Last week, our Health-Trends team was invited to the DayOne Conference 2019, which took place again in Basel. The approximately 400 participants enjoyed an inspiring and extensive full-day program. In the following, we took the chance to write down a summary with the most important highlights. We hope you enjoy reading it. If you have any additional remarks, please write us an e-mail or comment in the comment column below.

Inspiring start with a patient panel discussion

In healthcare, there is often a lack of end-customer perspective, not only in the activities between individual stakeholders such as medical service providers, health insurance companies or pharmaceutical companies but also at corresponding events and conferences. Therefore, the perspectives of the three patients, who gave insights into their lives in a panel discussion at the beginning of the event were very refreshing. This patient panel also laid an optimal foundation for subsequent discussions later on. Consequently, this year’s DayOne conference has taken new and innovative paths in this respect. It would be nice to see more similar activities at conferences in the future.

Controversial discussion about data ethics

The introductory patient panel was followed by two exciting panel discussions on ethics in the use of patient data and on new approaches to financing in healthcare. As expected, the topic of data, in particular, was discussed controversially. The panel participants agreed in principle that the collection, storage and sharing of data requires the patient’s consent and that adequate technological infrastructure is a fundamental prerequisite for this. However, there was disagreement about how restrictive the protection of patient data should be versus how much access to data pools is necessary from a societal perspective to achieve a higher level of research activities (e.g. on new medical treatment approaches, new substances for drugs, etc.). 

As Maneesh Juneja, British Digital Health Futurist, pointed out the public discussion about the value of patient data and their potential for the future healthcare system is still almost completely lacking. Also, from today’s perspective, too little is done to create consistency between different data pools and, above all, to accumulate the data needed to address societal challenges in healthcare. Above all, there was a consensus on the fact that the discussion on access to and use of patient data should also be conducted more publicly.

New approaches to financing innovation in healthcare are needed

Good discussions also marked the third panel discussion. Participants such as Amine Kochi, Venture Partner at Fusion, pointed out that the development of the start-up environment in the Swiss healthcare sector has been very positive over the past five years. And, consequently, more and more capital is flowing into the financing of innovation in healthcare. In contrast to this, other participants in the discussion continued to identify some challenges in the market (e.g. lack of access to capital and know-how, legal framework conditions, etc.).

Challenges such as lack of access to capital are also reflected in survey results by Galen Growth, which Julien de Salaberry, CEO of Galen Growth, contributed to the discussion. Last year, the Asia-Pacific region was the second largest digital healthcare market in the world, with funding of USD 6.2 billion in total. Only the US market, with around USD 8 billion in funding, is even more significant. In contrast, the European market is lagging, with an invested capital of USD 2-3 billion. Galen Growth also expects Asia to be the largest market for capital investments in digital health by the end of 2019. However, as another discussion participant from the venture capital environment mentioned, the desire for investments in the digital health environment is also increasing in Europe and especially in Switzerland.

In general, the participants agreed that not only start-ups, investors and government institutions should be held accountable for financing innovation. Much more important is the broad involvement of all stakeholders. For example, cross-sector innovation activities such as the DayOne Accelerator in Basel or supporting activities of individual healthcare stakeholders  (e.g. Groupe Mutuel’s Innopeaks Lab) are very welcome. And ultimately, the patient also becomes an essential promoter of innovation by actively requesting and using new innovative Digital Health Solutions in interaction with medical service providers.

Top highlight: Open Innovation Workshop with over 350 participants

Although the discussions during the panel events in the morning were excellent, the Open Innovation Workshop in the afternoon was the absolute highlight. Around 350 people worked for approximately two hours on 30 projects in the health environment and contributed their inputs to further development.  The projects were very diverse, with most of the projects focusing on data, diagnostics, systemic topics (e.g. IT, regulations) and health interventions. Examples of the projects can be found under the following link: https://de.slideshare.net/dayonebasel/dayone-conference-projects-169969877?next_slideshow=1

Summary: This year’s DayOne conference has taken new and innovative paths

In review, we found this year’s DayOne Conference very successful. The conference has taken new and innovative paths, mainly due to the patient panel at the beginning of the conference as well as the inspiring open innovation workshop during the afternoon. Both formats are unfortunately still rather rare today in the routine of healthcare conferences. We hope that further conferences will jump on such formats as they enrich the exchange and can lead to new relevant impulses for innovation in healthcare.


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