Technologies Meet Healthcare: The fifth FIT FORTHEM matchmaking workshop

Text by Mira Väyrynen

The fifth matchmaking workshop of the FIT FORTHEM project took place on 8 November. This workshop was conducted together with the Resilience, Life Quality and Demographic Change Lab, and was hosted by the University of Latvia (UL) and the University of Jyväskylä (JYU).

The event had altogether 21 participants. Most of them came from the seven FORTHEM universities. Two participants also came from universities outside the Alliance, and one participant represented the non-academic sector (private company).

Program of the workshop

For this online event, both Zoom and Howspace were used to facilitate the discussion. Zoom was used for the welcome and introductory lectures, while Howspace was used for the practical workshop itself. The recordings and PDFs of the introductory sessions were added to Howspace after the event so that all registered participants could see the introductory lectures even if they could not participate the workshop on the event date.

At the launch of the workshop, Mira Väyrynen (JYU) introduced the team and the program of the day, as well as FIT FORTHEM and the context shortly. Additionally, Lilian Tzivian (UL) introduced the Resilience, Life Quality and Demographic Change Lab.

Emil Syundyukov presented the challenges throughout all stages of patient journey.


After the introduction, it was time for the introductory lecture by Emil Syundyukov. Emil is a PhD student at the University of Latvia’s Faculty of Computing, and also works as a Chief Technology Officer in the digital health space company Longenesis. Emil gave a short presentation about the challenges in public health and patient journeys, which are related to e.g., prevention and screening of diseases, diagnostics, at-home or at-hospital treatments, treatment monitoring and rehabilitation. The reasons behind these challenges are both technical and non-technical. Emil also gave excellent case examples on which technical solutions have been developed and utilized for the existing challenges aiming to improve several practices in healthcare.

After a short break, participants worked with the challenges introduced by Emil. They were guided to take an introduction round, then set up ~10 challenges and think about potential solutions for these challenges, develop the ideas with rose-bud-thorn -method and share the results of each group in the wrap-up session.

The group identified six different challenges and created different ideas for solutions. These were related to the financial challenges of the researchers to conduct experiments, communication gaps between researchers and practitioners and/or between different healthcare professionals, patient monitoring for risk of comorbidities (especially in chronic patients), low participation rate for breast cancer screening, and lastly, growing number of elderly people and their rehabilitation/maintaining their physical performance.

Solutions for the challenges were developed together by utilizing new and dynamic networks, digital solutions and innovative technologies, more efficient marketing tools and campaigns. Participants were also encouraged to continue the ideation in Howspace after the workshop and think about possibilities for future collaboration.


Photo by Angiola Harry on Unsplash


Feedback from the fifth workshop

This workshop was a good opportunity for the FORTHEM Universities’ researchers and students to discuss a very current topic in a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral environment. Eight people filled in the feedback form. They were especially satisfied with the communication with organizers before the event and the use of Howspace. Participants asked if FIT FORTHEM events could be organized earlier in the future, as this could be a challenge for many willing participants. Another feedback came from a participant who hoped for a workshop about oncology diagnostics in FORTHEM countries.

There were several lessons learned for the FIT FORTHEM team to develop the events further in the future. All feedback will be taken into consideration in future activities of the FORTHEM Labs and FIT FORTHEM events. There are two upcoming workshops in early 2022 with the Food Science and Diversity and Migration Labs. The initial plan is to organize these workshops as hybrid events – hopefully we manage to meet each other in live occasions in 2022.

FIT FORTHEM matchmaking team wishes happy holidays for all FORTHEM blog readers and we will keep you updated about the upcoming events in the beginning of next year.


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