Geplaatst: 22 September 2021

How Does Venture Or Startup Contribute To Healthcare?

Speijer was a judge at “Get In The Ring 2021” – an annual event where startups and ventures from around the world get the opportunity to pitch their technological innovation while networking. “As a doctor, I am able to see through whether an innovation is really going to contribute to health. I am used to doing a quick “sanity check” on the scientific foundation. Then, I look at the market positioning, what is claimed, and if I could offer that to my patient. And if I become convinced that it can make a serious contribution to health, how would my colleagues receive it,” highlights Speijer.

It doesn’t help but can hurt

Speijer points out that different things are weighed with an investor than with a doctor. “Yet too often, we take it for granted that the design, scale-up and further development take place outside the scope of our clinical practice. Even though these factors affect health, we are betting on, and thus the outcome of our actions as physicians. The adage ‘if it doesn’t help, it doesn’t hurt’ certainly doesn’t apply here. Worse, digitization has an exponentially scaling effect. If it goes wrong, the damage is incalculable. But if an innovation does benefit, then there is an opportunity to improve care exponentially. And that’s what I’m looking forward to as a doctor.”

This can be seen in the way Gabriëlle Speijer evaluated digital solutions as the judge. For example, in the case of “the first AI-based computational method for substantiating treatment decisions in oncology,” according to the developers.

“My first impression was that this option for finding the best-targeted therapy for the patient was too disconnected from practice,” Speijer says. “But it turned out that the developer had incorporated his years of experience from practice into an open and thus testable model. Moreover, it is possible to make a smooth transition from the current clinical trial-based practice to providing insight into large amounts of data using AI and machine learning. Thus it offers clinicians the opportunity to treat in an increasingly targeted way (precision oncology) while learning from their own outcomes based on real-world data. An advantage is also that the developer collaborates with other clinics and parties, always driven by clinical added value. I find that very clever.”

Added value for practice

The main question Speijer wants to her when acting as a  judge during startups pitches is: what added value does this innovation bring to the health care system? “Based on that, I do a reality check to get all the facts in order, to see if what the developers declare is correct and what I could take away from subjective impressions. Confidentiality is an important issue here, as it is the question of how the idea translates to medical practice. Sustainability and agility also play an important role and, of course, the question of whether the developer is open to the environment.”

“We still don’t exploit technology enough to get a complete picture of the patient. That can be done much better. And if doctors are in the lead in the development of that technology, we can achieve an enormous acceleration. This is not a non-committal matter because the technology must benefit our work and the outcomes in health. We need to drive that together,” concludes Speijer.

Geplaatst: 26 March 2020

The coronavirus: a test case for excellent remote healthcare

As a doctor, I am well aware that I myself pose a threat to my patients should I become infected with the coronavirus. This isn’t only because the majority of my patients are classified as being in the vulnerable group, but more so because I cannot afford to be sidelined by illness or quarantine. One of the precautionary measures I will be taking is to skip certain events and social get-togethers for the time being. I am also glad to see healthy people around me being smart by washing their hands often and maintaining their physical distance from others. They’re not doing this for themselves, or due to hysteria or panic, but out of a sense of solidarity with those people for whom infection with the new virus could prove fatal.

As I am writing this blog, large organizations are deciding en masse to make the responsible choice as well. The HIMSS decided to cancel its annual global conference in Orlando, for example. Apart from the major (financial) consequences of this decision, it is nevertheless a decision that is aligned with that organization’s objective of improving healthcare. Organizer Hal Wolf, explains his reasoning for cancelling the event: “Allowing so many healthcare providers to gather in one place is a disproportional risk now that they are so desperately needed in the field.”

Communicating faster than the virus spreads

Despite all efforts being made to constrain further spreading, we will all be increasingly confronted with the virus. The situation is also having an impact on us healthcare providers and necessitates flexibility on our part, especially when dealing with possible staff shortages or conflicting interests when under the pressure of time. We are examining the possibility of switching to one on-shift doctor, with the rest being on call but working remotely.

