fredag 31 maj 2019

Converting Agreements into Action: Sweden-India Year of Health

Swecare had the privilege of welcoming a delegation from India organised by our longtime partner InnovatioCuris.
Region Uppsala

Highlights included a highly engaging round table discussion with key Swedish innovators at the incomparable H2 Health Hub in Stockholm and a seminar at Vitalis in Gothenburg.

Aula Medica - KI
The delegation visited Karolinska Institute and Hospital in Solna, Uppsala Region and University, Surgical Science, Sahlgrenska, AstraZeneca's BioVentureHub, and GoCo Health Innovation City during their 4-day trip.

The focus of the delegation was to explore concrete collaboration opportunities between innovators in our two countries - taking the Innovation Partnership signed by Modi and Löfven last year to the next level.


VR at Surgical Science
  • Dr Sandeep Bhalla, Director of Training, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI): leading the capacity building initiatives for Primary care physicians in chronic disease management and injuries .
  • Deepali Jetley, Qwazent: Managing Partner from an all-female executive search firm with health care focus.
  • Kingshuk Poddar, AIC-AMTZ Medivalley Incubation Council: a comprehensive entrepreneur incubation hub catering to convergence technologies in the field of Medtech, Nutratech and Biotech.
  • Rohini Pimple, Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH): an initiative conceived to unlock the national treasure created by the top scientific research institutions in Telangana State, and to actively facilitate the process of taking their research to market.
  • Rajesh R. Singh, Wadhwani Initiative for Sustainable Healthcare (WISH) Foundation: improving the quality of and access to primary healthcare for under-served communities in India by appropriately introducing promising healthcare innovations in the public health system.
  • Sachin Gaur, InnovatioCuris: expert in cyber security and frugal innovations in health care.
  • Dr VK Singh, InnovatioCuris: veteran doctor with a decades long career in the Indian military and extensive network in India.
If you were unable to join us during last week's activities and are interested in pursuing any of these contacts, please get in touch. Further information: InnoBRIDGE 2019.

Upcoming projects & activities (email Swecare if interested):
Linda Swirtun, Vinnova
  • New Initiative - building a much broader and stronger platform in infection control, where as many Swedish institutions and companies as possible are engaged, establishing a Vision Zero for hospital acquired infections, similar to what has been done for road traffic accidents in Sweden and now exported to India.
  • Strengthening Collaboration - reducing environmental risks from antibiotic production & sustainable solutions through building alliances. On the issue, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) suggests a multi stakeholder call for action.
  • Vinnova Call - company-driven research and innovation projects (Smart Cities & Clean Energy, Digitisation & IoT). Deadline 15 August - more information.
  • Incoming visit - Director of AIIMS Jodhpur 12-14 June.

Seminar at Vitalis 2019

tisdag 21 maj 2019

Successful Networking Event Kindle Strong Connections

Last week, it was finally time for this year’s most exclusive event for our members, the annual CEO reception hosted by the Ministry of Health & Social Affairs.

On Wednesday afternoon, 70 VIP´s gathered to mingle and get an exclusive moment with the Minister for Social Affairs, Ms. Lena Hallengren and her State Secretary, Ms. Maja Fjaestad along with CEOs within our broad member network.

This year the event was not held at Rosenbad (as it’s under renovation) but in the newly refurbished building on Herculesgatan 17, right next to the prestigious building "Adelcrantzska Palatset". The guest area was bright and airy with a beautiful view of the palace. The CEO networking event gives a unique opportunity for our member companies to meet and talk about promotion efforts and exports.

The reception started with a short welcome note by Mr. Niclas Jacobson, Deputy Director General, Division for EU and International Affairs at the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, where he expressed the Ministry's appreciation for the valuable cooperation between the public and private sectors and Swecare's role to facilitate this.

The event culminated with inspiring presentations from our Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Ms. Lena Hallengren and her State Secretary, Ms. Maja Fjaestad. Both held engaging speeches about their desire to support and promote efforts to bring Swedish innovations to the rest of the world.

Minister Hallengren mentioned that she enjoyed the Triple Helix approach of the ministerial delegation of +30 delegates to India in February that Swecare organized with the Ministry, the Embassy and Business Sweden. Ms. Hallengren said she gained a better understanding of the needs of our member companies when entering a market and finished by saying that she looks forward to contributing even more on her next trip with the member companies of Swecare, planned to go to Ethiopia.

