Report from: EIT Health Alumni X Speck and Tech

Feb 18, 2020

Written by Olga Vovk, EIT Health Alumni Local Representative for Tallinn 

EIT Health Alumni became an important part of my professional life since I become a member and local representative in Scandinavia in 2019. Last year was full of great events and meeting amazing people, so i was very excited about the first event I attended in 2020 with EIT Heath Alumni and Speck&Tech 38 "Healthcare Data"

First of all, this is because the event was about healthcare data. Nowadays data has great value for innovation and research, but also has a monetary value. Since data is an important resource, specific rules and regulations regarding its collection and use must be applied.

In addition to my general interest in healthcare data, I also had a very specific and practical motivation to attend this event.

I am a huge fan of data privacy and data security in healthcare. In 2019 I graduated from Tallinn University of Technology, where my Master’s thesis was on health application privacy and security. I am co-founder and CTO at Recovery Companion, where we are building an application for cancer patients, which means we operate with sensitive healthcare data.  In my everyday work, I implement best practice for data protection. That’s why for me is important to be updated regarding modern risks and solutions.  
I learned about while writing my thesis and I was very much looking forward to meetin Jovan Stevovic, CEO of, in person and learning more about IT solutions to ensure data privacy and discuss collaboration opportunities.

At this event, important topics such as privacy and security, data protection laws, the role of GDPR in healthcare data protection, data collection, usage of real-world data and challenges related to it were discussed.

It was interesting to hear valuable insights about data privacy from Jovan Stevovic and about digital health tech for citizens from Miguel Amador.

In his presentation, Jovan said that about 85% of companies still are not GDPR compliant and missing a comprehensive approach regarding privacy and security. He also explained how with companies can become GDPR and HIPPA compliant.

Miguel gave an interesting example of how a digital solution can improve healthcare. One of the cases is to add QR code to the medication packing. With QR code patient install an app that automatically reminds to take a pill and taking meds on time leads to a better outcome. He also posed questions in health care that do not yet have answers.
For instance: "How do we maintain the balance between collecting genomic data and privacy?"  This is a type of data which is within a special category of personal data thats used for research. It can lead to discovering better treatments or improving lifestyle based on personalize data, but there is always a risk of data misuse.
In addition, Miguel talked about the ethical question related to the usage of technology that is a black box and we do not fully understand its decision-making mechanism and as well as who becomes responsible for its decision.

With this event I certainly expanded my professional network with valuable contacts, but i also explored opportunities for partnerships, and learned more about healthcare data and innovation. 

As a next step, I plan to organize/co-organize a workshop for startups about GDPR and how to manage data securely from the beginning and it would be great to hear back from the EIT Health Alumni community what content will be the most valuable.

if you have any ideas on this topic, or would like to be involved in this workshop, let me know in the comments below!


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