SHIFT-HUB’s 2nd Conference: catalyzing smart health innovation in Thessaloniki

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On June 11, 2024, the SHIFT-HUB project hosted its 2nd Conference on Smart Health Innovation & Future Technologies in Thessaloniki, Greece, alongside the 5th International Conference on Medical Education Informatics. The event brought together policymakers, health technology innovators, and stakeholders to drive forward the future of smart health.

Policy Makers’ Panel: National Strategies Discussion

The conference opened with a panel on national strategies for digital health, featuring Dr. S.S. Spyrou and Anastasia Balassopoulou. They discussed Greece’s strategies for integrating smart technologies into health systems and aligning them with European initiatives. Emphasis was placed on actions and best practices from European Joint Action projects, especially concerning cancer care. Dr. Spyrou highlighted the European Comprehensive Cancer Centre Network (EUnetCCC) and the need for quantitative measures to assess the effectiveness of joint actions. Panos Stafylas presented tools stemming from these actions, emphasizing their importance in the evolving digital health landscape.

Introduction to SHIFT-HUB project

Alice Seim from Steinbeis and Paul Stefanut from Booster Labs introduced the SHIFT-HUB project, funded by Horizon Europe. The project aims to establish a pan-European Smart Health Innovation Hub, connecting a diverse network of stakeholders and providing services like networking, matchmaking, funding guidance, and access to research infrastructures to accelerate health innovation.

Nadja Dokter from IPPO Engineering then presented the SHIFT-HUB Smart Health App, an innovative tool using engaging games to address key health challenges. The app aims to transform healthcare delivery and empower individuals. Professor Elisio Costa from the University of Porto showcased the SHIFT-HUB Educational Resources, an online repository with 189 resources across 15 thematic categories, covering AI, data science, cybersecurity, and smart health applications.

Finally, Gabriele Casalini from the European Digital SME Alliance introduced the SHIFT-HUB Community Platform, a tailored space for information, events, and best practice exchanges.

Innovation and Research in Clinical Environments: Overcoming Challenges for the Future of Healthcare

A panel discussion powered by CareBridge tackled the challenges of HealthTech innovation in clinical settings. Panelists, including Stelios Hadjidimitriou, Michael Doumas, Adriane Thrash, and Apostolia Karabatea, explored barriers such as regulatory hurdles and interoperability issues. The session aimed to highlight strategies for overcoming these obstacles and promoting continuous innovation in healthcare.

SHIFT-HUB Entrepreneurial Discovery Workshop

The SHIFT-HUB project also organized an Entrepreneurial Discovery Workshop titled “Exploring Central Macedonia’s Opportunities for Smart Health.” This event aimed to connect regional stakeholders, identify new funding opportunities, and support the local ecosystem. Panelists Eri Toka, Costas Tramantzas, Dimitris Kourtesis, Pantelis Natsiavas, and Nikos Athanasopoulos discussed regional initiatives, innovation hub services, and public funding experiences.

The event concluded with a networking session, providing participants valuable opportunities to exchange ideas and establish collaborations. Attendees explored future directions for smart health in Central Macedonia, gaining insights from both local and regional experiences.

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