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Home » Blog Articles » The CEO series: Data and Citizen-Centric Healthcare

The CEO series: Data and Citizen-Centric Healthcare

Authors: Krzysztof Lechowski, Key Comms Intern, and Robert Goia, Stakeholder Engagement Officer, Gaia-X

Editor in Chief: 
Vassilia Orfanou, CMO of Gaia-X

On Monday, 4 April, Gaia-X hosted the Health Data Space Event, the first of its series that will eventually establish the Health Data Space Summit on a yearly basis.

Gaia-X is more than just a non-profit organisation that promotes the notion of federated dataspaces throughout Europe and beyond. Gaia-X is a pioneer in the creative know-how of federated dataspaces and their integration into existing fragmented systems that no longer work, necessitating a change and a different direction.

Francesco Bonfiglio, CEO of Gaia-X, stressed that “it is a challenging project addressing something urgent. The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the importance of digitalisation. A devastating event that will remain in the history of the world for eternity taught us resilience and adaptivity.“

With each worldwide catastrophe, the world we live in changes dramatically, presenting the vital need to understand and learn lessons. Gaia-X steps in as a navigator, “stressing the need to build the basis for a new economy centred on digital services and products that will rule tomorrow’s ecosystem. It will be a large part of our economy in the future.’’ Bonfiglio explained.

Thus, the Health Data Space Event took place at a pivotal point in time to support shaping current and future conversations. Bonfiglio stated, “this is the most interesting dataspace from a personal angle as we get to change the real world we live in”. Data is becoming a more personal component of our everyday lives in general, especially when it comes to health. It determines our future, and we, as citizens and European authorities, must help to create that future, particularly in terms of our health.

Jeroen Tas, a Member of the Board of Directors at Gaia-X, developed Francesco Bonfiglio’s point by elaborating on the situation the COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered “We all felt the urgency in the last two years with the pandemic. Even today there are still hundreds of thousands of people awaiting surgery, awaiting procedures that have been postponed because we just couldn’t deal with the pandemic. For the last twenty years, the cost of healthcare has dramatically exceeded the growth of GDP. “

At Gaia-X, we believe that the lessons from the pandemic must be drawn. Thus, we were pleased to host such an important event. The digitisation of health data spaces will help citizens gain control over their sensitive data. Governmental institutions will get access to selections of health data that enable them to optimise health policies and act in the event of crises. Scientists and industry will get access to selections of health data to accelerate the development of medications and medical devices that are proven safe and effective. Bert Verdonck, Program Manager Health Data Spaces, Philips, elaborated on the future of health by presenting that the federated data ecosystem will be more orchestrated and citizen-centric.. While today’s system with a variety of entities, unfortunately, leads to confusion.

Gaia-X began its data space event series on a high note. Considering that health is incredibly private, and we all wish to make it secure, a well-functioning, emancipated health data system is vital for providing a citizen-centric data space system.

Jeroen Tas alongside Francesco Bonfiglio, highlighted Gaia-X’s role and importance of data federalisation by emphasising that “we have a big opportunity to do that by sending ourselves some bold objectives, (…) to get the longitudinal view of 100 million European patients into a federated space that will drive two things; it will drive better insights into the drivers of disease (…), this will allow us to orchestrate the care around it.

As a result of incorporating the Gaia-X vision into the health sector, the system will incorporate a well-being-centredperspective.

Six case-focused break-out sessions and a wrap-up session followed the general session entitled “Enable the Future of Health: federated, citizen-centric, and insight-driven!”. Break-out sessions proved to be a crucial element of the conference, due to a safe space where SMEs, start-ups, and big players could meet to discuss best practices, ideas and raise concerns.

The Health Data Space Event showed that Gaia-X is a true and rather solid manifestation of European integration and innovation, having emerged a shattered system and aiming to support SMEs and start-ups both from a technological and operational angle. This is necessary especially given that 80% of SMEs make up Europe’s economic fabric, and 70% of such SMEs present Gaia-X members, Bonfiglio highlighted.

Anyone can be part of the Gaia-X Association and contribute to its development. And any service provider will be able to be Gaia-X compliant, as long as they want to make their technology open, transparent, controllable and interoperable.

Have you missed or would like to know more about this event? Check: here

Further details may be followed through the following links:

  • announcement here
  • agenda here
  • presentations here
  • General Session event recording here and Breakout Use cases’ recording here