We are also determining which matters can be taken care of by telecommuting. This is the time when we could clearly benefit from seamless digital communication: for patients, healthcare providers, volunteers and crisis teams alike. It is notable that when making arrangements regarding communication in the hospital the advice is not to rely on emails from the crisis team, let alone on a printout of the latest emergency protocol, but to instead rely on the online portal with the seperate button.

More remote organization

As a radiology oncologist, some of the patients I treat are receiving chemotherapy, and sometimes they also have COPD. Their risk of dying from the new coronavirus is therefore significantly higher than that of healthy people. This is also a good reason to get the flu shot at the beginning of flu season, to minimize these patients’ risk of exposure as much as possible. Remember, these are people who are fighting for their lives! Hygiene is extremely important now: maintaining your physical distance from others, not shaking hands, washing your hands after all contact with others, disinfecting surfaces such as door handles and keyboards, and so on.

Physical contact with patients is necessary sometimes, but now is a good time to consider alternatives to this contact. Last week I received a text message from one of my patients. She had returned from vacation, didn’t feel well at all and was on her way to the hospital for an evaluation scan. In such cases video calling is a good solution thanks to the additional information images can provide. In addition to the general measures taken to warn patients via websites, the media and automatic text messages, it is very important for healthcare professionals to be readily accessible and be able to seamlessly coordinate with each other.

Public data required for health gains

The importance of data for achieving health gains at the public level is becoming painfully clear. Northern Italy has been quarantined, and if you look at a world map you will find a sea of red surrounding that country’s national borders. The European Union and United Nations need to work together, but a lot remains to be done in this respect. I would dearly love to see the European Commission’s policy include cooperation that taps into the potential of information technology as the foundation of good healthcare, regardless of which member state this concerns.

When it comes to privacy, the issue is really not as complex as we all think it is – as long as the focus is on the interests of patient care and public health, and confidentiality is ensured. Maps that provide live updates on the worldwide spreading of the virus show just how much we have to gain from having a reliable dashboard. In the interest of public health, health data and related data are crucial for obtaining faster but above all more accurate information regarding underlying factors: how the virus behaves, what its effect is on different populations, etc. What’s more, we all have an opportunity to use such data to better assess our own behavior and its effect on the further spreading of the virus.

Want to learn more about the legal aspects? I recommend the following blog:

Share information

There are plenty of shady companies trying to make a quick buck by selling “remedies” that at best don’t work and at worst are harmful. That’s why it is so important that we, as healthcare providers realize what an essential source of information we are for our patients. This is our strength. And patients expect it from us, too. We should all use our power to inform. Not only in the consulting room but far beyond it as well. Share information via social media and apps, of course ensuring that it is aligned with the recommendations of leading authorities on the topic, such as the WHO and the RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment).

We should not hide from the coronavirus. Because now more than ever it’s crucial for you to be there for your patients – just in a safe way.

Geplaatst: 26 December 2019

Who still follows the Hippocratic Oath?

As a doctor, how do you still gain insight into the entire health situation of your patient in an ever-growing folder system, with masses of letters and notes per patient, regardless of the countless work lists, emails and separate systems in which you collect the rest of the information? How can you guarantee that you will not overlook that one crucial value?

A lack of overview and the ability to quickly and easily share my clinical insights with colleagues is a daily medical mistake for me. Waiting for a solution to present itself is irresponsible to say the least. That is why I, together with healthcare ICT specialists Han Kohar and Peter Walgemoed, have taken up the challenge to get rid of this problem, literally and figuratively. Together we developed the concept for “fluKs Collaborative Space”, a virtual consultation space for healthcare professionals that can be scaled up worldwide.

Freedom of communication and application

Imagine a digital bulletin board on which all members of your treatment team can post their own insights about a joint patient / client. From the first contact to the implementation of the treatment plan. Insights that can easily be linked to the results of examinations and scans, which are imported from the existing IT solutions of your healthcare institution.

You can quickly consult with each other online and approve steps within the treatment. And you can use any application within the platform that you consider important to support your work. In other words, freedom of communication and application. That is the essence of fluKs.

