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EF: Bamberg health platform was founded in the middle of the pandemic. What was the purpose of this platform?

DM: Recent events have made this clear that global health applies to everyone, and while healthcare systems may offer worldwide coverage, access to healthcare is only sometimes ensured. Recognizing the need for interconnected healthcare systems, we created Bamberg Health as a platform for exchanging ideas and success stories.  

Our platform utilizes two strategies to analyze and share information on healthcare systems. First, we run country-specific events that focus on the main challenges across innovation and healthcare management. Second, we host topic-specific events that can be approached globally, fostering conversations and engagement around important healthcare issues.  

Despite the challenges in 2020, we remained committed to engaging all players and stakeholders, including policymakers, clinicians, and innovators. We hosted 37 virtual events focused on specialties such as mental health, vaccination strategies, dermatology, and oncology. By the end of the year, we had created a community of more than 12 thousand members on Bamberg Health.  

In 2021, we continued to run virtual events and organized a big summit. We also launched the Healthcare Innovation Summit (HIS) series, which analyzes innovation across varied factors linked to healthcare, such as infrastructure, medical equipment, digital transformation, therapeutic innovation, and access to new medicines and treatments. We gained incredible insights into local markets and their functioning by gathering decision-makers and institutions specializing in each area. Through these understandings, we identified challenges, opportunities, success stories, and ways to finance innovation and new medicines while supporting a patient-centric approach.  

Although the healthcare sector faces numerous challenges, our events provide invaluable insights into how different systems function and address challenges previously not tackled. Our global scope allows us to adapt and compare other systems by establishing pivotal factors such as innovation and new technology. These are topics clinicians and healthcare providers must continually update themselves on, making them an indispensable aspect of the healthcare system. Last year, we extended our reach to additional areas, such as South America, and intend to pursue further expansion in 2023. There is still much room for improvement, but we strive to provide value by sharing our knowledge and experiences, ultimately working towards creating patient-centric healthcare systems worldwide.  

EF: Based on your experience in the sector, what three pillars should the global healthcare system be built on?  

DM: Effectiveness is one of the most critical factors in the healthcare sector. Providing patients with efficient diagnostics and access to new medicines and innovations is crucial. As a sector, we continually strive to improve the quality of life for every patient, regardless of whether they have a chronic or rare disease. Although aligning policymakers and regulators to our vision is challenging, we work hard to create an efficient model where all patients can access innovative treatments and medications. Being patient-centric is the priority in all our actions.  

The second pillar of the healthcare sector is sustainability, which requires public-private partnerships. In some countries, the collaboration between the public and private sectors is already successful, and we aim to work towards achieving this globally.  

The third pillar focuses on international collaborations and interconnections. Our One-Health event brings awareness to the integrated nature of human, animal, and environmental health. We must streamline interconnectivity between all entities, including private industry, clinicians, specialists, environmentalists, etc. The World Health Organization, the World Organization of animal health, and the FAO are working together, but more players must be involved and formed into a whole.  

Recognizing how all systems are connected is a holistic approach to health, where all key players in the healthcare sector must align to move forward as one entity. While bringing everyone onto the same page may present difficulties, we are confident that through our commitment, cooperation, and persistent efforts, we can establish a globally interconnected healthcare system that prioritizes patients, is sustainable and operates effectively.  

EF: What are the main challenges in bringing all the key players together for collaboration? And how have partnerships grown because of your connections?

DM: Collaborations have flourished over the past two years, and the concept is gaining momentum. Platforms are the most effective way to promote connections devoted to environmental, human, and animal health, and various companies and associations are keen on excelling through digital transformation.  

Organizations can collaborate with clinicians, healthcare providers, experts, and academia across industries through associations and platforms like ours.  

As members of the “Una Sola Salud”, the One Health platform in Spain, we collaborate with pharmaceutical corporations, the government, and other industry institutions that are actively involved. While it can be challenging to bring all these stakeholders together under one platform, we gain rare disease associations working with policymakers and governments to benefit patients and patient associations concentrated on continually improving access to new treatments and early diagnosis.  

