How to shape the digital future of healthcare?

A one on one interview with Magda Rosenmöller, MD, Ph.D., MBA – Associate Professor at IESE Business School and one of the founders of EIT Health conducted by a Young Gasteiner Anca M. Sarbu, MSPH – Head of Quality Management & Organisational Development at Klinik Meissenberg AG and Health Innovation Mentor at EIT Health, Switzerland.

As an ambassador for health innovation, Magda was involved in the session on “The digital future of healthcare” at the EHFG 2019, where she boldly called for much needed transformation.

Magda Rosenmöller, MD, Ph.D., MBA – Associate Professor at IESE Business School

Anca M. Sarbu (AS): What could you tell us about your background and involvement with innovation in health?

Magda Rosenmöller (MR): After my international training as a medical doctor in France, then conducting my Ph.D. at LSHTM, UK and the MBA at IESE Barcelona, I started to work on the reform process in Central Eastern Europe, and then spent two years as a health economist at the World Bank on projects in Latin America, China and Africa, all of which enriched my experience with practical knowledge and applicable improvement solutions in healthcare. This inspired me to become actively involved in innovation and entrepreneurship programmes at IESE Business School and aspire to become an “ambassador” on the health innovation scene.

AS: What is the drive behind your tasks and activities?

MR: My daily duties require a multitasking approach and multidisciplinary teamwork. Teaching is a great experience and I am honoured to be able to pass on my knowledge on an international scale, however, it is only one part of my job. Besides teaching, I am involved in European innovation research projects fostering digital solutions and entrepreneurship in health as well as advising the EC on key health initiatives such as Innovative Health Financing, Innovative Medicine Initiative, among others. I am fascinated by the fact that I can apply what I learn in one place to another, and what I see in the real-world practice I can bring to the classroom where I get to further debate it with excited students; this is what I love about my job and what motivates me every day.

AS: How does your daily work contribute to shaping the future of healthcare?

MR: At IESE Business School, I am lucky to work with a professional and ambitious team working on forward-thinking projects with EIT Health, shaping the present and future of healthcare by training the best. We aim to foster education in healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship for future disruptors and leaders, train global health executives and equip them with additional skill sets and knowledge, as well as empower women in healthcare to become the leaders of tomorrow.

AS: How is your organisation involved in advising decision-makers on the digital future of healthcare?

MR: At IESE Business School we are strongly focused on the management of innovation, preparing professionals to overcome managerial issues and find the best way to integrate change in their organisations and technology in their everyday practice. Our projects and programmes seek to inspire professionals around the globe –  on the one hand we hope to influence the industry to embrace technology and ethical business behaviour, and on the other hand to make the decision-makers listen to the needs of the patients, see the potential of technology in healthcare and integrate digital solutions within their systems. We see ourselves as a link between these actors which makes it a very interesting and rewarding job.

AS: What potential do you see in adopting digital health solutions?

MR: Patient empowerment. Equal, better and quicker access to care.

AS: Considering social and healthcare policies, what are the main barriers to linking digital innovation with healthcare efficiency?

MR: One of the barriers, in my opinion, is currently the controversial GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation); it has its advantages but it also limits the way research could advance the use of data for the common good. Leadership and accountability for the digital infrastructure can be another barrier in terms of who is responsible for creating and investing in the future of digital healthcare.

AS: What is it that you want to tell future healthcare leaders?

MR: My professional journey has always been about fostering positive change, and changing for the better must be the motivation for each one of us. What I always see in my students is that they want to make an impact, and that is what my whole life has been about: leaving a mark, and these are exactly the people I enjoy working with and also love to teach.

AS: Thank you, Magda, for this insightful conversation and for your time.

MR: Thank you, my pleasure.

Young Gasteiner, Anca M. Sarbu, MSPH

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