New UMCG research programme 'Digital Healthcare' to boost collaboration and digital innovations in healthcare

Digitalisation is playing an increasingly important role in supporting improvements in health and healthcare. Measures to improve efficiency in healthcare, reduce pressure on healthcare staff and save costs can be put to good use today.

Within the UMCG, a large number of departments and research groups have gained experience with digital applications in healthcare, mostly through innovative, data-driven and/or eHealth-like research and pilot projects. Yet time and again, it turns out that knowledge is rather fragmented and professionals find it fairly difficult to find each other to exchange experiences and expertise. Digital care is very multidisciplinary and can only be deployed when there is good cooperation between many different experts.

With this reason, Peter van Ooijen, Esther Metting, Job Doornberg and Rozemarijn Vliegenthart took the initiative to set up a new research programme 'Digital Healthcare' (as part of the W.J. Kolff Institute of the UMCG). The aim of this new research programme is to bring clinicians and researchers who are both active in their own (clinical) field and in the fields of data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and eHealth closer together to encourage exchange of experiences and expertise, form networks and stimulate the writing of joint grant applications.

In addition, this new programme can facilitate (connection to) educational opportunities in basic and more advanced digital healthcare technology and become a good breeding ground for our young, talented researchers (masters and PhD students, and postdocs) with an affinity for data science, machine learning, AI and eHealth. Formation of this new research programme also dovetails well with local/regional (research) initiatives, such as HTRIC, the Jantina Tammes School, the AI hub North Netherlands (Health domain), the NWO-KIC project 'Healthy living as a service' and the NWO/Netherlands AI Coalition project 'ELSA AI lab North Netherlands (ELSA-NN)'.

If you are interested in this new research programme and are considering participating in it, we would like to hear from you. For more information, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].