EF: Did you have any summits related to rare diseases recently?  

DM: We are proud to have recently hosted the European Rare Disease Summit in Spain. Following this success, we held the Latin American Rare Disease Summit in Bogota, which took place last week.  

EF: What criteria or strategies do you use to tailor events to the region?

DM: At Bamberg Health, we are committed to creating innovative scenarios highly relevant to the healthcare industry. Our strategy centers around hosting events that foster the community's exchange of ideas and knowledge. Furthermore, we focus on determining areas where our thoughts, insights, and connections can benefit most. By identifying key players, decision-makers, policymakers, and regulators in each region, we can map out our programs and involve every stakeholder in the discussion. This year, we are thrilled to announce our expansion into new areas, including Poland, Italy, and Canada. Moreover, we held our first-ever event in Munich, Germany, where we gained valuable insights into the local healthcare system and its functions and processes.  

In addition to engaging with healthcare providers and clinicians, we involve patient platforms and associations in our topic-specific events. By bringing together researchers, academics, scientific societies, associations, and patients, we create discussion platforms that promote a better understanding of the topic from every perspective. This approach results in valuable conversations and new and high-quality insights.  

EF: Is there a success story you feel is relevant and worth sharing?

DM: At Bamberg Health, we believe that building relationships is key to growth and success. We acknowledge that each company has its own values and solutions that can benefit different markets. Nevertheless, we understand that some markets require specific solutions to address particular fields or challenges.  

We establish direct communication channels with decision-makers across different regions through our platform for ad-hoc meetings to address this issue. We accompany pharmaceutical companies to specific areas where they can discuss relevant topics and interact with the media to make an impact. Additionally, we organize business lunches to deepen relationships further.  

Our efforts have a significant impact on the ways healthcare systems access effective and efficient solutions. During our meetings in Mexico, key speakers emphasized the need for smart hospitals. Our platform offers solutions to this challenge. By creating an interactive space for key players in Mexico to engage with international counterparts, we can collaborate to develop productive healthcare solutions.  

We recognize that gathering stakeholders with different agendas is challenging. Balancing each stakeholder's priority can be especially difficult during virtual events. Nevertheless, at Bamberg Health, we remain committed to promoting collaboration and facilitating meaningful discussions that drive positive change in the healthcare industry.  

EF: How do you balance the priorities from the healthcare sector to keep the conversation positive for the future?

DM: Collaboration is the cornerstone of our agenda-building process in the healthcare sector. We work closely with stakeholders such as policymakers, healthcare providers, and industry experts to develop a comprehensive and tailored program. Although getting decision-makers to participate in discussions can be challenging, our agendas' quality remains high. Networking, leg work, good conversations, and extensive travel are key components of our daily business, backed up by a collaborative effort and great teamwork.  

Before each event, we schedule separate meetings with every panel to ensure that everyone agrees and understands the plan. A skilled moderator leads the discussion, keeping the conference focused on the agenda. We ensure that every topic is covered thoroughly and that no one is left out of the conversation. The quality of the agenda directly impacts the overall quality and purpose of the summit.  

Since patient-centricity is at the heart of everything we do, our approach to agenda-building ensures that every issue is addressed, and nothing is overlooked. We constantly seek feedback from our stakeholders to ensure the program is comprehensive and valuable. We understand that partnerships and collaborations are crucial in achieving our objective, for our ultimate goal is to provide value that translates into quality health and medical care.  

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of collaboration, and we remain committed to this approach. As the urgency to collaborate wanes, we continue to focus on building meaningful partnerships that will benefit the healthcare sector in the long term.  

EF: How can we exchange knowledge, promote collaborations, and create sustainable relationships even in emergencies?

DM: To achieve universal access to healthcare worldwide, we must create diverse channels and maintain the momentum. Although there has been some progress, significant effort is still required in this field. Even in European countries with universal care, access is not always guaranteed. Therefore, we must devise comprehensive plans and strategies. It is critical to proactively address future challenges, such as making healthcare sustainable and adapting to changing demographics. We are confident that we can achieve universal access to quality healthcare through perseverance and collaboration.

April 2023