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New health cluster focuses on health data

Denmark is the leader within the gathering of personal data on citizens' health. New joint cluster for life science and welfare technology will, among other things, work for better application of health data when the information is to be used to take advantage of the potential of artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will become some of the most important tools to use for health innovation in the future in the care and healthcare sector. There is a need for large volumes of personal data in order to develop the intelligent solutions. Fortunately, Denmark has the world's best health data which will be the basis for the artificial intelligence. We also have a long and solid tradition that citizens can feel secure when their data is used for research and improvement of the healthcare system. We will hold onto that tradition when companies and the public sector use the latest technologies in the future.

That is what Troels Bierman Mortensen, CEO of Welfare Tech believes. Welfare Tech is a business cluster where 200 companies, knowledge institutions and public sector parties collaborate on welfare technology.

- Denmark is in tough international competition within the gathering of personal data and development of artificial intelligence. The ownership of data is different in other countries - for example, many companies like Google and Amazon own large volumes of citizen data in the USA. Therefore, it is important that we focus on security in connection with personally sensitive data when we use data for development, believes Troels Bierman Mortensen. 

New joint health cluster on the way

In future, it will become easier for stakeholders in the healthcare sector to work together on secure access to citizens' health data, among other things.

In 2020, all stakeholders in the field of life science and welfare technology will gather in a new joint cluster organisation. This new structure is part of the 2020-2023 strategy of Denmark's Erhvervsfremmebestyrelse (Promotion of Trade and Industry Board) where ten Danish positions of strength have been named.

The new national cluster for life science and welfare technology will function as a one-stop-shop with regional hubs where private companies, investors, research and educational institutions, as well as healthcare providers such as hospitals and municipalities, can meet and collaborate on developing and implementing new, innovative solutions. This may be decision-supporting tools for healthcare professionals and the patients as well as solutions that can ease the work of healthcare professionals and support safe treatment.

Projects must improve the work with data

Welfare Tech already works with data and machine learning in, for example, the project VIND - VelfærdInnovation med Nyttige Data (Welfare Innovation with Useful Data). A second cluster, Copenhagen Healthtech Cluster, facilitates the project, Data Redder Liv (Data Saves Lives), where more than 25 public and private partners collaborate on the improved use of health data. With the new joint cluster, innovation projects on data will be prioritized further, explains director of Copenhagen Healthtech Cluster, Henning Langberg:

- The new super cluster for life science and welfare technology provides the possibility for closer collaboration on ambitious projects. Improved use of data is the path to improved personal treatment by, for example, using the latest technologies and artificial intelligence. So this will become one of several focus areas in the coming cluster, says Henning Langberg.

Data is the path to personal treatment

The joint cluster for life science and welfare innovation will have better opportunity to attract funding for new data projects.

- The cluster provides new opportunities to collaborate on ambitious projects where there is a convergence across pharma, medtech, health tech and welfare technology. Here, in close collaboration with the medico and pharma industry, we will develop solutions that will make the access to data more flexible without compromising citizens' rights. On the whole, the cluster will improve the work on developing artificial intelligence and personal treatment in the Danish healthcare sector, believes Troels Bierman Mortensen.

The article was published in Greater Copenhagen Life Science Yearbook.

Supported by

Welfare Tech is​ co-financed by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science and The European Regional Development Fund.

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