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Conferences, workshops

Next week, from 27 to 31 March, Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) will host the international Research Week (RW2023) dedicated to health care, medicine, public health, and social sciences. The innovation section will include discussions on digital technologies in health, precision medicine, and telemedicine.

Upcoming events include Innovation in Medicine and Healthcare – from Research to Practice, which is a section of the Knowledge for Use in Practice conference on 29 March. Professionals who work with developing medicine on a daily basis by offering innovations in key areas such as digital transformation in health care, precision medicine, and telemedicine, are particularly invited to take part. The range of issues covered is important for patients and healthcare professionals, as well as for professionals in public administration and other relevant sectors, as well as researchers and students. The section's programme has been developed in cooperation with the Latvian Network of Patient Organizations, the Ministry of Economics, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), Microsoft, and Latvijas Mobilais Telefons (LMT).

'Digital technologies are making great strides in healthcare, not only improving communication and access to different specialists and services, but above all promoting patient involvement in monitoring their own health – through the ability to actively participate in research, collecting a variety of data on health condition and treatment outcomes on a daily basis. The competences of medical and other specialists, accurate data and patient involvement form the basis for shared decision-making in the treatment process. Such conferences provide an opportunity to look at the familiar things from a different perspective and transform innovations into solutions that are accessible to the public,' explains Baiba Ziemele, Head of the Latvian Network of Patient Organizations.

'As in other fields, the ability of the different parties involved in innovation to collaborate and develop innovative, exportable solutions plays an important role in biomedicine. Investing in research and development on both the scientific and business sides not only improves our understanding, but also allows us to develop new methods to diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases, thus helping to improve public health and quality of life. I see RSU Research Week as a good platform to discuss and seek solutions to Latvia’s innovation formula in biomedicine by bringing together researchers and representatives from both the business and public sectors,' adds Raimonds Lapiņš, Deputy State Secretary on Economic Issues at the Ministry of Economics.

'Biomedicine is an internationally recognised and competitive research field important for Latvia with rich traditions, high scientific excellence, and innovation potential. Latvian research organisations and leading companies in the field are already working closely together on joint initiatives, thus strengthening the biomedical ecosystem, which is one of the priority economic sectors in Latvia,' highlighted Laura Štrovalde, Deputy Director for Investments at LIAA.

A number of events in this session need to be highlighted. The first is the lecture "Digital Transformation in Health Care" by health futurist Professor Koen Kas, ensured by Microsoft. Prof. Kas brings together ideas from science, technology, and business model innovation to outline the future of digital transformation in healthcare. The audience will have a unique opportunity to learn about global trends in healthcare, for example, how to create sustainable and digitally enabled healthcare services: 'People get sick because doctors are disconnected from their patients,' says Kas. 'One of the most common misconceptions is that technology and artificial intelligence will replace human interaction, when in fact it will make health care more human. If your doctor can offer you better, more personalised treatment using apps and digital technology, wouldn’t that make you trust them more?'

As the programme of the innovation section has been developed in close collaboration with the industry, another highlight is a lecture on digital twins and other AI technologies for health by Elīna Lidere, Head of the LMT Innovation Ecosystem Department. She will provide insights into the opportunities for the industry to improve healthcare systems.

In addition to the lectures, please do not miss the opportunity to join an important panel discussion on the creation of health cities in Latvia, involving not only hospitals, but also scientific institutions, public administration, and an important player – the industry, thus outlining the work that needs to be done in policy planning so that the global experience becomes a health care organism.

Participation in all events is free of charge.
The official language is English.

Students will open RSU Research Week 2023 with the 9th International Student Conference Health and Social Sciences (ISC2023). Four conferences will take place simultaneously between 29 and 31 March: the Knowledge for Use in Practice conference on medicine and healthcare; the multidisciplinary conference Society. Health. Welfare, which will bring together specialists from public health, occupational, and environmental health, as well as social welfare specialists, nurses, midwives, and psychologists; the multidisciplinary conference PLACES, which will bring together experts in political science, law, economics, communication, and other social sciences. The series of Research Week conferences will conclude on 30 and 31 March with the University Teaching and Learning conference on technology and education.