November 7, 2019

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Wiegand on the stage of World Health Summit 2019

Berlin served as the epicenter of world healthcare. Drawing stakeholders from academia, research, medicine, politics, and regulation, the World Health Summit  2019 offered keynote presentations, workshops, and panel discussions and drew high-profile speakers including Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Director General, World Health Organization, Switzerland) and Jens Spahn (Minister of Health, Germany). Fraunhofer HHI’s executive director and chair of the ITU/WHO Focus Group on “AI for Health” (FG-AI4H) Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Wiegand contributed to two sessions at this year's World Health Summit.

In the session entitled “AI for Health: How to Ensure Quality?,” Thomas Wiegand served as chair for the panelists Dr. M. Khair ElZarrad (Food and Drug Administration, USA.), Dr. Stefan Germann (Fondation Botnar, Switzerland), Dr. Naomi Lee (The Lancet, United Kingdom), Dr. Bernd Montag (Siemens Healthineers, Germany), Prof. Dr. Christof von Kalle (Berlin Institute of Health, Germany), and Bernardo Mariano, Jr. (World Health Organization, Switzerland). The session drew an impressive crowd, discussing the following themes: What is the perception of technology in the health sector? What are the greatest challenges for the implementation of AI for health? What are the opportunities? The session was hosted by Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and Fraunhofer HHI.

With a complementary theme, the session “Health Data as a Global Public Good” brought Thomas Wiegand back to the stage - this time as a panelist. Alongside speakers Dr. Anurag Agrawal (CSIR, India), Marlize Gorgens (World Bank, USA.), Nanjira Sambuli (WWW Foundation, U.S.A.), and Joanne Waldstreicher (Johnson & Johnson, USA), and chaired by Dr. Stefan Germann (Fondation Botnar, Switzerland), the session considered topics such as: accessibility of data to a shared network, privacy of personal data, as well as quality and representativeness of data. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that progress has been made in the handling of health data as a global public good, namely in the form of World Bank programs (protecting data and informing governments on best practices) and the FG-AI4H (creating a platform for the evaluation of AI for health).

The World Health Summit 2019 in Berlin, where a total of 2,500 participants from 100 countries took part, ended with clear recommendations for policymakers around the world. For three days in 50 sessions, over 300 speakers presented their strategies for global healthcare and called for collaborative solutions for improving health worldwide. The World Health Summit was founded in 2009 at Charité Berlin and is held under the high patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.