Swecare, together with the Ministry of
Health and Social Affairs of Sweden, The German-Swedish Chamber of Commerce
(GSCC), the Swedish Embassy in Berlin and the German Embassy in Stockholm, organised
a digital delegation trip to Germany, as part of the German-Swedish Partnership
for Innovation. This first virtual trip focused on turning current
healthcare challenges into opportunities and provided various opportunities for
interactive engagement within the group of participants and with the German counterparts.
days, more than 15 participants from 12 Swecare member and non-member companies
and organisations took part in various interactive webinars. These included”
Explore” webinars about conditions, trends and business opportunities on the
German e-Health market,”Exchange” high-level and breakout discussions, as well
as ”Export” informative study visits. The program was developed as a funnel,
starting off with a broad overview of the subject and subsequently going deeper
into current issues, challenges and needs. Despite the digital format for
organising such a trip being new to Swecare, the overall outcome was assessed
as being positive. Some participants even argued that this format established a
closer atmosphere than conventional delegation trips. One Swecare member added
that it was ”one of the best delegation trips that I have been part of during
my career considering the current COVID-19 conditions”.
- The challenge is not technical, it
- Integration and open dialogue are
- It is not a matter of competition;
it is about collaboration.
- Just do it! Do not wait for the
- The ongoing pandemic as catalyst:
use the window of opportunity!
- Clear match between German-Swedish
innovation and key competences.
In sum and
in the words of the Swedish Ambassador in Berlin, Per Thöresson,
referring to a statement made by State Secretary Maja Fjaestad: “Only if we can
have an open discussion, can we also collaborate on solutions”. The “trip”
provided for such open discussions and Swecare looks forward to a close dialogue
with German counterparts in the upcoming months.
2020 has been different from other years. For Swecare, this has meant to
rethink how and what activities to provide for its members. After various
consultations with the members, it was decided to organise a digital trip to
Germany within the German-Swedish Partnership for Innovation.
informal start of the delegation trip was on 5 November at the German
Swedish HealthTech event, an event supported by the German Federal Ministry for
Economic Affairs and Energy, the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs,
the German Ministry of Health, the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and
Innovation, the Swedish E-Health Agency, Swecare, bitkom and Vinnova. There,
various Swecare members participated and to-be member Digital Diabetes
Analytics Sweden AB pitched their product in front of several Venture Capital
firms and the rest of the participants which were almost 200.
On 24 November,
it was finally time for the kick-off event for the digital delegation trip
and the internal introduction of all participants, including the presence of State
Secretary Maja Fjaestad.
later, on 1 December, the delegation “arrived” in Germany with two
informative ”Explore” webinars. The first webinar focused on Conditions and
Trends on the German e-Health Market and the second session on Business
Opportunities on the German e-Health Market. Speakers came from a wide range of
institutions, such as the Gematik, the Techniker Krankenkasse, the Health
Innovation Hub, Germany Trade & Invest, the Digital Health Hub in
Nuernberg/Erlangen. An incubator, Werk1, and two best practices with insights
into conditions, challenges and potentials also shared their experiences and
thoughts with the participants.
Thank you! Perfectly well planned, inspiring discussions and great new connections.
Maja Magnusson, Co-founder, COO, Care to Translate
first day, which set the ground and provided interesting and detailed discussions
about the German e-Health landscape, the second day focused more on healthcare
challenges and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. The day started with
welcoming words by the Swedish Ambassador in Berlin and the German Ambassador
in Stockholm and was followed by two keynote speakers. Kalle Conneryd
Lundgren, Chief Operating Officer/Chief Innovation Officer at Karolinska
University Hospital and Dr. Gocke, Chief Digital Officer at the Charité
– Universitätsmedizin in Berlin shared
their insights from the ongoing pandemic, focusing on challenges and lessons
learned. Having both presentations directly after each other allowed for
comparison and reflections on differences and similarities between both
countries. According to Kalle Conneryd Lundgren, one development that is likely
to last is decision-making support. However, the next years will show what
products and services will remain a niche and which ones will be possible to
setting the tone by these keynote speakers, both holding leading positions in
their respective fields, participants were divided into pre-defined breakout
sessions. The topics of these were: Digital Care, Decision and Monitoring
Systems and Triage, Smart and Safe Hospitals. Each breakout-session included
one Swedish expert on the subject, 3-4 participants and 3-4 German experts. In
lack of in-person, informal exchanges, these sessions allowed for more in-depth
discussions on the different topics. During one hour, participants had the
chance to learn from each other and start a dialogue with the German
counterparts based on their specific needs. Initial feedback received after
these breakout sessions has merely been positive and the appetite to continue
the discussions is reportedly there.
Thank you very much for the interesting discussions, especially about "Smart & Safe Hospitals"! It was a pleasure to be part of your virtual trip.
Thomas Möller, Political Advisor, German Association of Health IT Vendors
part of this day focused on reporting back from the breakout sessions to the
plenary group with comments and concluding remarks from Maja Fjaestad,
the State Secretary to Minister of Health and Social Affairs. One of the main
conclusions from the breakout sessions were that the mindset remains the
challenge in digitalisation. Participants identified a few needs, such as a
stronger focus on change management, further guidelines to implement solutions
quicker, the importance of soft factors and the possible setup of a ”Bundescloud”
(here, the IT foundation of the German government). Participants also reported that
the following needs remain: to better understand regulations around digital care, implement
better change management processes and how to share ”smartness”. In her closing
remarks, Maja Fjaestad highlighted the need to bring ideas and competences
together but, equally important, to share worst practices.
day of the digital
delegation trip included two “study visits”. The first one was at the Centre
for Cardiovascular Telemedicine where Prof. Dr. med Friedrich Köhler provided
the participants with a lively introduction to the Centre and spoke about how
it became the first centre in Germany to integrate telemedicine with Artificial
Intelligence. Despite the digital format, participation was almost as being at
the Charité itself. Similar to the earlier conclusions by Kalle
Conneryd Lundgren and from the breakout sessions, Prof. Dr. Köhler also
identified that the current challenge is not technical but rather the mindset.
He also stressed that the current environment in Germany sets good and solid
condition for start-up companies working on digital health applications. He
added that ”now we need robust and trustworthy providers. This is an
the participants ”travelled” to the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institut (HHI)
and its CINIQ Center/Forum Digital Technologues. The HHI provided an
overview of recent research at the Institute whereupon The Forum Digital
Technologies showroom was presented which includes various developments in
Germany in the field of digital technologies. The experts from the HHI
mentioned that cost and complexities now force radical rethinking of solutions
and that ”the potential of digitalisation for patients are not well exploited
Thank you again for this well organised and fruitfull delegation trip to Germany!
Yuan Almqvist, Export & Sales Manager, Predicare AB
feedback mentioned by participants during the wrap-up session was positive,
highlighting in particular the breakout sessions and the study visit at the
Centre for Cardiovascular Telemedicine with Prof. Dr. med Friedrich Köhler.
While Swecare is currently conducting more detailed evaluations, participants mentioned
possible points of improvement being more practical examples. The participants obtained the possibility for
individual follow-up meetings with Swecare and the GSCC to identify their needs
on the German e-Health markets.
happy that this first digital delegation was such a success, with some parts even working better
than in real life. Swecare is now looking forward to further developing and contributing
to new digital solutions, not only for healthcare but also for export promotion
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