23th Finnish National Conference on Telemedicine and eHealth

“Comprehensive Approach to the National Network of Teleaudiology in World Hearing Center in Kajetany” is the title of the paper which was recognised as the greatest presentation at the conference. It was delivered by prof. dr. hab. n. med. Piotr H. Skarżyński, a member of the Management Board of the International Society for Telemedicine & Health (ISfTeH). It is a great honour and distinction both for the speaker and the research team from the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing on the international arena.

The 23rd edition of the conference brought together over 200 participants from all over the world (including, among others, Finland, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Italy, India, Indonesia and Nepal). The main purpose of the event was to present novel solutions in the field of telemedicine as well as to promote health care therapies which apply information and telecommunication technologies. During three days of the conference nine sessions were held, with more than 50 papers presented. Participants in the meeting represented various fields of science, medicine, technology and engineering; however, they shared the same objective – to boost the efficacy and effectiveness of treatment. The wide range of topics discussed at the conference covered issues connected with providing inhabitants of villages and towns with a wider and easier access to health care, reducing the number of hospitalisations and the cost of treatment, fostering training opportunities for medical staff, and finally providing physicians with support during the diagnostic process and when they are faced with difficult surgical procedures that require consultation with experienced specialists.

The Helsinki conference was for the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing a great opportunity to share its own experiences as well as to familiarise others with the issues concerning tele-fitting in patients with hearing implants, the possibility to use mobile applications in tinnitus therapy as well as the programme of screening tests among children in Africa, which is currently being conducted by the Department of Teleaudiology of the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing.

The meeting in Helsinki was accompanied by a medical exhibition during which representatives of multiple research centres worldwide presented their own concepts and ways to improve the quality of health care and access thereto.
A new feature of the conference was the “Game Jam” session during which five teams delivered presentations of novel solutions within the scope of health promotion. Specialists in the field of game creation had 28.5 hours to develop an application/a game that will encourage patients to use on-line health care systems. The so called gamification in health promotion, which enables implementation of solutions aimed at increasing health awareness and stimulating health-unrelated behaviours through active involvement of the society, is undoubtedly an innovative approach in medicine.

The poster session during which international teams, including the team of representatives of the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing, presented a total of 31 papers was an important element of the Helsinki conference.

This year’s meeting devoted to the field of telemedicine and solutions in the area of e-health constituted a great opportunity for specialists from all over the world to exchange their clinical and research experiences, which was decisive for the indisputable success of the Helsinki conference.