Ms. Fjaestad referred to the importance of technological development; from the printing press to the internet; technological innovations like the mobile phone that have given us new methods of sharing messages with each other, from the traditional pen and paper to a computer in our pocket. Many of our member companies are investing in such technology, e.g. digital health platforms, and other solutions that are becoming an integrated part of healthcare and indeed of our lives. These have the potential to increase efficiency in healthcare provision while also increasing the quality. Thus, political support for the development and dissemination of such solutions is important.

Before opening the floor for more networking, we had the pleasure to listen to two of our member companies, Surgical Science and EMPE Diagnostics. Mr. Gisli Hennermark talked about the importance of simulation tools within healthcare. Their mission is to give surgeons an excellent platform to train the fundamental technical skills of keyhole surgery before entering the operation room. For 20 years, Surgical Science has provided state-of-the-art medical training simulators that focus on ease of use and validation, so that surgeons can learn the practical techniques of instrument handling in a realistic but safe environment. This way, they can pay 100% attention to the patient once they begin their practice. 

Mr. Pavan Asalapuram talked about the benefits for a start-up of being part of a network like Swecare. EMPE Diagnostics joined Swecare in 2017 and has rapidly grown from a one-man company to a work force of 10 employees! EMPE Diagnostics has developed a patented solution for rapid diagnosis and resistance determination of tuberculosis, even for clinics with limited resources. The product has been validated on clinical samples and is expected to be market ready by the end of this year.

The event continued for an hour with intensive mingling and fruitful connections were made between both new and old contacts. Our chairman, Vivianne Macdisi thanked everyone and expressed our gratitude to the Ministry of Health & Social Affairs for organizing this special event each year for our members, and last but not least sent a big thank you to our members for enabling us to create such warm receptions. We look forward to seeing you next year!

onsdag 15 maj 2019

Besök hos Fillauer

Ett nyfiket Swecare- gäng var på besök hos Fillauer i Sollentuna häromdagen, ett relativt nytt medlemsbolag till oss, sedan början på 2019.

Fillauer utvecklar, producerar och säljer ortoser och proteser. Vi fick inledningsvis en presentation om Fillauers histora, de har funnits ända sedan 1914 och är än idag ett familjeföretag som nu drivs av fjärde generationen ortopedingenjörer. Det är just viljan till att underlätta livet för sina patienter som har varit pushen i deras produktutveckling. Vi hade glädjen att sitta ned med Fillauer Europe´s VD Kevin Moore, säljchef Poya Panah och marknadschef Alexander Engström. 

Fillauer Europe har sitt huvudkontor i Sollentuna och har därifrån säljansvar för hela världen, förutom Nord- och Sydamerika, Japan och Australien som sköts från moderbolaget i USA. Det svenska varumärket står sig högt även inom området ortopedi, det var vår innovationskraft i Sverige och den högt ansedda ortopedutbildningen i Jönköping som var motiv till placering av huvudkontoret i Sverige.

Vi gick även igenom vilka exportmarknader de har på sin prioriteringslista på kort och långsikt. Den stämde till stor del bra överens med Swecares kommande aktiviteter och vi ska se vad mer som kan läggas till på listan. Besöket var mycket lärorikt och vi fick en guidad tur i produktionen för att få djupare insikt i alla de delar de har under ett och samma tak. Det vi inte förstått innan var hur mycket konst och detaljrikedom som ligger bakom varje produkt. Vi lärde oss även skillnaderna mellan ortos och protes. Att ortoser är olika typer av hjälpmedel som används som ett yttre stöd på en kroppsdel medan proteser ersätter en förlorad eller skadad del av kroppen. En av deras mest omtalade produkter är deras ortos Dynamic Walk som är utvecklad för att göra livet enklare för personer med droppfot för att de ska orka mer, den går att använda i vanliga skor. Vilken förhöjning av livkvalité ni kan förmedla med ert arbete!