Learning from every patient

I find learning from every patient just as crucial as good communication. The fluKs concept provides this by immediately recording valuable information for the patient in the process, both for direct knowledge sharing and (re) use in the long term.

Patient data is stored in a secure data vault, in the name of the healthcare provider and with the consent of the patient concerned. This guarantees authentication and the use of the data is GDPR or AVG proof. This means that we can work beyond the walls of institutions with this patient data. Naturally, we provide insight into when and for what the patient has given permission and what is done with which data in which place. In addition, a patient always has the option to give permission only for certain parts or to withdraw the permission.

Natural caregiver role restored

On this basis, we let the healthcare provider act as steward of patient data, restoring the natural role of the healthcare provider. Confidentiality is restored in the care relationship: the patient can trust that the doctor is aware of his entire health situation.

In addition, patient data is securely made available for scientific research and we can forward complete and well-defined information to the patient’s personal health environment.

Hippocrates 2.0

The first use case of fluKs has now been developed, involving a patient with breast cancer. We are also working on a direct link between use cases and scientific research to determine the effectiveness of the solution and to learn from what works and what doesn’t. Our first step towards the data driven doctor has been taken.

In line with this, I would also like to propose a contemporary version of our oath, Hippocrates 2.0 so to speak:

As a healthcare provider, I promise to entrust care and health to my patient. For this I will:

  • Using the technology available
  • Making healthcare information valuable
  • Making the healthcare information available to the patient and the knowledge network of colleagues
  • Treat healthcare information confidentially

Does this concept appeal to you? Do you have any suggestions we can take with us? Or do you want to contribute to the rollout of fluKs? Mail me at:

Geplaatst: 20 December 2019

“Data driven doctor becomes datacurator of patient data”

Discuss together how things can be improved for a patient and immediately arrange for this to actually happen. This was the daily routine for Heyning and Speijer when they got to know each other ten years ago and started working together. “It was seen as special, especially because we came from different hospitals, Gabriëlle from Haga and I from HMC,” says Heyning, who was working as a haematologist at the time. “But it was only logical for us. After a short time, we evaluated the changes in the care process and made adjustments where necessary. Thanks to our short lines of communication and the opportunity to experiment in a safe way, we were able to continuously improve the care for our patients. And we both find that essential to be able to practice our profession well. ”

Heyning and Speijer had expected that the collaboration between doctors and other healthcare providers would become much easier due to the rapid developments in the field of communication technology. To their frustration, the opposite happened. With disastrous consequences, which Speijer in particular experiences in practice every day. “It takes me so much time and effort to gather the correct information about my patients that I am always afraid of overlooking that one crucial value. And in my profession it is about life and death. I think that’s a really blind spot. ” Heyning and Speijer see this as a medical mistake, which they want to put an end to as soon as possible.

Cultural paradox

“Until the beginning of this century, new technology was almost always immediately made available to doctors,” says Heyning. “But in the past ten years, we have put increasing emphasis on safety and quality in healthcare. Protocols and guidelines were written and we then started to make sure that everyone adheres to them. Safety is important, but healthcare is now very closely regulated. This puts tension on the professional autonomy of doctors. And in my view it is precisely this that makes the difference between medicine and medicine. We have entered a tick culture that is already taught in the training. ”

“At the same time, we say to healthcare professionals: the world is in transformation, get off the beaten track, think out-of-the-box and do things differently. That is a cultural paradox. How should you do that in an environment where you have to comply with all the rules and where the penalty for mistakes is huge because it involves human lives? We have to change that together. ”
As a first step in that direction, Heyning mentions that within the 26 top clinical hospitals of the STZ, clinical practice, research and training are more closely interwoven and an open atmosphere is created, in which experiments can take place and mistakes can be made.

