The HoloCare Conference: Faster horses and radical innovation

In March, the very first HoloCare conference took place in Oslo. We presented how clinicians globally will soon be able to deliver even better patient care through innovative use of holograms.

An important principle in HoloCare is that all projects and products we make should be initiated and driven by clinicians. Therefore, it was the clinicians themselves who presented the projects at the conference. Our projects cover everything from the planning of children’s heart operations to orthopedics and psychiatry. The clinicians talked about challenges in today’s solutions, and how they are now testing new solutions using holograms. They also shared their goals for further development in order to even better meet the clinical needs.

The conference was well attended by clinicians, people in health management and technology providers. We had visitors from several countries. One even came all the way from Colombia to attend the conference and to start a dialogue about possible collaboration. The desire for using holograms in medical imaging is high and we are proud to be captains on this journey.

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You have to bet on more than just “faster horses”

Erik Fosse, head of the Intervention Center at Oslo University Hospital, and Kjell Rusti, CEO of Sopra Steria, opened the conference. Both highlighted the good synergies that can be achieved when working in interdisciplinary teams. Just like the clinicians and IT consultants are doing in HoloCare.

Erik Fosse compared the journey from the use of CT images on two-dimensional screens to holograms, with the transition from horse and cart to cars. Sometimes you have to bet on more than just “faster horses”, to get better services and products!

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From incremental improvement to radical innovation

In Norway we recently got our very first ministerial post dedicated to digitalization. In his speech, Nikolai Astrup, focused on how cooperation between public and private, such as HoloCare, is central to solving several of the challenges we face within health today. In an interview with Healthtalk, he also points out that the HoloCare projects pushes X-ray technology beyond how it is used today.

Kimberly Lein-Mathisen, CEO of Microsoft Norway, gave a talk that was crucially relevant to the health sector. She was proud of how HoloCare uses Microsoft’s technology in developing new and improved health services. She says that technology is not the obstacle to creating better services. We are the ones who need to change our mindset and be open to solutions that are already right in front of us. Sometimes it may be difficult to see the car when you are only focusing on how to make the horses run a little faster.

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Cure the incurable?

One of the main driving forces behind HoloCare, Innovation Director John Berland from Sopra Steria, opened his presentation by saying “HoloCare will be solving the unsolvable and curing the incurable”. This is of course exaggerated, but does he have a point? In dialogue with the doctors who use HoloCare’s applications for research purposes, we often hear about when using holograms you see details that would be difficult to capture by traditional methods. In some cases, the doctor’s say that they might not have initiated some of the operations if they did not have holograms for planning.

Clinically driven – and research based innovation

Ole Jakob Elle, chair of the board of the HoloCare consortium and head of technology research at the Intervention Center at Oslo University Hospital, once again highlighted the most important principles we have in HoloCare; namely, that innovation must be clinically driven and research based. In order to ensure that we develop solutions for which there is a real clinical need and which provide real clinical value, it is essential that the clinicians are involved from start to finish in product development.

He also gave a small introduction to the academic collaboration platform that HoloCare is about to launch. In the new platform, which will be available through a cloud service, clinicians and researchers will be able to collaborate on and research existing solutions as well as helping to develop new ones.

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Together we are creating radical innovation

The HoloCare conference is over, and we are left with the feeling that we are about to “break the code” for radical innovation. We do this by using the best of both worlds; the best clinicians in their field, the best IT developers and the most forward-looking technology partners. None of us would have managed to make these new clinical solutions alone. There is still have some way to go to get final clinical validation of the solutions. Meanwhile, it is reassuring to get confirmation from the highest level that what we do is important. We hope that the Minister of Digitalization will take this good example of health innovation with him in his work for increased digitalization in Norway.

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