Med det här vill vi tacka Fillauer för att ni tog emot oss under en spännande förmiddag och ser framemot att kunna hjälpa er ut på nya marknader och lära känna er ännu mer!

fredag 10 maj 2019

Flanders - inspirational weekend reading

The Future of E-health in Belgium

This week we had the opportunity to hold a seminar together with Flanders Investment & Trade to  explore the latest digitalization partnership opportunities within the Belgian healthcare system. The interest for the seminar was high and it was very nice to see so many Swecare members represented; Zenicor Medical Systems, Raytelligence, Camanio Care, WeCare AB, Predicare, Doctrin and Karolinska Institutet.

Mikael Larsson, foreign investment advisor opened the seminar with a short introduction of Flanders Investment & Trade, which is a government agency supporting companies interested in investing in Flanders with assistance and information. They have more than 70 regional offices worldwide.

Elucidating the Belgian healthcare system within a couple of hours is no easy task but invited guest speaker Peter Raeymakers, from Zorgnet Icuro, gave an excellent presentation.

To understand the basics, he opened the presentation by letting us know that Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium. The capital of Flanders is Brussels, which is also the capital of Belgium and home to the headquarters of the EU and NATO. Flanders has its own parliament and government. Flanders, despite not being the biggest part of Belgium by area, is the area with the largest population (68.5%). 7,876,873 out of 11,491,346 Belgian inhabitants live in Flanders or the bilingual city of Brussels.

Present-day Flanders (dark green) shown within Belgium and Europe.
Brussels is considered part of the geographical region but is politically separate.

The Belgian healthcare system is mainly organised into two levels: federal and regional. Responsibility for healthcare policy is shared between the federal government, the Federal Public Service Social Security, the National Institute for Sickness and Disability Insurance (INAMI), and the Dutch-, French-, and German-speaking community Ministries of Health. The federal government is responsible for regulating and financing the compulsory health insurance, determining accreditation criteria, financing hospitals and so-called ‘heavy’ medical care units, as well as legislation covering different professional qualifications, and registration of pharmaceuticals and their price control. The regional governments are responsible for health promotion, maternity and child health services, some aspects of elderly care, implementation of hospital accreditation standards, and financing of hospital investment.

The Belgium healthcare system is divided into state and private sectors, with fees payable in both, funded by a combination of Belgian social security contributions and health insurance funds. With mandatory health insurance, patients are free to choose their own medical professionals and places of treatment. Patients generally pay costs upfront and are reimbursed a proportion of the charges for medical and dental fees, hospital care and treatment, maternity costs and prescriptions through their Belgian health insurance fund. Doctors work in public and/or private settings. Dentists are almost all private. Hospitals and clinics are private and usually managed by universities, religious organizations or mutuelle/ziekenfonds.

In 2013, Belgium’s total health expenditure was 10.2% of the GDP, which is 6th highest among the EU-15 (OECD, 2015). The Belgian health system is primarily funded through social security contributions and taxation. Public sector funding as a percentage of total expenditure on healthcare fluctuates around 70%.

1/3 of the Belgian hospitals are operating in the red and that is due to the increasing cost of healthcare. Another substantial factor in Belgium, are the costs of medical professionals. This is a wake-up call to restructure funding and provision approaches.

As Belgium is on the verge of reforming its health care system, it is the perfect moment for Swecare members to engage in this transformation and benefit from new opportunities. With 11 million inhabitants, an ageing population which increases the need for collaboration in efficient healthcare, couple with the fast pace of technological change, Belgium needs to invest in innovation.

The Swedish think tank Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP) has been comparing 35 European care systems since 2005 and presented a study in February this year showing that Belgium has risen to the 5th spot in the European health index, up from 8. Belgium is lauded for its quick and good treatments, high levels of child vaccinations, and the affordability of health care. Long waiting lists in mental health care and a lack of information are identified as points where action should be taken.

Now, start-ups are rising in the e-health sector. They provide solutions that combat the healthcare challenges of today:
  • People are making worse lifestyle decisions with higher risks of chronic diseases as a result
  • Rising costs creates friction to democratize healthcare for everyone
  • Seniors are getting older and older

Just to name a few examples of the challenges, Belgium aims to be the place-to-be for HealthTech innovations, attracting talent and innovations from all over the world.