Mammoth tanker

The tick-off culture in healthcare has been reinforced by the fact that all protocols and guidelines have been digitized within EPRs over the past decade. This has resulted in systems that healthcare professionals experience as a mammoth tanker: they entail an enormous administrative burden, are inflexible and difficult to integrate with other applications. ”

“The latter is necessary, because an EPD contains only about 10 percent of all healthcare information that you can collect about a patient,” says Speijer. “It is usually briefly in a cure setting, while everything that happens outside of it also contributes to the outcome of the treatment. Insight into psychosocial, lifestyle and other data from health apps, but also new knowledge that arises by combining data between various domains via AI, would give us more control over the health and well-being of our patients. ”

Virtual meeting room

The biggest annoyance for Speijer, however, is that she is not digitally supported in communication with her colleagues inside and outside the hospital. “Bulky files are being pumped around, supplemented with e-mails, faxes and all kinds of other notes. That is an unworkable and from a medical point of view undesirable situation. ”

It also disturbs her that a doctor cannot choose the ICT solution that best supports him or her in the work, while you can download any app you want on your smartphone. “We often have to do it with just the EPD. This means that we have insufficient insight into the health aspects of the patient, which are decisive for successful treatment. ”
“With the current state of technology, this can and must change, says Speijer. That is why she has sought cooperation with healthcare ICT specialists Han Kohar and Peter Walgemoed. Together they have developed the new concept “fluKs”, a virtual consultation space in which healthcare professionals can quickly and clearly share their insights about a joint patient.

First use case

To demonstrate the effect of fluKs, Speijer and her partners first developed a use case for a patient with breast cancer. FluKs looks like a digital bulletin board, on which healthcare providers around a patient can post information about the first contact, diagnosis and treatment plan. Not only in text, but also the results of examinations and scans, which are imported from the existing IT solutions of the healthcare institution. Via the central “bulletin board” all practitioners involved with the patient can consult with each other online and give their approval for steps within the treatment.

Another practical aspect of fluKs is that other applications that are important to a practitioner can be opened within the platform. “In the case of breast cancer, as a radiologist, for example, I can choose the viewer of my choice to enrich the mammography. Or consult a decision-supporting application, ”explains Speijer. “In this way, decision support, predictive tools and artificial intelligence can be immediately integrated into the work process.”

Speijer considers this freedom of application important. “I want to work with the best technology for my patient and I don’t know if that’s the case until I’ve looked at how it works clinically. In addition, technology has an increasingly shorter shelf life due to the fast pace at which new developments are entering the market. Because of the way fluKs has been designed, you can take full advantage of this. ”

Learning from every patient

Because it concerns confidential information, authentication – only an authorized healthcare provider gets access to fluKs – and patient consent are included in the design of the platform. “But we would like to learn from every patient,” says Speijer. “We do this by immediately capturing valuable information for the patient in the process, both for direct knowledge sharing and long-term use.”

FluKs stores patient data in a data safe, in the name of the healthcare provider and with the consent of the patient concerned, so that the use of the data is GDPR or AVG proof. Speijer: “This means that this patient data can be used to work beyond the walls of institutions. In doing so, we provide insight into when and for what the patient has given permission and what is done with which data where. Moreover, a patient always has the option to only give consent for certain parts or to withdraw consent. ”

“On this basis we let the healthcare provider act as datacurator of patient data, restoring the natural role of the healthcare provider. Confidentiality is restored in the care relationship: the patient can trust that the doctor is aware of his entire health situation. In addition, patient data will be securely available for scientific research and we can display complete and well-defined information in the patient’s personal health environment. ”
Linking research to practice

FluKs is now still in the concept phase. Over the next six months, Speijer and its partners will be looking for relevant parties and investors who want to participate in this model. Speijer: “I am also in talks with various stakeholders to link scientific research to the use cases. In this way we immediately learn what works better and what works less well. And we can show how scientific research can coincide with practice, so that the daily learning of every patient becomes the normal course of events. ” The first tests of the platform will be completed in mid-2020, after which the first upscaling can take place.

