Hot Topic Virtual HLF 2020

Health, technology and data: Which is the best way to go?


Organized and moderated by Eva Wolfangel, multiple award-winning science journalist.

A panel of experts from diverse backgrounds scrutinized how the future of healthcare could be transformed by technology, sensors, data and machine learning. Even though many innovations and promising new methods are theoretically possible, they come with inherent obstacles that can be easily overlooked. They addressed challenges inherent to infrastructure such as the Internet or electricity and later broadened to privacy concerns and the needs of the population.

In order to thoroughly examine eHealth’s influence, the session was broken down into two panels. The first half, “Global Health and Tech,” was devoted to the question of what the real conditions are like in different parts of the world and what the largest challenges are. The second panel, “Concrete Innovations, Apps and Challenges,” unpacked current solutions and forecast the potential of future developments.

You can find a review of the session on our blog.

Panel 1: Global Health and Tech

  • Stefanie Friedhoff, Harvard Global Health Institute
  • Arunan Skandarajah, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Ziad Obermayer, Berkeley Public Health Institute

Panel 2: Concrete Innovations, Apps and Challenges

  • Katherine Chou, Director Healthcare & Life Sciences at Google
  • Aisha Walcott, IBM Research Africa
  • Shwetak Patel, University of Washington, ACM Prize in Computing

Hot Topic at the Virtual HLF

This year’s Hot Topic session revolved on "Digital Health," a theme that is both timely and has decisive ramifications, not only for science but also for society as a whole. A panel of experts from various specializations discussed its significance, plus the inherent advantages and vulnerabilities.