Belgium has big plans for implementing E-health in the healthcare system. It’s now possible to share medical information and ‘documents’ of patients on secured platforms. It is termed the EPD (Elektronisch Patiënten Dossier) in Belgium. Every caregiver will have access to the relevant information of their patient. Easier access supports multidisciplinary care and drives collaboration between the specialists. These elements increase the quality of care. Patients are included in this e-health transformation. They can have access to their medical records, which helps them to be on track with their health. Furthermore, communication between patients, caregivers and other stakeholders will improve with the EPD. Electronic platforms ensure processes to run even smoother.
However, while many health data are being collected and published in Belgium, some data are collected but are not used (e.g. morbidity indicators), while for other areas such as nursing, primary care, psychiatry, elderly and nursing homes, and non-reimbursed payments only limited data are available. In addition, the coordination to integrate the data available for policy decision should be strengthened.

Peter explained more about the national project “eHealth Hubs & MetaHub” coordinated by the eHealth platform is meant to make medical results from hospitals (and in the near future medical laboratories) available to any caregiver who currently is treating the patient. For detailed information see This system supplements the traditional system of addressed ‘email type’ communication to individual referrers.
Before medical data about a patient can be shared, that patient has to grant the “eHealth informed consent” (see Further, care providers declare a therapeutic relationship with the patient.

Communication between the hubs and between external physicians and a hub is according to the KMEHR standard:

M-Health Belgium
Peter also talked about mHealthBELGIUM, which is the Belgian platform for mobile applications that are CE-marked as a medical device. It offers all the relevant and necessary information to patients, healthcare professionals and healthcare institutions regarding these mobile applications. The information on this platform covers CE-marking, GDPR, compliance with security and authentication rules and how the app is financed. mHealthBELGIUM is an initiative of the Federal Belgian Government. This platform of 24 selected projects are operated by Agoria & beMedTech, in close cooperation with NIHDIFAMHP & the eHealth Platform.

The Belgian government with Maggie De Block (minister of Public Health) at the forefront sees these life-changing opportunities. Her aim is to incorporate M-health into the healthcare. But before M-health solutions are implemented, they will go through a validation pyramid. The validation pyramid analyses whether an application is safe, secure and provides benefit to the patient, caregiver or the healthcare system. That is to say healthcare is one of the slowest sectors to adopt healthcare technology. Therefore, to fast-track these applications, this evaluation model will ‘test’ and ‘fail solutions quicker. No more delays of valuable innovations accessing healthcare.

De Block has performed the validation pyramid on 24 M-health applications and published the first results. As expected, the main benefit is that patients are more involved in their health maintenance. They are more willing to follow through with their treatment, feel supported and safely tracked by a caregiver on distance. Giving the patient control, also drives healthier choices in lifestyle.

Peter mentioned that there’s a good chance for you to enter the Belgian market with your health app, but it must be a medical device. Please visit; and read the FAQs and how to apply, etc.

Peter represented Zorgnet Icuro which is a network of health care organizations, general hospitals, elderly care clinics with around 775 members and employing around 129.000 people. Their goal is to exchange information, knowledge and ideas in health care. And to discuss several issues in the healthcare sector.

Before the seminar ended, we had the pleasure to listen to Collective Minds Radiology AB a small start-up which sells a platform for Radiologists. They’ve just entered the Belgian market by landing on a right contact through LinkedIn and had the same morning signed a contract with AZ West Hospital in Veurne and will during next week introduce their platform to other hospitals in the region.

Amber Ryckewaert from Flanders Investment & Trade wrapped up and invited all participants and members of Swecare to join them on a 2-day study visit to Flanders some time during week, 21-25 October 2019. The outline is not ready yet as they wish You to come with your wishes! So, if you’re interested in entering the Belgian market please contact Amber RYCKEWAERT, for more information!

We say a big thank you to Flanders Investment & Trade for making this an interesting event for our members!

tisdag 30 april 2019

Swecares årsmöte med årskonferens 2019

Förra veckan var det dags för Swecares årsmöte och den efterföljande årskonferensen i konferensanläggningen här på Sveavägen 63. Ett 70-tal medlemmar och partners mötte upp och tog tillfället att lyssna till presentationer av 2018 års verksamhet och att påverka val av styrelse och inriktning framöver.

Vivianne Macdisi, regionråd i Uppsala, omvaldes till styrelseordförande ytterligare ett år, ett par ledamöter tackades av och ett par representanter för viktiga medlemsbolag som Visiba Care och Zenicor Medical Systems valdes in i styrelsen. Vi är otroligt tacksamma för de personer som avsätter tid och möda helt oavlönat för att föra främjandeagendan och Swecares verksamhet framåt och instämmer i det tack som ordförande riktade till de avgående ledamöterna.

