On 22 November, nearly 70 professionals from Catalonia’s comprehensive health system for public use (SISCAT) attended the conference ‘Artificial Intelligence as a transformative tool’, jointly organised by the Health/AI Programme and Merck at CosmoCaixa in Barcelona. The event, aimed at health centre managers and directors, focused on the opportunities and challenges that Artificial Intelligence brings to the field of health.
Carlos Gallego, Director of the Health/AI Programme, and Joan Guanyabens, a health and innovation consultant at the TIC Salut Social Foundation, presented the strategic lines of the Health/AI Programme. They highlighted that Catalonia is in a favourable position to move towards a common Artificial Intelligence strategy. “We want to highlight the excellent ecosystem we have and the quantity and quality of the Catalan health system’s data”, said Guanyabens.
The strategic lines of the Health/AI Programme envisage the launch of innovative public procurement challenges, such as market consultation related to diabetic retinopathy, which has recently been initiated through the AQuAS; support for Artificial Intelligence initiatives; and the creation of the new Health AI Observatory, which the TIC Salut Social Foundation will promote. Other key aspects will be evaluation of both the solutions to be implemented and those already implemented, implementation of solutions in the system, training of professionals, and communication of the solutions.
The conference was opened by Pol Pérez, the General Manager of ICT and Marisa García, the Director of Governmental Affairs, Market Access and Patients at Merck. They highlighted the importance of Artificial Intelligence in the field of health and informed those attending of the Smart Health course aimed at organisations, which Merck has set up.
Other participants in the session were: Ramon W. Roman, Director of PADRIS at AQuAS, who explained basic concepts of Artificial Intelligence; Dr Salvador Pedraza, Director of the Medical Imaging Department at Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, who shared critical aspects of the data and change management process; Ramon Maspons, Director of the Innovation and Prospective Area of AQuAS, who presented the public funding that will arrive in the coming years within the framework of the Next Generation Fund and other forms of financing; Dr Rafa Ruiz, Strategic Director of Primary and Community Care at the Department of Health; and Manel del Castillo, Managing Director of Hospital de Sant Joan de Déu in Barcelona, who took part in the closing roundtable, moderated by Pol Pérez.
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