Panel discussion at Health Engineering kick-off event
Panel discussion with Martin Fagerström, Health Engineering Co-director, Jenny Almkvist, VGR, Anders Hyltander, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, and Kristian Samuelsson (joining on link), Sahlgrenska Academy/University of Gothenburg.​​​​​​​​

Successful kick-off for Health Engineering

​Covid-19, interactivity and input from Sahlgrenska hospital, Gothenburg University and Region Västra Götaland. This, and much more, was on the agenda at Health Engineering’s kick-off event.
In late August Health Engineering Area of Advance arranged a kick-off event, that moved from face-to-face to digital platform, and from spring to autumn, due to the pandemic.

Many participants had registered for the kick-off. The event was primarily focused on Chalmers researchers, but interest from other organisations was noticeable.
Watch the event here!​

A
nn-Marie Wennberg, CEO and Professor at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, opened the event and talked about how collaboration is the way forward. Ann-Sofie Cans, Director at Health Engineering, described the Area of Advance and coming activities, before giving the floor to the profile leaders who introduced the five profiles. Three Covid-related research projects were presented, and a panel with representatives from the hospital, the University of Gothenburg and the region discussed future collaborations.

In connection to the event, some questions were posted from the audience. We have gathered all the questions, and answers, below.

Q: Does the AoA already have, or planning start, any collaboration specializing in trauma and health care data analyses using linked data?

A: This is an interesting question and definitely relevant, but to answer your question in a satisfying and correct way we would like you to get in touch with us to discuss further.

Q: Are there any possible support and funding opportunities for pilot projects, or other means?

A: As explained during the kick-off event we will soon release more information about how our Area of Advance can provide financial support for different types of initiatives, including but not limited to support for organization of workshops and other match-making events, center application coordination and seed projects. A close interaction with the Area of Advance management is preferred when a researcher or a group of researchers has a suggestion for an activity, a project or similar.

Q: Is nuclear chemistry of relevance for your goals?

A: Why not, we are an inclusive Area of Advance who see positively on all initiatives addressing challenges related to health and engineering. Please contact us for a deeper discussion of where this fits the best.

Q: I would be interesting to know how to join the center and how to collaborate on projects.

A: First, we should clarify that Health Engineering is an Area of Advance, not a center. As an Area of Advance, we aim to engage all researchers active in addressing challenges related to health and well-being. We hope that you will actively participate in match-making events relevant to your research, but also that you propose activities that are in line with your interests and that you feel would strengthen our activities. Please contact anyone in the management team or any of the profile leaders. Also, make sure that you get our newsletter to see what we are planning ahead.

Q: Is the urban environment is included in Health Engineering Area of Advance, and if so, how?

A: Yes, this is included in our profile area Systems and built environments for health and care.

Q: Research areas that is "mentioned" in one of the profile areas, have a risk of being neglected since the other (more dominant) research areas may dominate the discussions. How will you ensure that the profile areas are transparent and inclusive?

A: This is a good point! Our approach is to have an open environment, with open invitations where researchers that feel connected to a certain profile (or several) can actively participate, and make their voices heard. It is a delicate balance between building on what is already strong, and supporting upcoming areas and initiatives, but long-term we definitively aim at doing both.

Q: How can Health Engineering contribute to fighting pandemics in the future?

A: We think the Health Engineering Area of Advance and Chalmers researchers can contribute on so many levels, both when it comes to modeling, helping understand the biophysics of new viruses, helping society and healthcare with the planning and processes around being better prepared, helping us all to prevent illness and injuries, and in many other ways. We hope you will join us in finding more ways; come join and help make it happen.

Q: How does one make best use of recent modelling results, like Power Laws in Superspreading Events: Evidence from Coronavirus Outbreaks and Implications for SIR Models, Masao Fukui, Chishio Furukawa, (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.11.20128058v2) and Impact of Superspreaders on dissemination and mitigation of COVID-19 Kim Sneppen, Robert J. Taylor, Lone Simonsen, (https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.17.20104745v5)?

A: Thanks for the references. We will definitely take a good look at them to see how we could possibly use them in our work. The literature on Covid-19 modeling is already vast and there is a plethora of modeling ideas that show promise. They are in line with existing evidence from the Mers and Sars outbreaks that we have discussed with the infectious disease doctors. They also seem to be in line with their hypotheses that the likelihood of health care mediated super-spreading events might be one factor that can help explain differences between the outbreaks in Italy and Sweden/Region Västra Götaland. On the other hand, super-spreading is not likely to be the single additional modeling assumption to "rule them all"; thus we also investigate how to use many different and rich data sources which Region Västra Götaland/Sahlgrenska University Hospital has access to but which is typically not publicly available. But yes, super-spreaders is one of many interesting modeling approaches.

Q: Generating connections between Chalmers' researchers and health care professionals: If one has a project idea (e.g. within AI), how does one find a suitable counterpart or collaborator at (for example) the hospital?

A: The best way is to actively participate in our upcoming match-making events. Please see the homepage for events that could fit. If your interest is within AI, please join the match-making event September 23, 09.00-11.30.

Q: I am a postdoc at Biology and Biological Engineering, and I would like to know how I can be more actively involved in activities of this AoA. 

A: We are happy about your interest. Please join the match-making events that we have planned. Also, please feel free to express your interest to the most relevant profile leader or to anyone in the management team. And make sure that you receive our newsletter to see what we are planning!

Q: I am interested in how you will address questions indirectly aiming at good health within our population; such as design of tailor-made health-promoting food products. The latter could be an important tool e.g. in personalized nutrition as the product could be exactly made based on specific nutrition needs of the consumer using for example 3D-printing technology. Overall, it is unclear to me how/if production of health promoting food products can have a role in this AoA.

A: This is definitively relevant! It sounds that this fits best under the profile area of prevention, lifestyle and ergonomics. Please join upcoming events and feel free to approach any of us to discuss further.

Published: Thu 03 Sep 2020.