En annan viktig punkt på dagordningen denna dag var förslag till ny avgiftsstruktur för medlemskap i Swecare. Inom styrelsen har en diskussion kring Swecares långsiktiga finansiering pågått det senaste året och man har känt ett behov av att göra organisationen mindre sårbar. Statens bidrag till Swecare har ökat ganska kraftigt och från att näringslivet och staten stått för ungefär häften var, står staten idag för mer än två tredjedelar. Årsmötet röstade (enhälligt!) för styrelsens förslag som innebär att medlemmarna kommer matcha statens insats. Viktigt har varit att inte de små bolagen ska drabbas för hårt av en avgiftshöjning. Vi kommer få anledning att återkomma till detta, hör gärna av er om ni har frågor eller synpunkter!

Då formalian var avklarad inleddes själva årskonferensen med ett inspirerande anförande av Maja Fjaestad, statssekreterare till socialminister Lena Hallengren. Maja Fjaestad talade bl a om frihet, vikten av samverkan och att Sverige har stora möjligheter att erbjuda kunnande och lösningar till omvärlden.

Publiken fick också lyssna till flera av Sveriges inflytelserika personer inom Life Science-sektorn så som; Anders Blanck, Vd LIF och Anna Lefevre-Skjöldebrand, Vd Swedish Medtech som lyfte vikten av en fungerande Life Science-strategi samt ett Life Science-kontor. 

Anders Lönnberg, generalkommissarie Expo2020 och Suzanne Håkansson, Senior Director Government Affairs berättade om Sveriges deltagande i Expo2020 och deras engagemang. Om ni inte redan visste det, så är Swecare en nybliven officiell partner och kommer ha en viktigt och betydande roll i eventet.

Vi kommer under veckan att bjuda in er medlemmar att medverka i en första träff/workshop om hur vi får ut det mesta av vårt deltagande i Expot. Så boka in den 4 juni redan nu, anmäl er via inbjudan och kom för att få höra mer om hur planerna går kring Expo2020 i Dubai, brainstorma kring vad som gör Sverige unikt och världsledande inom just Life Science-området och lyssna på hur Swecares tankar går kring tematiska områden vi skulle kunna lyfta. 

Förra årets Swecare Export Award-vinnare Cambio Healthcare Systems representerad av Rong Chen, Chief Medical Informatics Officer och förra årets Rising Star Award-vinnare Camanio Care representerad av Vd, Catharina Borgenstierna berättade om deras succéår och vilket avtryck en sån här utmärkelse kan ge. Catharina nämnde bl a att få chansen att vinna ett sånt här pris, ger en liten företagare, som vi en "kick" att vilja fortsätta att kämpa för det man tror på! 
En av eftermiddagens höjdpunkter var såklart utdelningen av Swecare Export Award och Swecare Rising Star Award. I år var det hela sju nominerade; Elekta, Fillauer Europe, Diaverum, Mentice, Naslund Medical AB, Trionara och Zenicor Medical Systems i den första kategorin och fem nominerade; Brighter, EMPEDiagnostics, Frisq, Insamlingsstiftelsen Choice och Visiba Care  i den andra kategorin. Juryns hade inget lätt jobb att utse årets vinnare i vardera kategori men efter stenhårda diskussioner lyckades man enas. För oss på kansliet har spänningen varit olidlig och det var så roligt att äntligen få avslöja årets stolta vinnare under konferensen. 

Medtech-bolaget Naslund Medical AB tog hem första kategorin för sin "innovationskraft, strategi och stark export". Läkaren och uppfinnaren från Långsjön, Ingemar Näslund och bolagets vd Samuel Näslund var på plats och blev mäkta förvånade när deras namn lästes upp! Brighter AB blev årets rookie, Rising star för deras efterlängtade världsnyhet för diabetiker. Brighter har verkligen visat att de är ett starkt exempel på ett svenskt "born global"- företag! De stolta vinnarna fick ta emot priset ur statssekreterare Maja Fjaestads hand.

