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Centre for Public Health in Economics and Business

Faculty of Economics and Business
Centre for Public Health in Economics and Business Events Conferences

2016 - Organising Healthcare Innovations

4th Annual Healthwise Conference, 4 November 2016


Centre of Expertise Healthwise of the University of Groningen organised its fourth annual Healthwise conference on Friday 4 November 2016. The theme of the conference was ‘Organising Healthcare Innovations’, with keynote speakers Kieran Walshe (Manchester Business School), Philippe Delespaul (Maastricht University) and Henk van der Wal (Institute for Defence and Partnerships Hospitals, Ministry of Defence). Managers, professionals and researchers who work in the healthcare sector, science and policy world were cordially invited for this meeting. The conference offered a diverse program with plenary presentations and parallel sessions of both scientists and professionals from practice.

Centre of Expertise Healthwise of the Faculty of Economics and Business annually organises a conference around current themes in the science and practice of Health (Care) Economics, Business, and Management. The Healthwise conference is a network meeting where the healthcare sector, academia and the policy world meet.

Healthcare innovations smart watch
Looking back (keynotes)

Keynote Kieran Walshe

Research and innovation systems in health and social care in the UK

Kieran Walshe’s excellent keynote address focused on the reasons for the notion of why the healthcare system seems to be designed to prevent (disruptive) innovation. He put to the audience that the main cause of this is the way research and innovation in healthcare is organised (with particular focus on the UK).

While large investments are being made in pharma and R&D (globally $240 billion), most of the money goes to projects within the pharmaceutical companies and universities. Of the total R&D expenses, only a very small part is being spent on healthcare services research - while 65% of all healthcare cost originate from the workforce and healthcare service system. Paradoxically, we spend the least amount of research money on the largest bills. The problem gets bigger if we realise that only a marginal fraction of all R&D will lead to clinical changes. This has to do with the fact that the healthcare system has little to say about the spending of money on R&D – rarely are end users of research evidence involved in agenda setting.

If we compare this with the automotive industry, we see that 90% of the R&D-costs are funded by the own industry and most R&D is done in house. In this industry a competitive advantage is essential to stay ahead of competitors.

The scope of the R&D is mainly driven by the interest of the industry (for example new and green energy sources) and universities often have an important role in providing the workforce to do the research. So, there is a much closer connection between R&D and the needs of the industry.

If we look at R&D behaviour there are three different patterns:

- Need seekers: The customers’ needs are the scope of their R&D.
- Market readers: The market opportunities are the scope of the R&D.
- Technology drivers: Their R&D is technology driven.

In which group can we put pharmaceuticals and healthcare organisations?

Healthcare is a hybrid industry, combining high-intensity R&D (pharmaceutical companies) with low-intensity R&D elements (healthcare system). Within the healthcare industry we have chosen to outsource the R&D to the universities, making healthcare organisations merely ‘sites for research’, rather than active players.

The paradox of health innovation as economic wealth creation vs health innovation as cost pressure in healthcare systems can only be resolved through a more integrated approach to R&D.

Prof. dr. Kieran Walshe, Professor of Health Policy and Management at Manchester Business School

Slides Kieran Walshe

Keynote Philippe Delespaul

IT innovations should be as pencils (a solution for problems we have – not problems we create)

Philippe Delespaul presented his keynote lecture on IT innovations in the mental healthcare sector. Having been in a taskforce for psychology and computers as early as 1984 he states that there have been no new developments to the intrinsic part of psychology. We should look at the needs and see where IT innovations can be a solution to problems we have, not problems we create.

We have to understand what those problems actually are. Mental health problems are stigmatized in the public field but over 90% can relate to mental health problems and over 44% experience issues in a lifetime. Mental health problems indicate a vulnerability possibly leading to inability to function in our society. Delespaul thinks we need to be more conductive and have sustainable development goals. These goals are cutting morbidity, suicides, and mental illnesses by a third as well as increasing social participation and decreasing the life expectancy gap by 50%.

We know psychopathology is contextualized and not an identity. They are vulnerabilities resulting in mental suffering. There is no one best intervention and “the average person does not exist”. This complies with Machteld Huber’s definition of health: “Health is the ability to adapt and self-manage in light of the physical, emotional and social challenges”. There is approximately the same amount of money in the care system as is in allowance for sufferers of mental health problems, pointing out the importance re-evaluating the problems we have. Delespaul presents seven challenges revolving around communities, resilience, empowerment, and IT:

1. Too many patients, not enough resources.
What IT solutions are there? E-Health has low adoption level because it is not applicable.
2. Bridging the gap between professionals and non-professionals.
Focus on what triggers the vulnerability and avoid stigmatization.
3. Id entifying triggers and customize intervention.
Behaviour as a function of personality traits and environment as basis for mHealth solutions like PsyMate.
4. Personalized treatments.
Based on algorithms and iterative optimizing.
5. Generalized treatments.
Beyond clinicians’ office and use of contextualized instruments.
6. Network collaboration.
Moving towards a person-centric health cloud where resilience can be build up by peer group.
7. Measure psychological health impact.
The impact goes far beyond the patient and use of big data could provide the tools to measure this.

Prof. Philippe Delespaul is Professor of Innovations in Mental Health at Maastricht University.

