patients, the Digital Health Society offers many solutions to monitor, prevent, and more generally improve our health and wellness. But these technologies have also changed our attitudes. From prevention to treatment, we are no longer the passive listeners of the ancient patient-doctor paradigm and we now demand to be an active member of the care team, with real access and ownership of our data. Our expectations in terms of choice, service, and convenience are also turning us into “health consumers”. This session explored the role of the Digital Health Society citizens in making health and care truly participative, through several solutions and models.

o  Dr Darria LONG GILLESPIE, Senior Vice President, Clinical strategy at Sharecare (USA)

o  Yuri QUINTANA, Director Global Health Informatics at BIDMC and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School (USA) – View Presentation Here

o  Konstantin MEHL, CEO of Kaia Health (Europe) – View Presentation Here


Blockchain in Healthcare Panel

This panel offered a lively and well received discussion on the use of blockchain distributed ledger technology to support healthcare.  The conference was fortunate to receive insights from panellists Dominique Hurley, VP of Strategic Partnerships and Innovation, HealthVerity, Giles Ward, COO of Hashed Health and Lin Wan, Chief Technology Officer at Stella Technology. Fueled by Bitcoin, Fintech’s active blockchain-enabled digital currency, healthcare companies have started to test blockchain for healthcare applications. There are many existing use cases that can be transformed using the key attributes of blockchain including consensus, immutability, provenance and finality.  Mr Ward asserted that we need to get past the hype and start identifying these use cases, bring together key participants and commence proof of concept projects. Based on the regulatory environment, it was noted that the creation of functional, healthcare, blockchain applications will likely move faster outside of the US.  Special mention was made of the progress that has been made in the country of Estonia which uses the technology to support and secure their electronic health record system and well as other government programs including tax and business registration systems.


The workshop participants joined the VIP reception of the Connected Health Conference 2017 and had networking opportunities.

For more information, contact julien@echalliance.com