Vi säger stort grattis till de båda och ta gärna del av juryns motiveringar här; Naslund Medical AB och Brighter AB. Moderator för årskonferensen var vår ordförande Vivianne Macdisi.

Eventet hölls på City Life Konferens & möten som tillhör vår partner, LIF och som man sedan en tid arbetar på att utveckla till en mötesplats för aktörer inom Life Science. Så småningom kommer vi kunna erbjuda våra gemensamma medlemmar möjligheten att boka konferenslokaler här hos oss på Sveavägen 63! Hör av er till oss om ni är intresserade av att veta mer.

Ett stort tack till alla medlemmar & partners som kom och förgyllde vår dag! Glad Valborg!

onsdag 10 april 2019

Patienten som en resurs i vården, del 2

Swecare vill börja med att tacka alla som kom till seminariet. Det är härligt att se att temat verkar nå ut till den grupp av företag och aktörer som vi vill involvera, det är självklart flera aktörer vi vill involvera men konceptet att samla både klassiska medtechbolag och lite mer tech-rotade bolag samt vårdaktörer har gett spännande samtal på mingel. Den här gången var de lite drygt 40 personer som kom. Superkul! Tack Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset i Solna för lån av det fina lokalerna. Vilken utsikt! Anna Sahlström Head of International Affairs på Karolinska Universitetssjukhusets började med att hälsa oss alla välkomna.

Som första talare var vi glada att välkomna statssekreterare Maja Fjaestad. Med sin teknikbakgrund och intresse inom området beskrev hon bland annat hur utveckling av teknik leder och har lett till frihet på olika sätt. Hon lyfte även prioriteringar inom hälso- och sjukvårdsområdet för regeringen. Några inspel från hennes presentation var; teknopolitik – teknik som används eller designas för att uppnå politiska mål, hur man kan använda medborgargenererad data kring sådant som skulle ta staten evigheter att samla in samt att vården måste bli en attraktiv arbetsplats, både attrahera folk att börja arbeta inom vården men också få folk att stanna kvar.

Näst på tur var Roger Molin, f.d. analytiker på SKL, som på ett målande sätt presenterade var våra framtida stora utmaningar ligger samt hur tekniken kan lösa problemen. En viktig aktör som är känslig för demografiska förändringar är våra kommuner och landsting. Då demografiskt betingade behov innebär stora kostnader för institutioner som skola och barnomsorg är det inte nödvändigtvis den ofta utmålade äldre delen av befolkningen. Sätt till antal är de få till skillnad från de 120 000 barn som föds per år. Vi förväntas ha en befolkning på 11 miljoner 2028 en befolkningsökning som sätter stora utmaningar på vårt välfärdsystem. Roger pekar på att vårdköer kan kortas bara genom att använda tekniken rätt. Låt sjukdomsanamnesen och diagnostisering göras av ”datorer” och bjud in flera experter till digitalt möte med patienten för att kunna ge individinriktad prevention.

Angelica Frithiof som är Ordförande för Strategiska patient- och närståenderådet på Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset var näst upp att tala om hur man arbetar inkluderande med patienter. Ett av de tydligaste signalerna från Angelica var att det räcker inte med att lyssna in patienternas åsikter, man måste agera på det patienterna säger.

Efter det gav två av våra medlemsbolag sina företagspitchar på hur deras lösningar verkligen använder patienten och patientens bästa i sitt arbete.

Först upp var Ulf Kindefält, VD på Kontigo Care, som är en AI baserad beroendeplattform, deras lösning ger ”patienten” stöd 24/7. De har redan avtal med 96 kommuner i Sverige men det går rasande fort så snart är nog Sverige täckt och resten av världen på agendan. Grannländerna är först ut.dan.

Hannes Palm, Head of Business Development på FRISQ lät oss lyssna på hur de underlättar för vården genom digitaliserade vårdplaner och samtidigt lagt in delar som involverar patienten och ger dem insyn i hela processen. Det är framförallt värdefullt vid diagnoser då du har en längre kontakt med sjukvården.

