Healthcare Knows no borders:

Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Kosovo, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania,Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Uruguay & United States

2 days programme

15 Sessions

9 Sponsors & Partners

40 international speakers

14 virtual exhibitors

Over 550 registers

     150 new connections

  • On the 17th and 18th of November 2020 the Digital Health Society held its second Summit virtually with over 550 registrations from 55 Countries demonstrating that digital health is truly a global market.
  • Health data has never been more important than in the COVID-19 pandemic with citizens becoming familiar with concepts such as R number, infection and death rates. Research analytics and predictive analytics have been brought to the centre of the scientific debate.
  • The need to learn in real time about health data across borders has also been striking (treatment pathways, options and drugs),
  • The EC is developing important policies for its next term. The creation of the European Health Data Space (EHDS) is the flag ship instrument which shall enable easier data sharing and boost collaboration. The Summit provided our opportunity to positively contribute to the ongoing development of the EHDS.
  • The ECHAlliance International Network of Digital Health Ecosystems is the delivery vehicle to implement policy and innovation and now has over 50 Ecosystems transferring best practices and lessons learned from one Ecosystem to another, helping to make health and care digital transformation global, overcoming  national silos and avoiding reinventing the wheel. No country or region or continent has a monopoly on innovation.

Highlights included:


  • The Summit hosted three High Level Presentations from the Trio of Presidencies of the Council of the European Union – Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. Nick Schneider, Head of Division – New technologies and data use at German Federal Ministry of Health,  explained the outcomes of its High Level Conference held on the 11th November 2020, the GDPR Member States Mapping Report which will be published before the end of 2020 and the importance of actions from the draft Council Conclusions on COVID-19 lessons learned; Luís Goes Pinheiro, President of the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health in Portugal, announced its  digital health focus during the Presidency will be telehealth, the elimination of barriers to cross border telehealth and the circulation of health data in the EU and Tina Bregant, State Secretary, Ministry of Health of Republic of Slovenia, explained its healthcare system and digital health services and plans.

  • The DHS, together with I~HD, presented the draft results of its 2 Round Tables on health data and debated a preliminary set of Calls to Action with a panel including Jesper Kjaer (Danish Medicines Agency), Nigel Hughes (EHDEN & Janssen), Nicola Bedlington (European Patients Forum & Data Saves Lives) and Ioana-Marie Gligor (European Commission).
  • The panel on Citizen controlled data sharing governance joined a group of experts from the different relevant areas, including the European Commission to discuss the main next steps to be followed, concerning legal questions, societal issues and business models for successful citizen-centred data sharing models, based on 4 axis: transparency, information, awareness and trust. This discussion was partially built on the Consultation Paper on this topic and some of its conclusions were debated and actionable steps proposed, such as finding ways to further include the citizen inputs on the design of the data sharing models and increase literacy and awareness towards trust.
  • As part of the session on Health Data and to reflect the EU Presidency of Germany, a small session took place which featured all three of our German ECHAlliance Ecosystems as well as input on relevant Health Data Initiatives from their regions. Kicking off the session was Alexia Zurkhulen from the Health Region Cologne Bonn Ecosystem with Hans-Peter Dauben to talk about regional data initiatives. Then we had Benjamin Stöcklein from the Medical Valley Ecosystem introducing the ecosystem and local Health Data Initiatives and lastly from the Health4AllHess Ecosystem we heard from both Natalia Korchakova-Heeb and Zeeshan Mahmood.
  • Two ECHAlliance members showcased their innovative health data-driven solutions, namely Better demonstrated the latest developments in health IT and Needlesmart unveiled its Digital Vaccination Service.


Health data-driven solutions cannot develop their full potential and be adopted at large scale without a supporting innovation environment promoting the match between demand and supply in the digital health market.

  • Bridging this gap is precisely the major goal of the Innovation to Market (I2M) Initiative born in the frame of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing and led by ECHAlliance and TicBioMed. Answering the multiple requests from SMEs and startups to have access to quality training to assess their investment readiness and successfully pitch their innovative solution, the DHS Summit has hosted a free training offered by I2M and META Group followed by an interactive panel. Representatives from business associations, accelerators, pharma companies, startups international consultancies and networks have lively debated around the hurdles hampering investments, adoption and scale up as well as possible routes to overcome them.
  • The experts engaged in the panel on the benefits and risks of the AI for health and wellbeing in the workplace called for a holistic approach to AI, that goes beyond technology only and includes ethical implementation, user-centricity, cross-sectoral policies and limiting the risks in order to capitalise on the benefits of the new technologies. In practice this discussion focused on four main aspects: 1/ Developing ethical standards and policy frameworks to build trust 2/ Securing access to the high-quality data, 3/ Respecting the employees’ rights to privacy and confidentiality, 4/Improving explainability and accountability, as well as digital literacy among all stakeholders involved.    

Notes to Editors

  • The Digital Health Society (DHS) movement was born as a legacy of the EstonianPresidency of the Council of the European Union in 2017, which focused on the development of a digital society in Europe, enabled by the free flow of data.
  • At the first DHS Summit we collaborated with I~HD (The European Institute for Innovation through Health Data) and together we planned a series of Round Tables to continue our work and contribute to the debate about the European Commission’s plans for a European Health Data Space.