At the administrative level, Heyning is also working on better digital support for healthcare professionals. “If we strive for the right care in the right place, we have to disruptively organize care differently. Across the existing silos of primary, secondary and third-line care. This is only possible with a different mindset of healthcare administrators and professionals. And it requires the use of cutting edge technology, ”says Heyning. “Gabriëlle and I feel called to be at the forefront of this. But I am in favor of ‘think big, act small’, so move step by step in the right direction. ”

Heyning believes that the financial incentives should be brought into line with this better. “From health insurers, but certainly also from VWS. When I look at supporting innovation in hospitals, the focus is mainly on the UMCs and some top institutes. But we also combine clinical practice with research and training in our top clinical hospitals to advance new developments. The current compensation is far from sufficient for this. Upscaling will then remain a utopia. ”

FluKs base for HIMSS Future50 nomination

In June 2019 Speijer presented the concept for fluKs Collaborative Space at the HIMSS Europe Conference in Helsinki. On this basis, she was named Future50 International HealthIT leader in October.

FluKs is a virtual consultation space in which healthcare professionals can share their insights about a joint patient. This simplifies mutual consultation and bundles patient data, so that every treating care provider has insight into the entire health situation of the patient. In addition, best-of-breed solutions are available within the platform, allowing healthcare professionals to use the applications that best support them in their work.

The architecture of fluKs has been chosen in such a way that the concept can be scaled up, both within a specialism and beyond, nationally and internationally. To this end, the concept is in line with international standards for interoperability and coding system. Speijer recently founded the company CatalyzIT to further develop and market fluKs.

Contemporary Hippocratic Oath

Speijer tries to propagate its mission as broadly as possible, not only through HIMSS, but also through professional associations, training courses and professional platforms. Considering good digital support as indispensable to their profession, she has also formulated a contemporary Hippocratic Oath:

As a healthcare provider, I promise to entrust care and health to my patient. For this I will:

  • Using the technology available.
  • Make healthcare information valuable.
  • Make the healthcare information available to the patient and the knowledge network of colleagues.
  • Treat healthcare information confidentially.

Speijer calls on all doctors to join this via #DDD, or #DataDrivenDoctors.

Geplaatst: 27 May 2019

Hospitals leave ICT opportunities untapped

A frequently heard complaint in hospital land is that it is problematic to exchange data about patients with other hospitals because they work with a different system. “There has to be a solution for this and there is one”, says Fenna Heyning. “And it is not even necessary for all hospitals to use the same system. Just see what the banks have done with the payment terminals. Whichever bank I am at, I can pay with my debit card in any far away country. The banks have thus succeeded in linking all their different systems together. Apparently that is possible. Why doesn’t that happen in healthcare? I do think it would happen if the entire healthcare sector asked for it. ”

Technique and empathy

It is not clear to everyone that ICT plays an important role in doctor-patient contact. For Gabrielle Speijer, it is: “Radiotherapy is based on highly advanced technology and the accompanying ICT. However, this technical side only gains added value for the vulnerable patient if he can form a team with the radiotherapist, because the doctor is empathetic. Being grounded in the natural sciences and having an empathetic attitude are not opposites. However, the role that ICT can play in this is still often overlooked. ”

“As soon as we are able to make better use of the possibilities of ICT, we will have time to immerse ourselves in the patient with more empathy and compassion”, Heyning adds. “Technology can be a fantastic way to build that bridge. The possibilities of ICT go much further than just the EPD. Care comprises the full cycle of care. This runs from the moment the patient receives a complaint at home until the moment he is recovered at home. And on the way there may be a hospital in between and we work with the EPD. However, hardly any use is made of the possibilities of smartphones or social media, while they are already being fully utilized in daily life. ” She cites Google as an example, which can predict an upcoming flu epidemic on the basis of registered sickness reports. “Systems that collect this kind of information are very relevant to healthcare, but are hardly used. There are so many possible applications of ICT, so much information that doctors are unaware of or at least they do not use in healthcare. ”

To shape the link with these types of systems, Speijer sets himself up as an ambassador for the concept of data driven doctor. How Speijer will give shape to this exactly, she will be publicizing that in the short term. She is in close contact with a number of relevant partners at home and abroad who support her mission. Various partnerships have also been started.
“A recent article in Radiotherapy and Oncology calls for more attention to be paid to the possibilities of artificial intelligence, deep learning and big data.2 Another angle comes from the Prevention Agreement. This shows that the health domain and the social domain show a strong overlap. It makes a lot of difference whether a patient from The Hague comes from the Schilderswijk or Benoordenhout, where many doctors and our prime minister live. I want to be the ambassador who shows doctors the added value that better use of ICT can have.”