Det gav alla bra inspel till intressanta diskussioner för minglet efter. Vi ser redan framemot nästa träff, datum kommer inom kort!


onsdag 3 april 2019

Delegation to Qatar

The first Swedish health care and life science delegation to Doha, Qatar took place between 25th-28th of March. The delegation was co- organized by the Swedish Embassy in Doha, Global Pharma Consulting and Swecare and was led by our Ambassador Ewa Polano and consisted of 22 delegates representing a wide spectrum of Swedish innovations and research in line with focus areas stated in Qatar National Health Strategy 2018-2022 such as diabetes care and prevention and rehabilitation medicine and companies in the highly prioritized areas of precision medicine and virtual reality and medicine within rare diseases. The delegation had representatives from academia, public- and private sector in line with the triple helix approach that Swecare always aims for.

 The program started with a kick-off meeting for the delegation to go through the program, get an overview of Qatar and the health care sector in particular and to get to know each other. The kick-off meeting was followed by a dinner with the swedish medical community in Qatar. Dr. Egon Toft, Dean of the College of Medicine at Qatar University is from Denmark and were also present at the dinner and said a few words about the ambitions of Qatar University.

First meeting was at the Ministry of Public Health with Dr. Ahmed Al Mulla, (Senior Consultant and Advisor to the Minister of Public Health), Mohamed Al Thani and the heads of departments. As a concrete result from the meeting several follow up meetings were arranged to further elaborate on future collaborations and knowledge sharing.

The delegation was then accompanied by Dr. Ahmed Al Mulla to our next meeting at the National Obesity Center but managed to give us a tour at the Hamad Tobacco Control Center before which is a collaboration center with WHO.

Prof. Shahrad Taheri at the newly established National Obesity Center (at Hamad Medical Corporations) received the delegations and presented their great success rate of patients enrolled at their clinic and different programs that they have put in place to promote an healthy life style for the Qatari people.

To get an overview of the registration process for pharmaceutical- and medtech companies the delegates met with Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Hussein Babiker, Head of Registration & Drugs Pricing Section
 at Ministry of Public Health.

This was followed by a meeting with Dr. Hareth Al Khater and his team at the impressive National Center for Cancer Care and Research. Sweden being well-known for its innovations and know-how in the sector raised great interest from the Qatari side. The work at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research is now following their second five year cancer plan.

An overview of Weill Cornell Medical University and their establishment in Qatar was presented by Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, Dr. Marco Ameduri and Dr. Sohaila Cheema and resulted in discussions about the potential of maybe sharing knowledge and organizing webinars together.

Second day started with a meeting at the prestigious Qatar National Research Fund where the Executive Director Dr. Abdul Satter Al Taie (, Ms Noor Al-Mereki, Dr Mohammed Hussein Jarrar, Dr. Fatemeh Darakhshan) and colleagues presented the ongoing research commitments they have with Sweden. They also explained different types of set ups for research projects for future collaborations. QNRF are very interested in the way Sweden use triple helix approach to foster innovations.  

Next meeting was with CEO Peter Morris and his international team at Sidra Medicine which is a hospital for women and children. The hospital struck the visitors with its impressive architecture to the precision of high quality care that is provided in the hospital.

The delegation also met and listened to Mr. Fayad Mohamed Katib and heard a presentation about their new project Alfardan Private Clinic and their ambitions within the health care sector.

Last meeting of the second day was a presentation of Aspetar and round tour where a Swedish Dr. Jan Ekstrand is the Chief Medical Officer. The guided tour included visits to everything from simulation center to rehabilitation pools and everything in a standard above the ordinary.   

The last day of program the delegation met with Dr. Mahmoud Ali Zire and Manal Musallam Othman at Qatar Diabetes Association to learn about their work, around 17 percent of the population is suffering from Diabetes which puts a heavy load on the health care system 

One of the highlights of the delegation was to meet with H.E. Sheikha Hind Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani in her role as Vice Chair person and CEO of Qatar Foundation. The visit to Qatar Foundation started with a round tour of their facility and got a good look of the large premises. Dr. Richard O´Kennedy, Vice president for Research Development & Innovation at Qatar Foundation expressed their strong interest to see joint applications from different Swedish stakeholders.

Last meeting was with new Medical City Hospitals with Dr. Ali Jahni and colleagues. The three new hospitals - Qatar Rehabilitation Institute (QRI), the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC), and Women’s Wellness and Research Center (WWRC) are one of the biggest healthcare facility expansion project in the region and will house 500 new hospital beds.

The delegation will hopefully bear in to projects that will develop the healthcare sector in both Sweden and Qatar.