conference · Uppsala Health Summit

Uppsala Health Summit 2018, part 3: the workshop planning

Pre-conference report

One of the major tasks for the program committee for Uppsala Health Summit was to discuss the development of the eight workshops that were held during the summit. As I mentioned in an earlier post about the summit, at least one member from each workshop team was represented in the committee. In this way, we could have detailed planning sessions among the workshop organizers and more general discussions in the program committee.

One of the important things we discussed during the committee meetings was the general perspectives that should be taken into account in all workshops. These were:

  • A global perspective – the situation regarding cancer care is very different in low and middle income countries, both when it comes e.g. to infrastructure and access to treatment, compared to high income countries. Forum for Africa Studies was represented in the program committee to make sure this perspective was sufficiently handled.
  • A child perspective – there are very troubling differences regarding diagnoses and treatment outcome between children and adults. For different reasons, children are e.g. often not diagnosed early enough. The Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund was represented in the program committee to make sure this perspective was sufficiently covered.
  • An equal access perspective – the points above relate to equal access, but there are also other differences to be found e.g. within countries and between different other demographic groups.

These perspectives, or themes, were discussed in depth during the first meetings and I think we managed to integrate them in a good way in all workshops. The perspectives are very important to consider when discussing cancer care and they did not only occur in the workshops but also in the plenary sessions. I will write more blog posts about these perspectives, and how they were covered in the different parts of the summit, in later posts in this blog series. I will of course also get back to the results of the workshops.

The first deliverable from the program committee was the pre-conference report, which was sent out to all delegates prior to the summit (see blog picture). Aside from an introductory section and some other pages with information and interviews with sponsors, the report included one section for each of the workshops, respectively. The idea behind this report was mainly to introduce the areas behind each of the workshops and some of the challenges and opportunities related to them. You can find the pre-conference sections about each of the workshops here. I really recommend you to read them, since they sum up many of the major challenges that we face in cancer care today.

 

 

Uppsala Health Summit, part 1

Uppsala Health Summit, part 2

 

conference · Uppsala Health Summit

Uppsala Health Summit 2018, part 2: the overall experience

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This is my second post in my blog series about this year’s version of Uppsala Health Summit. Here, I will write about the overall experience and the program. I’m doing this as one of the members of the program committee (see blog picture), so I may be a little biased  🙂

First, it is important to note here that Uppsala Health Summit is not a scientific conference, where researchers gather to discuss new findings related to healthcare and wellbeing, but rather an arena for discussions and debate among different stakeholders. The aim is e.g. to influence policy decisions related to societal challenges (often on a global scale). Even though it was possible to register for the summit on the summit’s home page, most of the participants were specially invited by the management or members of the program committee. This was very important for the overall atmosphere during the summit days – the participants knew they were there for a reason and that they had something very important to contribute with. Participants from many different disciplines were invited and decided to join us. There were many physicians present from all over the world (35 different counties were represented!), leaders of different healthcare organizations, researchers from different fields and countries, politicians and other policy makers, journalists from different parts of the world and also several patients who had undergone cancer treatments.

Personally, I found Uppsala Health Summit to be one of the most rewarding events I have participated in this far. This is much due to the interesting mix of delegates from different disciplines,  backgrounds and parts of the world, and also the program. Every part of the program was well thought out – even the coffee breaks, where delegates could join pre-booked “match making” sessions to discuss common interests or learn from each other. All plenary sessions and workshops really made you think, something that was evident from discussions among delegates during the summit.

There were four plenum sessions in total, each with a different theme. All these sessions were held in Rikssalen at Uppsala castle – what a place! The summit started off with a plenary session on visionary outlooks, which covered both challenges and opportunities related to cancer care on a global scale. The second plenary session focused on patients as the driving force to develop care and the third one focused on access to treatment and diagnostics. Both the second and third session included very interesting and thought-provoking discussions on differences between developed and developing countries. I will get back to this in a later blog post in this series. The fourth plenary session, which I unfortunately missed, focused on behavioral changes and lifestyle. These plenary sessions covered the area “Care for cancer” in a very good way and brought several important questions regarding e.g. equal access and patient empowerment to light.

Between the plenary session (one directly in the morning and one towards the end of the day), everyone engage in the workshops I mentioned in the first part on this blog series. There were four parallel workshops during both days, so the participants needed to chose a first and second hand choice when registering for the summit. All workshops had a duration of three hours distributed around a lunch break where everyone gathered at the castle’s top floor. The workshop I, and most of my colleagues from Uppsala University, participated in during the Thursday as well as our own workshop during the Friday, used also the lunch break for workshops discussions. I really enjoyed the workshops – everyone was eager to discuss and it was especially interesting to get input from many different perspectives! I will write more about these workshop in a later post. Both days ended (with exception from a short closing talk the last day) with quick presentations of the workshop results in plenum.

