World-class visionaries

World-class visionaries

January 22, 2008

Can the public health service learn anything from visionary thinkers in other fields? The telemedicine conference in Tromsø this summer is attracting leaders from Microsoft, Harvard, WHO and IBM.

The Tromsø Telemedicine Laboratory (TTL) is becoming the major new forum for telemedicine development. In combination with this year's theme, "Innovation in eHealth", the new centre is attracting decision-makers and researchers from all over the world. Norut Tromsø is part of TTL through the project MyHealth Service.

TTeC 2008

Can the public health service learn anything from visionary thinkers in other fields? The telemedicine conference in Tromsø this summer; TTeC 2008, is attracting leaders and researchers from large companies and institutions such as Microsoft, Harvard, WHO and IBM.

As a result, this year's Tromsø Telemedicine Conference is the most important yet.

- These are people that have a real say in the decision-making processes. It is important to have them on board when we are making a strategy for action to counter the rising challenges in the health sector, both nationally and globally, says Siri Bjørvig from the Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine (NST).

Bill Crounse from Microsoft, Clayton Christensen from Harvard and Anne Kirah from Future Navigator are three of the leading visionaries that will be in Tromsø in June.

Committed to the public health service

Microsoft is in the process of investing substantial resources in the health sector, thus sending a signal that cannot be ignored. Bill Crounse is the leader of this initiative, a former doctor and one of the world's foremost visionaries in the use of ICT in the public health service:

"Electronic health libraries are the future. The old-fashioned, paper-based files are on the way out. Microsoft has recently acquired a large solution for patient data. We have strong confidence that the Internet revolution is now coming to the health sector."

Among other topics, Crounse will talk about access to one's own patient record, booking of appointments, and possibilities for communicating with health staff over the Internet. Have you heard about the Microsoft Health Vault? You will, during the next few years, when Microsoft's health initiative is fully under way.

New technologies turn the world upside down

Professor Clayton M. Christensen has become a world-famous business guru after writing the book The Innovator's Dilemma in 1997, in which he explored the reasons for the rapid transition of well-managed companies from success to failure.

His theories about "disruptive innovation" are respected as an important contribution to the understanding of what takes place when a start-up company makes a rapid rise from scratch and takes over market-leading positions ahead of the established giants.

Under the title "How to Meet the Growing Crises in Health Care Through the Use of Disruptive Innovation", Christensen is coming to Tromsø to talk about how these theories will influence the public health service as we know it today.

The human and the technology

The design anthropologist and "innovation evangelist" Anne Kirah researches and teaches about the interaction between humans and technology. She has long experience from large companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, and in 2004 she received the MSN Contributor of the Year award after her intensive involvement in the development of MSN Messenger. She has also worked with the new innovation school 180 degree academy in Denmark.

Design anthropologists are among the people who know most about how the communication forms of tomorrow will look. Kirah has clear convictions about how culture influences the technology which is used, how it is used, and why it is used in this way.

She is coming to Tromsø to tell us how Microsoft is working to gather information about how we as humans react in the encounter with new technology ? and how they use this information in their innovation processes.

Information and registration

Please contact project manager Siri Bjørvig on email siri.bjorvig@telemed.no for further information about the conference. You can register for the conference on the website www.telemed.no/ttec2008.

Project manager Siri Bjørvig at the Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine. Photo: Jan Fredrik Frantzen, NST.