SPEAKERS

Elina Drakvik

Senior Lead at Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA

Elina Drakvik works as a Senior Lead at Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, Well-being Solutions. She is part of the Coordination team of TEHDAS – Towards European Health Data Space Joint Action and TEHDAS2 project. Her job involves promoting the secondary use of health data in Finland and Europe and collaborating with international health ecosystems and organisations. She has over 10 years of experience in European cooperation in the field of health research, and she has expertise in establishing the European Health Data Space for secondary use. Elina’s professional interests include societal impact and systemic change towards sustainable development, where health and well-being are understood broadly. In addition to her position at Sitra, Elina is affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Helsinki.

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Robin Van Kessel
André Hoffmann Fellow on Health System Financing and Payment Models at LSE Health and the World Economic Forum

At the LSE, he co-founded and leads the digital health research unit with a particular focus on the regulation, implementation, and financing of digital health and AI technologies. He holds a PhD in Comparative Health Policy from Maastricht University. His main research portfolio focuses on the intersection of digital health, health systems and policy, and health inequalities. He is trained in an array of research methods such as literature reviews, qualitative comparative policy research, preference research and health econometrics. Dr van Kessel’s work is published in leading medical and health policy journals such as JAMA Pediatrics, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, The Lancet Regional Health - Europe, and The BMJ.

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Jaanika Merilo

Head of eHealth Strategy at Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs

Jaanika Merilo has over 25 years of technology and digital transformation including 10 years in eHelath. Since 2015 Jaanika has been one of the drivers of digital Ukraine, being nominated in 2015 by Google and Financial Times in the list of NE100 of “Innovators whose innovations change the world for better” and having received the “Best City Digital Transformation Award” in Barcelona Smart City World EXPO. From 2015-2021 Jaanika was active Deputy Mayor of Dnipro and advisor to two Ministers of Infrastructure of Ukraine. Since 2019 Jaanika has been the Advisor to the Vice Prime Minister - Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and has since 2023 in the Ministry of Social Affairs of Estonia., currently serving as Head of eHealth Strategy. Jaanika has Master's degrees from the University of Cumbria, and Rome Business School / University of Valencia in eHealth Management.

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Meelis Joost
Chairman of the Board at the Estonian Chamber of People with Disabilities

I have been involved in the movement of people with disabilities and chronicle disease patients since about 2000. My field of activity has been to strengthen the national umbrella organization with currently 55 member organizations and growing, supporting cross-border cooperation and work at EU and international level. The  Estonian Chamber of People with Disabilities is a member of 2 EU-level civil society bodies – the European Disability Forum and the European Patients Forum. I’m a board member of the Estonian Agrenska Foundation, an Estonian-Swedish permanent cross-border foundation to assist families with children with disabilities, with a diminishing burden of care, and provide peer counselling for rare diseases. I have been a member of the European Economic and Social Committee, an advisory body to the European Parliament and European Commission. I as well have been very hands-on with the UN Convention on the right of People with Disabilities, having been involved with the shadow report drafting for Estonia-s state review. The next report is due in 2025, where we are going to contribute as well. In my capacity as Chairman of the Board for EPIK, the most important task is to keep our network active and backed up with public support, which is a challenge in our crises-ridden societies.  

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Jaarika Järviste
Head of Development at Estonian Health Insurance Fund

My role as head of development in EHIF is to build structures that help service teams create more and more value. We have designed an innovation grant for new healthcare services impact assessment studies to make it possible to bring new models of care into use faster and safer. Product management practices have been introduced on central eHealth products that today form the eHealth portfolio. EHIF has been turned from a process-based organisation where departments work in silos to a service-based organisation where everyone knows what value their job brings. I started in EHIF as a project manager for telemedicine. I made it possible for teleconsultations to be held during COVID-19 and launched a pilot project competition for the first remote monitoring services in the country. I studied to be a doctor and worked 3 years as one. Found many things that could be done better in hospitals, but I understood that it was very hard to change the system from the inside. So here I am today.

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Thomas Karopka
Senior Project Manager EU-INTERREG-Projekt CAIDX // Digital Health at BioCon Valley GmbH

Thomas Karopka is a Senior Project Manager at BioCon Valley GmbH® and a digital health expert. He currently serves as a senior project manager in the INTERREG Baltic Sea Region project “Clinical AI-based Diagnostics (CAIDX). Thomas has actively worked in the international health IT community since 2002, where he held different working group chair positions, including the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH), International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) and the European Federation for Medical Informatics (EFMI). Thomas is currently a member of the board of the Network of German Health Regions (NDGR e.V.) as well as the German Association Dig-in-Health e.V.

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Lise-Lotte Lääne
Regional head of the Life Sciences & Healthcare sector group at the law office Sorainen

Daily, Lise-Lotte advises global pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device manufacturers, health tech startups, and healthcare providers on a wide variety of matters in the field. With more than 10 years of experience as a lawyer, Lise-Lotte’s main focus areas are regulatory (including medical device-related issues), data protection, and intellectual property. More and more, legal advice in the sector also involves providing legal advice on the EU AI Act. Law office Sorainen is the biggest regional law firm in the Baltics having offices in all three Baltic countries, and providing pan-Baltic assistance to clients in all legal areas.

Sander Pajusalu
Head of the Genetics and Personalized Medicine Clinic at the Tartu University Hospital and an associate professor of clinical genetics at the University of Tartu.

He graduated from Tartu University as an MD in 2013 and completed his PhD studies as well as the medical genetics residency program at the same university in 2017. From 2018 to 2020, he was a postdoctoral associate and fellow at the Yale University School of Medicine, where he worked with Professor Monkol Lek. Sander Pajusalu has been involved in implementing novel diagnostic methods like next-generation sequencing into routine healthcare in Estonia. He has co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed research publications on different topics in the field of rare genetic disorders. He is a member of the Estonian, European and American Societies of Human Genetics. He is a founding member and the first president of the Estonian Society of Personalized Medicine, and a board member of the Estonian Medical Genetics Society.

Pilvi Ilves
Head of the Radiology Clinic at the Tartu University Hospital and an associate professor at the University of Tartu.

She graduated from the University of Tartu after an internship in 1987 as an anesthesiologist and defended her doctoral thesis in 1999. After completing her radiology residency program at the University of Tartu in 2003 she has been active as a radiology lecturer there. She has worked as a radiologist in various Swedish university hospitals from 2004 to 2009. Since 2009 she has been elected as the head of the radiology clinic of the University of Tartu and since 2010 as the head of the radiology clinic of the Tartu University Hospital. Over the years, the radiology clinic has grown significantly both in terms of the number of employees and the amount of equipment. Under her leadership, several innovative methods have been introduced in the Radiology Clinic of the University of Tartu, including AI solutions, to cope with the growing volume of work in radiology. She has co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed research publications.

Vincent Vercamer
Project Director at the Digital Health Delegation (DNS) of the French Ministry of Health and Prevention

Vincent Vercamer is a market access expert of digital medical devices, and in particular, the PECAN Fast track which aims to reimburse innovative DTx or new telemonitoring activities. He also coordinates the G_NIUS platform, which is designed to save time for digital health innovators in their go-to-market journey.