The summit also included a nice social program. Everything started already the day before the main events at Uppsala castle, at the Scandion Clinic. My colleague Åsa Cajander has written about the sightseeing at the radiation clinic in this blog post. The Friday also started off with a morning walk in the Uppsala University Botanical Gardens. Since I live in Stockholm, I couldn’t attend that walk 7:45 in the morning, but I know that it is quite an experience walking around there. After the first day, there was also a very nice conference dinner with a Swedish midsummer theme – the project manager for the summit, Madeleine Neil, had changed to traditional folk costume and the buffet included all the traditional midsummer ingredients. A group of folk musicians also played traditional songs before and during the dinner! The only little detail that did not add up was that midsummer wasn’t really last Thursday, it’s today!

I hereby wish you all a happy midsummer!

 

 

Uppsala Health Summit 2018, part 1

conference · Uppsala Health Summit

Uppsala Health Summit 2018, part 1: time to start discussing some tuff questions related to cancer care!

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As I have written before on this blog, I have been involved in this year’s version of Uppsala Health Summit with the theme “Care for cancer”. See this blog post, for an introduction about the summit and the workshop that I co-organized together with my colleagues Åsa Cajander and Christiane Grünloh. Apart from co-organizing the workshop on the use of data for better cancer treatments, I was also a member of the program committee.

This is the first post in a blog series I will write during the summer, about the content of the summit and the preparatory work performed by the program committee. My intentions are mainly to raise awareness about the summit as such (a yearly event with different themes each year) and to highlight some important challenges, as well as opportunities, related to cancer care that were brought up during the summit.

This year’s program committee consisted of researchers (mostly professors) from a wide range of fields related to cancer care (e.g. oncology, physiotherapy, bio informatics, precision medicine and pharmacy) and all members also represented a workshop focused on their respective fields. You can read about all the workshops here. It was really interesting to take part in the meetings where the program was decided upon, even though many of the topics discussed were outside my main research field. I will get back to my experiences from the program committee work in a later post in this series.

One of the last things we did in the program committee was to agree on the content of a debate article that was published the same morning as the summit started. Our goal with the article, which was signed by all members of the program committee, was to highlight some tuff questions related to cancer care and to raise awareness about the summit and about some key challenges that we are facing. One of the important take-home messages is that we need to find international collaborations regarding e.g. bio banks, rare tumor diseases, data sharing, etc. – the challenges are global and should be tackled as such! I will get back to the global perspective on cancer care in later blog posts in this series. I’m really pleased with the article and I really recommend you to read it. You can find the link here (unfortunately, there is only a Swedish version).

I will be back soon with the second part in this blog series, where I reflect on the overall organization of this year’s Uppsala Health Summit, so stay tuned!  🙂

Uppsala Health Summit

Interview with Åsa Cajander about our workshop at Uppsala Health Summit!

As I wrote in this blog post, Åsa Cajander, Christiane Grünloh and I are organizing a workshop at Uppsala Health Summit. The workshop focuses on the use of data for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. More information about this year’s theme, “care for cancer” has been posted on the summit’s web page now. According to the current plan, our workshop will be held during three hours (with a pause for lunch) on Friday 15 June.

If you want to read a very concise summary of our workshop, you can find one here. If you want to know more about some of the challenges, related to use of data in healthcare, that will be brought up to discussion in the workshop you can read about an interview with Åsa Cajander (main organizer) here! In the interview, she also describes how we will make use of critical incidents in the workshop.

I’m really looking forward to continue working with this and I’m positive the workshop will yield many interesting and important results! I will write a new post about the summit when there is a link to the pre-conference report.

conference · Uppsala Health Summit

Organizing a workshop at Uppsala Health Summit!

In a few earlier blog posts I have mentioned that I’m one of the co-organizers of a workshop at Uppsala Health Summit. This summit is an annual large international meeting, where challenges in health and healthcare are brought up to discussion. The summit is highly multi-disciplinary in nature and usually involves researchers, patients, policy makers and business representatives to name a few categories. The main coordinator of the whole thing is Madeleine Neil.

Every year Uppsala Health Summit has different themes. Last year the theme was “Tackling Infectious Disease Threats – Prevent, detect, respond with a One Health approach”. You can read about last year’s version of the summit here. This year the theme, which is described here, is “Care for Cancer” and the workshop I’m involved in focuses on how we can use already existing data for better diagnoses and treatment of cancer.

The main organizer of our workshop is Åsa Cajander and Christiane Grünloh and I are the co-organizers. I think we have a very good plan for the workshop and later on this week we are submitting our contribution to the so called pre-conference report which will be published later on during the spring. The workshop is based on the critical incident and vision seminar techniques and the format will be tested in a workshop at Medical Informatics Europe in April, as I explained here. I will write more about the content of our workshop around the time when the pre-conference report is published.

The summit does not only contain workshops but also several plenum sessions. The content of these sessions, as well as the content of all workshops, is discussed in meetings about once a month. One representative from each workshop takes part in these monthly meetings. The planning around the summit is very well organized and I’m sure we will end up with a great program during this year’s summit at Uppsala Castle, June 14-15!