Slides Philippe Delespaul

Keynote Henk van der Wal

Different approaches on innovations in military healthcare - less demanding for the healthcare system

Colonel Henk van der Wal gave an inspiring talk on ‘organising healthcare innovations, in a changing world’, based on his experience as Commanding Officer of the Institute for Defence and Partnership Hospitals within The ministry of Defence.

Traditionally, healthcare services in the military are military only (e.g. one would go and see a military practitioner, not a civilian one), however, increasingly, this system is becoming too costly. For instance, one of the unique and key attributes of healthcare within the military is that the healthcare needs to follow the soldiers. Sending various healthcare professionals with troops, however, may introduce inefficient use of those professionals. In thinking through how to organise care, quality of care is paramount, while at the same time costs must be controlled. Technological solutions (e.g. remote telehealth services for the soldiers to use when they are on mission) will be part of solutions the Military is currently working on.

Being in a high-risk profession comes with challenges and like the rest of the population, the retirement age for soldiers is increasing, so in current innovation projects, much attention is also paid to maximising resilience of the Dutch soldiers throughout their entire career. An example of a large program (together with TNO) addressing this aspect aims for “Sustainable readiness” , which has Machteld Huber’s definition of health at heart: ‘ Health as the ability to adapt and to self-manage, in the face of social, physical, and emotional challenges’. In this program, three levels of fitness are distinguished: personal readiness (fit for life), as a base line, task specific readiness (fit for function) and mission focused readiness (fit for action). So, large investments are being made to create a supportive culture and prevent health problems, as part of the innovations being implemented to arrive at a high quality, efficient healthcare system for the defence force.

Colonel Henk van der Wal is Commanding Officer, Institute for Defence and Partnership Hospitals, Ministry of Defence.

Slides Henk van der Wal

Debate: "Healthcare digitalization and platformization of primary healthcare: Can Europe compete with Apple's HealthKit?"

The conference included a debate, led by David Langley (RUG), about the rise of platform based business models in primary care and the challenges and opportunities for the Dutch and European health sectors. The participants were:
- Prof. dr. Thys van der Molen, Professor of primary care Respiratory Medicine, UMCG
- Dr. Maarten Lahr, postdoc researcher, UMCG

Slides debate David Langley

Parallel sessions

Slides of the presenters of the parallel sessions are in the table below.

11.30-12.30 Parallel sessions morning

1. Technological innovations

Adoption and implementation of Electronic Medical Record Systems.

2. Innovations bringing care at home

Living at home longer

3. Innovations in organising care

Balanceren van dualiteiten: de casus Levenskracht (Dutch)

4. Innovations in the healthcare system

Innovations in purchasing healthcare within managed competition

An organization perspective
dr. Marc Seelen, Chief Medical Information Officer and nephrologist, UMCG


Vivalib, evolutive housing & aging well
ir. Annelies Lammers - Vivalib Nederland


drs. Sanja Bouman - Bureau HHM & drs. Erik-Jan Vlietman - Levenskracht


Incentives for innovative contracting within the Dutch system of managed competition
Prof. Bernard van den Berg -
Professor Health Economics (RUG)

A stakeholder perspective
Prof. Albert Boonstra - Professor information management RUG & Dr. Janita Vos -Assistant Professor, RUG


Prof. Hans Wortmann - Professor Information Management RUG


Dr. Marjolein van Offenbeek - associate professor, RUG


Value based contracting
Peter Dohmen - PhD candidate (EUR), Zilveren Kruis Achmea & dr. Eric van der Hijden - Zilveren Kruis Achmea

13.30-14.30 Parallel sessions afternoon

1. Technological innovations

Personalized social technology for persistent self-management support of children with chronic diseases

2. Innovations bringing care at home

Post-acute care: treatment at home versus the hospital

3. Innovations in organising care

De Friese COPD zorgketen in beweging (Dutch)

4. Innovations in the healthcare system

Social and economic values related to healthcare innovations

(please note that the presentation of Roelof Jonkers will be in Dutch)

PAL: A robot buddy that provides edutainment to support children’s coping with diabetes at the hospital, camps and home.
Gert Jan van der Burg – pediatrician and medical director Ziekenhuis Gelderse Vallei


Hospital at Home, a new care trajectory
Maaike Pouw - PhD candidate internal medicine, UMCG


Hoe kan de COPD zorg beter? Over longfunctie en kwaliteit van leven
Jaap Strijbos -longarts Nij Smellinghe ziekenhuis


Karin Kalverboer - Zorg Innovatie Forum


Prof. dr. Mark Neerincx - professor human-centred computing and principal scientist at Delft University of Technology, and principal scientist at TNO

Presentation Kees Ahaus - Professor Healthcare Management, RUG


Omgaan met financiële prikkels, het perspectief van de verzekeraar-zorgaanbieder relatie
Bart Noort - PhD candidate, RUG


dr. Jochen Mierau - associate professor, RUG



During lunch, there was a poster session in which PhD students in the field of Healthcare Management, Health Economics and Business and Health presented their research.

Poster Gepke Veenstra

Poster Lisanne Hut

Poster Beatriz Rodríguez-Sánchez

Poster Laura Viluma

Poster Jan Koch

Poster Marit Drijfhout

Poster Martine van der Heide



If you need further information, please contact Healthwise:

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050-363 9090

The Healthwise Conference 2016 is sponsored by:

Last modified:09 April 2020 4.14 p.m.
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