SHIFT-HUB’s commitment & impact

In recent years, the European Union (EU) has recognized the growing significance of addressing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as a major public health challenge. Among the various NCDs, throughout the project lifetime, SHIFT-HUB consortium focuses on five pathologies that we aim to support:

  • Chronic diseases;
  • Cancer;
  • Disease Prevention;
  • Cardiovascular diseases; and
  • Mental disorders.

These health areas pose significant challenges that require comprehensive and nuanced responses, especially in the context of the diverse and dynamic EU member states.

The prevalence of these health conditions, along with the associated costs, has been steadily increasing in the EU. With aging populations, urbanization, and changing lifestyles, the region is confronted with higher incidences of NCDs, leading to a considerable societal and economic burden. It is against this backdrop that the EU, its member states, healthcare providers, and stakeholders have recognized the pressing need for a more proactive, targeted, and evidence-based approach to prevention and management.

To this dynamically forming landscape, SHIFT-HUB aims to establish a pan-European Smart Health Innovation Hub bringing together a rich network of multidisciplinary stakeholders across the dimensions of the quadruple helix, with the mission to facilitate the development, ensure the promotion and foster the uptake of Smart Health technologies and services.

By putting a strong community of emerging digital technology providers, at the service of patients, citizens, practitioners and healthcare institutions, SHIFT-HUB aims to foster the uptake of Smart Health Technologies and services. Through awareness raising, digital literacy and behavior modification experiences, it aims to facilitate the paradigm shift from reactive to proactive and personalized healthcare, focused on maintaining good health rather than managing disease.

In order to foster technology development and experimentation, SHIFT-HUB is designing and implementing a patient-centric and community-driven pilot offering secure access to anonymized data for applications development and paving the way towards the future federated European Health Data Space. SHIFT-HUB aims to act as a gateway facilitating access for practitioners, patients and citizens to European Smart Health technologies through its infrastructure and by leveraging the dense network of EU Digital Innovation Hubs that will be targeted as partners to foster an intersectoral cross-fertilization. By the same token, the SHIFT-HUB ecosystem will foster cultural change between stakeholders from various backgrounds, inducing a process of peer-learning, skills enrichment and transfer of know-how globally enriching the community.

As identified in [1], ‘orchestrating scientific work in educational research laboratories is demanding, especially when many interdisciplinary perspectives are involved’. This applies to the case of innovation ecosystems in medicine at large as well as in any specific case of tackling a disease or a pathology. With the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare and the emergence of digital health startups introducing novel technologies and services to the market, there’s a notable potential for cost savings and service enhancements in healthcare [2]. The implications of these developments on both demand and supply sides, and their consequent impact on ecosystems, have been examined in [3] through a practical example.

The existing literature barely explains the complexity of health ecosystems innovation, regarding the range of stakeholders and their role within the ecosystem. SHIFT-HUB tries to address this deficiency by means of identifying the relevant stakeholders and demonstrating the complexity of involving the target groups in the design phase as part of the innovation ecosystems, which consist of multiple levels, each level comprising different stakeholders. In the SHIFT-HUB project we elaborate the role of each target group and the individual stakeholders in the engagement within the ecosystem and follow the dynamics of e.g. particular clinical study groups, as part of research through the analysis of its catalysts. The outcomes reinforce the point of innovation ecosystems continuously advancing, rather than functioning at a certain level of development.


[1] Ehlenz, M., Heinemann, B., & Schroeder, U. (2022). Open Research Tools for the Learning Technologies Innovation Lab. International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (iJOE), 18(14), pp. 42–58.

[2] Albert Feisal Muhd Feisal Ismail, Mohd Fazli Mohd Sam, Kamarudin Abu Bakar, Amiruddin Ahamat, Sabrinah Adam, & Qureshi, M. I. . (2022). Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Business Ecosystem: A Bibliometric Study. International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (iJOE), 18(09), pp. 100–114.

[3] Hofstetter, M., Koumpis, A., & Chatzidimitriou, K. (2020). Avoiding a Data Science Winter by Keeping the Expectations Low. International Journal of Advanced Corporate Learning (iJAC), 13(4), pp. 4–12.

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