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On 5-6 September, the WHO Symposium took place in Porto, Portugal, for the second time in four years. This year, the organisers at WHO invited Professor Georgi Chaltikyan, Head of Digital Health at the European Campus Rottal-Inn of the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT-ECRI), to speak on one of the panels.

The symposium focused on the future of healthcare systems in the digital era in the European region and addressed burning issues facing the industry. The panel on which Prof Chaltikyan was invited to speak was entitled "High-tech vs. high-touch: Can digital technologies mitigate the health workforce crisis?" sought to explore how digital technologies can help address the health workforce crisis. Together with his colleagues, Prof Chaltikyan highlighted the key challenges of digital transformation from a health workforce perspective and the possible solutions to address these challenges.

His presence, together with his colleague from the Digital Health team at DIT-ECRI, Dmitry Etin, marked the ever-growing impact of the Deggendorf Institute of Technology as one of the key pillars of digital health education, research and development in Europe and globally. In addition, a second year student of the Master of Digital Health (MDH), DIT's flagship programme, Ms Airam Regalado Ceballos, was invited to contribute to another panel of students and young professionals entitled "Voices of tomorrow: harnessing the power of youth innovation in (digital) health".

Such a significant contribution by DIT-ECRI to the success of the meeting is in line with the institution's aspirations to become a WHO Collaborating Centre on Digital Health - an important development expected to be completed in early 2024.


The "Anton Fink Science Prize for Artificial Intelligence (AI)", which has been awarded by the Deggendorf Institute of Technology (DIT), will enter its third round in 2024. Individuals, start-ups, universities, research institutes, foundations or companies can win. The prerequisites are ground-breaking achievements in the research, development or practical applications of artificial intelligence. 10,000 euros will be awarded as the main prize, as well as the young talent award for final theses with 1,000 euros.

"Competitive mechanical engineering, modern services and innovative medical technology are at the core of our prosperity," says pharmacist Anton Fink, explaining his personal motivation to offer this prize again. In addition, the topic of human-machine interaction is particularly close to his heart. "That is why the current call for entries also includes AI applications in the field of human-machine interaction," as Fink mentions. The prize is intended to honour and promote corresponding digital innovations that are concretely used in companies and are methodologically sound.

Applications with projects or research results are accepted from all over Europe. The deadline for applications is 31st January 2024. Applications must include information on the projects or research results, a sketch of the innovation created by them and a curriculum vitae of the applicant.

Individuals aged 18 and older who are resident in Europe are eligible to apply. But also groups or companies that have their headquarters there. However, these must designate a natural person to make the application and take responsibility for it. Submissions are accepted in both German and English.

Prof. Dr. Patrick Glauner, who is primarily responsible for supervising the science prize on the DIT side, is pleased with the latest award-winning AI innovation: "Tim Rädsch from the German Cancer Research Institute and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) convinced us with his world-wide first systematic study on annotation instructions in biomedical imaging." A resulting scientific publication on this topic has also recently been published in an internationally renowned journal.

The award ceremony is scheduled for 14 May 2024 in Deggendorf. The jury includes the former Bavarian Minister of Science Bernd Sibler and the founder, pharmacist Anton Fink himself.

Details on the call for entries are available at www.th-deg.de/ai-prize.


Spring and Summer is always an especially busy season for Digital Health students, teachers and researchers at Deggendorf Institute of Technology’s European Campus Rottal-Inn (DIT-ECRI) with many important conferences and industry expos taking place April through June. Professor Dr. Georgi Chaltikyan, head of the two signature Digital Health Education and R&D products at DIT-ECRI, the Master of Digital Health (MDH) and the annual education and scientific event series DigiHealthDay (DHD), as well as students and research associates, made an impactful appearance at five consecutive events in the end of May – beginning of June.

In mid-May Professor Chaltikyan delivered a master-class to the prospective students of the Armenian double-degree counterpart of DIT-ECRI’s Master of Digital Health launched last year at the Russian-Armenian University in Yerevan, Armenia. The very next day he was invited to speak on a Digital Transformation panel at the Yerevan Tech Forum 2023, a leading event in Armenia.

The week after that, DIT-ECRI students and staff attended Vitalis in Gothenburg, Sweden, the largest and most impactful Digital Health conference and expo in the Nordic Countries. This conference was co-located with Medical Informatics Europe – the annual scientific conference by the European Federation for Medical Informatics (EFMI) of which DIT-ECRI is one of the most active institutional members. Then followed the Pharma 4.0 conference in Berlin, a no less prominent event and conference on Digital Transformation of Pharma where Prof. Dr. Georgi Chaltikyan was the invited chair.

Finally, on June 7-9, one of the most significant European and international events took place in Lisbon, Portugal – the HIMSS 23 Europe congress and expo, where DIT-ECRI actively participated with a dedicated booth, as well as a large group of staff, researchers and students led by Prof. Chaltikyan. Many of the DIT-ECRI students were invited as the conference volunteers amounting to 8 out of 13 HIMSS volunteers. Volunteering at HIMSS23Europe gave the students a unique opportunity to get familiar with the behind the scenes challenges of organizing the event. They gained valuable skills and exciting experience, while those present at the booth engaged in informative conversations with visitors, showcased the university, and achieved new insights into various aspects of Digital Health. The event also featured Prof. Chaltikyan speaking at the panel titled “Harnessing Digital Health Workforce Development”.

For over three years now DIT-ECRI is a partner of HIMSS, with resultant wider recognition of its Digital Health activities in Europe and globally, and many new excellent opportunities for its students and young researchers, to learn, develop, and network with the global Digital Health community.

More is to come: later this year, the annual symposium DigiHealthDay-2023 will be convened on November 10. It is already known that several more global top-level experts and opinion leaders will be speaking at the symposium, including key Digital Health officers from the WHO Europe Headquarters in Copenhagen.

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