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Ilze Viņķele, the Minister of Health of the Republic of Latvia: "Rapid development of technology and innovation provide new opportunities to improve healthcare whose main purpose is to take care of patients and their health. Targeted, efficient, up to date and safe use of data may offer considerable benefits to healthcare professionals and researchers, as well as deliver solutions that may be required for improvement of the long-term healthcare policy."
Various national and international healthcare professionals and leaders participated in the summit, including Ilze Viņķele, Minister for Health of the Republic of Latvia, Dr. Abraham Verghese, Professor for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford University Medical School, Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Elena Bonfiglioli, Senior Director Health Industry, Europe Middle East Africa at Microsoft, and others. Personal patient stories were shared by Zinta Uskale, Head of the ‘Pink Train' charity and the #Pupkultūra movement, as well as Sondra Zaļupe, founder of the patient association ‘A Step Ahead of Melanoma'. The summit was moderated by Kristaps Krafte, CEO of medtech start-up Vigo Health and Board Member of the Digital Health Society.
During the summit, the most urgent needs of the healthcare system highlighted by the global pandemic were discussed, with a focus on facilitating data-driven healthcare. Two panel discussions with representatives of various sectors focused how meaningful data may practically improve patient healthcare experiences.
"It is expected that in the coming years the healthcare system will undergo rapid digital transformation. To further purposeful and efficient use of data and technologies in healthcare, now it is important no raise the awareness of this issue in those who work in this field. We are convinced that after the summit medical staff and managers of the healthcare sector will be able to take well-considered decisions based on the knowledge acquired at the summit. As a result, it will benefit the patients, who will be provided with more efficient healthcare services of better quality," explains Renāte Strazdiņa, Board member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia.
The implementation of the E-health project, which has continued for more than 10 years but has not yet been completed due to a failure to introduce some of its products, has been found ineffectual, resulting in a new focus on development of a novel, effective system. The online summit ‘Toward Data-Driven Health: Sharing is Caring" aims to serve as a catalyst for the new system. Its purpose is to produce well formulated recommendations for the health data strategy and data-driven decision-making, and to improve awareness among responsible parties of the need and benefits of investing in digitization.
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