The summer course ‘Salud digital. Retos y Oportunidades’, organised by Málaga TechPark and Fguma, ends by highlighting the need for co-creation and innovation to advance in the digital transformation of the sector.

  • Today’s session featured speakers from the Regional Hospital of Málaga, la Agencia de Asuntos Sociales y Dependencia de Andalucía, IDOM, Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico e Industrial (CDTI), AMETIC, Organon, Johnson & Johnson, NMW y MKT Salud and the UMA


The University of Málaga’s summer course ‘Salud digital. Retos y oportunidades’, organised by Málaga TechPark and the Fguma, concluded today with an interesting day which highlighted the need for co-creation and innovation to continue advancing in the digital transformation of the sector and which addressed issues such as the digital transformation of the Regional Hospital around the patient, digitisation in social services, health strategies for a digital world, instruments and funding mechanisms; innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, Johnson & Johnson’s digital ecosystem to improve surgical patient care, the new healthcare marketing and spaces for co-creation and knowledge.

The conference, held in the Link by UMA space of The Green Ray by PTA-UMA building, began with a presentation by Víctor Navas López, Deputy Medical Director of the Regional Hospital of Málaga, entitled ‘La Transformación digital del Hospital Regional de Málaga alrededor del paciente’ (‘The Digital Transformation of the Regional Hospital of Málaga around the patient’), explaining the project launched by the Regional University Hospital of Málaga that covers the areas of care, research, innovation and patient empowerment, through various lines of action to provide digital solutions to challenges that respond to the citizen, as the centre of the axis of the system and under the transversality of the humanisation of the health system. 

Navas also spoke of the implementation of tools to improve the organisation and processes of care: “With our integrated care process, the team planned to generate an omnichannel platform so that citizens can interact, so that they can make consultations, group appointments on the same day, using IoT, and also manage suggestions, complaints and claims, among other aspects. There should be face-to-face healthcare when necessary, but other procedures can also be carried out remotely to save waiting times and queues”.

In the second presentation, Victor Bellido, managing director of the Agencia de Asuntos Sociales y Dependencia de Andalucía spoke about ‘Digitalización en los servicios sociales’ (‘Digitalisation in social services’). “We manage all dependency in Andalusia, but as we are a dual dependency agency, we manage social inclusion, childhood, drug dependency aid, etc. We will end 2021 with more than 257,000 users”, Bellido explained.

“Why are we considering digitalisation? Because of the optimisation of tasks, the reduction of costs, the problems of interoperability of systems inside and outside the organisation and because we have to adapt to new circumstances, new products and services”, he explained, adding that “the key elements are the workforce and, above all, public commitment, the sustainability of the model, and digital transformation is a tool that will enable this”.

This was followed by the round table ‘Estrategias de salud para un mundo digital. Instrumentos y mecanismos de financiación’ (‘Health strategies for a digital world. Instruments and funding mechanisms’), presented by Sandra Sinde, partner-director of Innovative Public Procurement & Open Innovation at IDOM; with the interventions of Emilio Iglesias, head of the Departamento de Promoción Institucional y Cooperación Territorial en Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico e Industrial (CDTI), with ‘Instrumentos de financiación para la salud digital’ (‘Funding instruments for digital health’); and Miguel Ángel Montero, president of AMETIC’s Digital Health Commission, with  ‘Iniciativas de salud digital a partir de los fondos del mecanismo de Recuperación y Resiliencia’ (‘Digital health initiatives based on the funds of the Recovery and Resilience mechanism’).

Sandra Sinde stressed the importance of obtaining funding to carry out the different projects and of managing the funds.

Miguel Ángel Montero explained how digital health projects can be financed through the funds that the Ministry has planned in various strategic lines with the autonomous communities. “The national health data space is one of the blocks to be highlighted. There is the item related to PERTE, with its four blocks: advanced therapies, medicines and two on digitisation, where we are talking about intelligent healthcare centres, artificial intelligence platforms, personalised care for chronic patients and continuous evaluation of systems,” he explained.

