Success stories and innovation in hospitals, at an EKT discussion and networking event

The event aimed to inspire participants by presenting success stories from hospitals that have adopted innovative models and practices, and examine the factors that drive hospitals to innovation.

With the participation of 50 representatives from public and private hospitals, start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises, academic and research organisations and public bodies of the country, as well as executives from important health organisations in other European countries, an extremely constructive discussion was concluded with the event "Morning Health Talks: Hospitals Embracing Innovation", on Wednesday, October 19, 2022.

The online event was organised by the National Documentation Centre (EKT), EIT Health hub in Greece and co-ordinator of SymbIASIS project.

The event aimed to inspire participants by presenting success stories from hospitals that have adopted innovative models and practices, to present relevant opportunities, to examine the factors that push hospitals to innovation, and to hold an expanded panel discussion with representatives of the health innovation ecosystem.

The event began with a welcome from Beata Kurucz, RIS Collaboration Lead, EIT Health Innostars, who updated participants about the support EIT Health provides for the development of innovation in hospitals.

Keynote speaker and guest of honour at the discussion was Louise Vibjerg Thomsen, Senior Innovation Officer at Royal Danish Embassy and Innovation Centre Denmark in Tel Aviv, and author of the book ‘Guide to Building Nordic Hospital Innovation Models, Based on Israeli Models’ (April 2022). Louise Vibjerg Thomsen presented innovation models adopted in hospitals in Scandinavia and especially in Denmark. She also talked about the co-operation of the Danish innovation ecosystem with that of Israel for the benefit of innovation.

Timo Alalääkkölä, from Oulu University Hospital, then inspired the participants by presenting the actions of the Finnish innovation ecosystem, as well as his country's ambitious goals regarding the operation of ‘smart’ hospitals.

On a national level, Dimitris Kontopidis, Honorary President of the Panhellenic Association for Cystic Fibrosis, recipient of Patient Advocate 2019 awarded by the European Cystic Fibrosis Association  and President and Founder of the social enterprise for the empowerment of people with disabilities ‘HUMANE’, presented the benefits for the sick that result from the adoption of innovative practices and design thinking methodology with the inclusion of patients in the design of products and services, while also announcing the creation of the first Patients Hub in Greece.

Vasilis Siemos referred to the actions of the Archimedes Centre of NKUA in relation to SymbIASIS, a project implemented within the framework of EIT Health and co-ordinated by EKT in collaboration with the Archimedes Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship of NKUA.

In the discussion that followed in the form of panels, Greek institutions, hospitals and businesses working for the benefit of innovation in the health sector shared stories of success and collaboration.

Among the Greek success stories, the story of PhosPrint, the spin-off of the Communication and Computer Systems Research Institute (ICCS) of NTUA that participates in the SymbIASIS project, stood out. The co-founders, Dr. Ioanna Zergioti, Professor at NTUA and Maria Pallidou talked about PhosPrint – the first Greek company recently selected for funding in the European Innovation Council- Accelerator. Another success story that stood out is that of SymbIASIS start-up Collaborate Healthcare, which, in a networking action of the Greek EIT Health hub, linked up with the G. Papageorgiou Hospital to begin a very interesting collaboration. The story was shared by Maria Bigaki, representing the Hospital together with Konstantinos Saridakis, CEO of Collaborate Healthcare. In addition, Ioannis Georgopoulos, co-founder of Docandu and Pediatric Surgeon at Ag. Sofia Hospital, spoke, in his dual capacity, about innovation in hospitals and shared his personal experience on ways of approaching health units through start-ups.

The event took place as part of the dialogue on innovation in hospitals, initiated by EKT through EIT Health and its support and capacity-building actions, such as through the SymbIASIS project. SymbIASIS aims to enhance the dialogue between hospitals and startups active in the field of health, the exchange of knowledge and experience, networking and exploring partnerships in order to develop innovative products and services. The great benefit of the methodology and the central idea of the project is that the services and products are designed taking into account the needs of citizens and health units, and tested in a real environment, in order to have a positive impact on the health and lives of patients, society and the environment.

The discussion was moderated by Varvara Vasilaki, EIT Health Project Manager, and George Megas, EIT Health Hub Coordinator.

You can watch the video of the event on our youtube channel here.

Watch the video of the event

EIT Health is a non-profit organisation and one of Europe's largest public-private partnerships for health innovation. Composed of around 280 partners, EIT Health is a unique European network of leading companies, universities, research and development centres, institutes and health units. The role of EIT Health is to build an ecosystem conducive to the development of healthcare for a healthier future for European citizens. The National Documentation Centre (EKT) is the hub of EIT Health in Greece., with information from EIT Health, EKT