We have to get rid of ICT as it is now, both women believe. According to them, this requires far too much time from doctors and nurses. “We want to move towards a situation in which ICT makes it easier for doctors and nurses to do their work, so that they have time to immerse themselves in the patient with more empathy and compassion.”

This can be done, for example, by using ICT if personal contact between the doctor and the patient is not necessarily necessary. With wearables and video chat applications, patients can be monitored at home and do not necessarily have to appear in person for routine appointments. Almost everyone has FaceTime or Skype, so contact can also be made through those channels. That means that the doctor has time left for those patients who really need that time. Today, patients are allowed to go home as early as three days after major abdominal surgery. They are still far from the old and are not only in the rag basket, but also in uncertainty. There is also much room for improvement here with more ICT, wearables and WhatsApp. For example, by sending a nurse along if necessary, or contacting the doctor by telephone and clarifying what could happen and indicating which changes warrant contact with the doctor.
Another area where ICT can add a lot is cooperation in multidisciplinary care. “There are countless possibilities where ICT can support a multidisciplinary consultation (MDO), for example,” think both doctors. “In many respects we still work with methods from the analogue era. In the digital age, for example, you could involve the patient in MDO. You can also think of a system where a doctor can log in to the MDO 24/7 to drop an idea, for example because he has just discovered something in the literature. These are just a few examples, ”they say. Heyning is optimistic. “Many of these systems already exist. So we mainly need people who want to work with them.”

She and Speijer wholeheartedly agree with the statement that ICT in the hospital is too important to be left to the ICT workers alone. Speijer: “This can be done by providing the correct input based on our professional knowledge and needs, even before development takes place at all! Then there will be solutions for existing clinical questions. Where no doctor can now visualize the whole person, we will be able to do that tomorrow with the technology already available. ” “So there is plenty to do for colleagues who want to develop further in this area,” Heyning concludes.

Geplaatst: 24 April 2019

The biggest medical failure of today

Just from Henry Moss to the practice now. With this example I hope to clarify how behavior, environment and mental functioning influence our medical outcome. Between the many consultations of people with a new diagnosis of lung cancer, I am also fortunate to be able to propose a treatment aimed at a cure. It concerns the patient with the so-called “chance finding”. Usually without complaints on the basis of the disease with the limited tumor volume.

Then that is the time to delightfully propose stereotactic radiotherapy: extremely high doses of radiotherapy with millimeter precision. In the patient this joy appears to be a lot more limited. In addition to the fear about the diagnosis, there is also fear of the unknown of the treatment, how to combine it with the family situation, the transport, what is and what is not allowed and so on.

What do we not take into account?

Stop smoking then seems like a detail to the patient. Yet smoking not only has a significant negative impact on the mental state (coping, depressive and anxious feelings), it also works against radiation, regardless of the effect on health in general!

But even if the patient wants to stop, his environment appears to be a strong incentive to relapse, even if it had been effortlessly successful after a few days of hospitalization. Of course, as a reader, you have long had solutions for the above patient in mind. But how many other factors are there that we do not know about now and therefore do not take into account?

Although we have been able to realize top care of a super specialist level, we have unfortunately not progressed further than analogous linking of care information. I’m not even referring to the “Sherlock Holmes Basic Skill” of a physician today: searching for crucial information among scanned letters or digital notes from colleagues and looking for missing information in other healthcare facilities.

I mean the other 90 percent of what determines our health: economic factors, education, genetics, social support network, behavior and physical environment. These are largely ignored because we simply do not have a view of them.