“When it became known that money was going to be allocated to digital health, we got down to work and it is gratifying to see how barriers have been broken down and we have seen how things we have proposed have been carried out. Moreover, digital health has entered the political agenda after this experience,” he said.

Emilio Iglesias explained the instruments for financing digital health projects, although most of the funds are of a general nature: “There are lines, such as ‘Neotec’, which help technology-based companies that are SMEs and startups; ‘R&D projects’, which is more general and can be applied to any sector; and others such as ‘Cervera Transfer Projects’, with the line ‘Technologies for health'”.

The next presentation, ‘Innovación en la industria farmacéutica’ (‘Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry’), was given by José Miguel Ruiz, National Sales Director of Organon. “The pharmaceutical industry used to develop products that were then marketed, then it evolved into an improved product with a data part and now there is a service included in the product,” he said.

“We are innovating and initiatives have emerged that have been materialising and from which real projects have emerged. Now we are in Málaga working and cooperating. As a company we can contribute a part of innovation, which is not only based on technology, but also on aspects such as the gender and health perspective, and this is linked to the company’s mission”, Ruiz explained.

Next, Dr Manuel Vilches Martínez, Chief Medical Officer & Government Affairs at Johnson & Johnson spoke about the ‘Ecosistema digital de Johnson & Johnson para la mejora en la atención al paciente quirúrgico’ (‘Johnson & Johnson Digital Ecosystem for Improving Surgical Patient Care’) and emphasised that “the healthcare market in 2030 will be the largest of all and 65% of healthcare providers in Europe have already implemented digital technologies”.

“We used to be a company with typical divisions and basically carried surgical equipment from one place to another and now we do much more. Our mission is to make the surgical technique more efficient, less invasive and we have created a comprehensive platform that brings everything together: it combines data, the experience of the professional, the intelligent products that feed the platform, it combines digital solutions, the change in the entire operating theatre process and all the necessary changes, including robotics,” specified Vilches, who added that “we have launched a patient monitoring app, we have used Artificial Intelligence, advanced imaging and visualisation”.

Paula Suárez, Project Manager at NMW & Partner at MKT Salud, was the next to speak with the presentation ‘El nuevo marketing sanitario’ (‘The new healthcare marketing’). The expert stressed that “a prestigious healthcare brand generates wealth for the whole environment and added that “creating prestigious healthcare brands can help to increase patients, in the public sector this can be a justification for an improvement in that hospital; it can help to attract private funds, help to generate agreements with other prestigious brands to position themselves and serves to attract talent and build loyalty”.

The last part of the session was dedicated to ‘Espacios de cocreación y conocimiento’ (‘Spaces for co-creation and knowledge’), a round table presented and moderated by José Aldana, Deputy Vice-Rector for Transfer at the University of Málaga, with the participation of Sandra Sinde, Partner-Director of Innovative Public Procurement & Open Innovation, IDOM, with the proposal ‘Open innovation and new care models. Living Labs of the Future’; and Antonio Urda, President of the Social Council of the UMA and Vice-President of the Health Area of Innova IRV, with ‘Dialogue on Innovation in Health. Malaga4DigitalHealth’.

José Aldana stressed the importance of co-creating and innovating in order to continue moving forward.

Sandra Sinde said that “innovation today is a commodity, what we have to do is do it differently”. “We live in a scenario in which everything is now remote, on a curvy road where we can’t see and a new wave has accelerated what was already there”, she explained, adding that “technological development has to be linked to a goal, otherwise it makes no sense. Open innovation is interesting and we have to have new capabilities to serve our users”.

Antonio Urda stressed that “it is important for each party to analyse what each one can co-create” and said that “what worried him was that society and obligations, as well as opportunities were changing, and he did not know to what extent everyone had the same interest in doing things and that was the reason for creating the space, the living lab, to put all the aspects together”.