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Mr Brian O’Conner (Chair, European Connected Health Alliance (ECHAlliance)) said that digitalisation of MedTech is possible only if efficient and quick communication exists, and in many places it often doesn’t. MedTech requires collaboration, interoperability, and common standards in order to provide an end-to-end supply chain. People use technology every day, but they do not necessarily understand it. It is important to move with technological developments and to accept them. ‘Whatever is not connected today it doesn’t work for people.’ He noted that the digitalisation of healthcare in China is developing quickly. One billion dollars have been invested in fourteen different structures in China. He reminded the audience about the importance of cybersecurity for MedTech. ‘If you are connected into IoT, you are connected to the whole system, therefore cybersecurity should not be dismissed.’ He provided the example of the popular Pizza Hut which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to check toppings on pizzas. Pizza Hut has adopted digitalisation and it enabled them to become a fast-growing company. When it comes to ECHAlliance, he noted that the number of its members is growing quickly. He also emphasised the partnership with EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe which fosters innovations for the health and care of 30 million people living with rare diseases in Europe. It foresees ‘100 million digitally connected healthier citizens by 2027’. He concluded by saying that co-operation is crucial for successful digitalisation.
By Aida Mahmutović