Use technology for better healthcare journey

Today, technology should be able to provide a smooth image for our patient. Yet now no doctor has a complete picture of the patient! We only see a limited part, of which advice and treatment make up an even smaller part. To rephrase the question: how do I make a real contribution to the health of my patient if I do not know his journey through the healthcare landscape?

I expect that the use of technology will provide more insight for the practitioner, but also for the patient. The result: better decisions and self-reliance in the long term. For example, in some cases treatment may not turn out to be a desirable choice, while it is the most obvious from the current care perspective. Or do certain interventions actually contribute to more success with current treatments.

Really listen to the patient …

One last example before I encourage you to comment on my translation of Moss to this time. Last week, one of my patients told me at the end of a combined chemoradiation treatment: “It went slightly differently than we expected, I got more complaints, had some specific questions. Still, I feel like I have so many practitioners, but I have to keep an overview myself. You just have to be lucky that someone really listens to you for a moment. It seems there is no one for me. ” This really struck me. The image of this patient versus the long days of the doctors doing their utmost to deliver the treatment as well as possible.

… And see all of the person!

If I could interpret Moss’s words half a century later, I would translate it into “doctors behind counters, tied together analogously.” A huge medical miss, but one for which a solution is available! If we use technology to provide us with an intuitive picture of what still remains “out of scope”, as doctors we will see the whole person!

Who should ask for this differently than we as a doctor? The hospital management? The industry? Do they have that knowledge from the heart of healthcare that we deal with every day? Is this a new domain where we should have leadership? Doesn’t the patient expect this from us? Aren’t we responsible for the best possible care?

What do you think? What do you see as your contribution as a doctor today and tomorrow? Do you disagree? Let us know, comment! I am looking for the doctor who is interested in this topic! Twitter #DDD or datadrivendoctor.

Geplaatst: 25 March 2019

Out of prehistoric times!

For example, it remains self-evident for many who bear responsibility in the medical world that we have been skyping, ordering online and using social media for years. But as soon as we go through the revolving door of clinical practice, outpatient visits that could also have been done via video calling, (digitized) paper and non-communicating digital systems – without any self-learning talents – are completely normal.

A warning to you as a reader is already too late, because every time you go through the revolving door, you are aware of this fact. Just like the table that stood in the way of that patient who had to hear the diagnosis a few hours later. But that is of course also my intention. I am convinced that it really can also be done outside the revolving door!

Where is the technology?

For this blog, let me take one more example that I and my colleagues have to deal with every day: multidisciplinary consultation. This is a great thing, don’t get me wrong. It is the moment when we are together to discuss the most optimal (treatment) proposal for the patient in question.

Nevertheless, I am annoyed with various aspects: why does this have to be so rigid at a certain moment, where is the technology that can enable us to provide 24/7 advice and, where necessary, to use video consultation for the more complex patient? And what could it improve our advice if we could immediately involve the patient digitally, link the underlying information to protocols and predict, based on earlier advice, how it could look best for the patient?

This is of course just a line of thought, because a change like this involves more than installing the camera and starting up a separate app group in a secure medium. It requires embedding technology, a tailor-made interface for both patient and healthcare provider.

On the other hand, it is very simple: it must improve our process, because the patient is the starting point and technology enables us to provide better care. If not, we will do worse than outside healthcare, because who uses an app that makes your life miserable? You don’t install it at all, do you?

Think with me

Whatever the motive for entering a revolving door of a care practice, I hope this blog has provided you with a picture of the prehistoric cave. Do not pass up this call, just think for a moment and bring in your ideas about what the first steps for improvement could be! Let’s form a group of open, empathetic and authentic doctors in the ever-expanding world of health and care, who will really make a difference with technology. You can find me at the editorial board at

Gabrielle Speijer (1976) works as a radiation oncologist at the Haga Hospital (RHG) in The Hague. She is convinced that technology can connect so smoothly in health and care that we can get a complete medical picture. Her drive and passion lies in establishing a coalition of doctors to substantially and sustainably improve healthcare and health. They are also welcome to take a seat on the editorial board of ICT & health. Send an email to