Discours de Lydia Mutsch lors du "kick-off meeting" de Clinnova

Digital health is without a doubt becoming more and more important

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Dear Dr Schiltz (FNR),

Dear Professor Ollert (LIH),

Dear Mister Pederson,

Dear Professor Von Kalle,

Dear guests,

 

 

It is a great honor to open the Clinnova kick-off meeting today here in Belval on our new university campus.

First of all, let me congratulate on a successful first step application to this horizon 2020 call for proposals. I am pleased to see such close and fruitful collaborations between our Luxembourg actors to work on a major project with a common goal to improve research and care.

I recognize also that recent efforts and contacts on an international level have enabled us to get the interest of such major stakeholders like the University of Southern Denmark and the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum.

In fact, this is the result of successful ongoing relationships and collaborations between the Luxembourg Institute of Health, namely the laboratory of Professor Markus Ollert and the University of Southern Denmark on one side, and the collaboration of the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum and the NORLUX laboratory also from the LIH, on the other side.

The title of ”Centre of Excellence in Digital Health and Personalized Medicine” keeps me thinking about what this really means.

Looking at the name lets you recognize what Luxembourg has been thriving to develop over recent years.

First of all, personalized medicine, has been a focus here in Luxembourg for years! As many of you know, about 10 years ago, the Luxembourg government decided on a diversification strategy. Among its pillars stands the life sciences and healthcare sector.

The strategic development and investments focused on personalized medicine helped to create research centres like the Luxembourg Centre for systems biomedicine LCSB and reinforced the position of the LIH. Further, during the Luxembourg EU presidency in 2015, we established personalized medicine as one of the key topics in the EU and priorities for Luxembourg.

 

Secondary, digital and health. Luxembourg has a long history in the IT field through the banking industry and specific investments in IT infrastructure in more recent years.

Digital health is without a doubt becoming more and more important in the wake of easy to use applications and platforms, facilitating work and life of both patients and caregivers. There are already various digital health initiatives and services in place ranging from electronic patient records, to remote monitoring, to big data analysis, leaving still room for new approaches and developments towards a fully integrated healthcare IT system.

Last but not least: Excellence! Since the beginning of the life sciences development and I believe Dr Marc Schiltz from the FNR is agreeing, we were thriving for excellence in science here in Luxembourg.

Therefore it seems that this project combines everything we are already looking into, but - and this is where the minister of health speaks - this all will hopefully then have a more direct impact on healthcare and ultimately the patients.

Although we have a very good healthcare system here in Luxembourg, there are major challenges ahead of us. Nevertheless, there are also huge opportunities, especially in the field of digitalization. We should therefore be open and embrace new technologies and approaches that we can benefit from in the future. It is crucial for the success of this project to involve local actors like hospitals and other caregivers to assure the availability and the possibility to translate knowledge directly into the clinic and to the patient.

Indeed the Clinnova project could be a next step in the Luxembourg life sciences and healthcare development and a way into a new era of connecting research and care. This work will without a doubt increase our knowledge and we will certainly identify patterns and make connections we were never able to do in the past.

Thus, this will allow the development of new prevention measures and treatments. New tools and approaches developed within this centre could then be tested and translated into the clinic once they have proven to work. Examples could be the integration of various data sources that could enable creating a patient dashboard for both the patient and the caregiver, or better integrated care to improve quality of life.

The working groups this afternoon will discuss the impact of such a centre of Excellence on Health Care and on the Economy at the same time. This reflects the changes in the field, and healthcare cannot be looked at alone if we are looking at a broader picture of a country, a healthcare system and ultimately, and most important, the single human being!

On top of the health benefits of such a project, there are major economic components that will help Luxembourg to stand out and to become more attractive to foreign investors and companies, thus driving the development of the life sciences and healthcare sector with an impact on the country’s global economy.

I encourage everyone to support the Clinnova project in order to make this a success for the researchers involved as well for the patients that will benefit ultimately from the future work in the Centre of Excellence in Digital Health and Personalized Medicine.

Again, I would like to congratulate you for what you have already achieved and I wish you all the best to make the next steps a success.