Passion about Innovation for Healthcare
Guest post by Pál Tegzes, Chairman of GE Healthcare Hungary Technical Council
What do 180 medical software developers, a scientist professor, a regional vice-president of a mobile communications company and a professional public speaker have in common? They all gathered recently in Budapest for GE Healthcare Hungary’s 4th Annual Technology Symposium and told how passion and innovation were crucial components for their success. Innovation in healthcare and mobile communications can be linked very well, for example in remote healthcare monitoring, centralized medical administration or digital analysis of diseases with the help of cloud computing.
GE Healthcare Hungary’s Technology Symposium Series is an annual conference where the company’s R&D employees listen to world-class invited speakers, and also share with each other their latest technical and scientific developments, highlighting the great opportunities in CEE in the field of technological advancement.
This year’s symposium was opened by Dr. Lajos Reich, Chief Technology Officer of GE Healthcare Hungary and hosted key-note speakers including Dr. Gábor Szabó (Rector, Szeged University), Roland Jakab (Vice President, Ericsson), and Vilmos Benkő (AmCham Board Member, Entrepreneur and Innovation Guru).
During the morning session Dr. Endre Ascsillán, GE Healthcare Government Relations, highlighted the major challenges that healthcare faces in CEE, explaining that available funds had dropped significantly, for example in Hungary healthcare expenditure has decreased from 3.9% to 3.2% of GDP in the past year (which is far below the EU average of 9%, not to mention the US where it amounts to 16%) (source: NEFMI). Dr. Ascsillan proposed some potential solutions to bridge these gaps in the form of regional cooperation and optimal utilization of the available EU funds. It was interesting to hear that the same recipe applies also for scientific projects: ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure), the pan-European laser facility aiming to host the most powerful lasers world-wide, is to be established in Szeged (Hungary), Prague (Czech Republic) and Magurele (Romania) by 2015, and is based on the €700m funds granted by the European Commission. As Dr. Gábor Szabó stated, ELI may provide a large societal benefit in medicine with new radiography and hadron therapy methods, but moreover it opens new regimes in physics, so the full range of benefits cannot be predicted. Roland Jakab, vice president of Ericsson Hungary said that besides advanced science, the improvement of communication infrastructure can also largely contribute to the growth of the region. He outlined that 1000 new mobile subscriptions can create 80 new jobs and the expansion of broadband accessibility usually correlates with 0.3% GDP growth.
In the afternoon GE Healthcare’s engineers presented their latest innovations in image quality, image processing and clinical information, innovations in diagnostics workflow, novel medical software platforms and user interfaces, and innovative methods for testing and simulation.
It was great to share, learn and debate new innovations and technologies from diverse areas of life. The event – just like other initiatives as GE Healthimaginatioin Challenge or cooperations with universities – fully reflected GE Healthcare’s commitment to innovation and building technology for healthier lives.
For more details you can watch the following video: