Three key factors will determine Sweden’s competitiveness in the rapidly transforming healthcare and life science sectors.
- A framework to better utilise high quality patient data – one of Sweden’s biggest assets.
- New academic education that is prepared for the wave of digitalisation impacting healthcare.
- More speed, both in digitalisation, internationalisation and cross-border collaboration.
“We have so many exciting things happening in Sweden. We have lots of expertise and know-how, and we are so strong when it comes to collaboration. But there is a real need for speed. We must focus our efforts on a few key areas to get much faster results,” said the government’s life science coordinator, Jenni Nordborg, at the recent international Park Annual life science conference arranged by Sahlgrenska Science Park for the thirteenth time.
Jenni’s task is to lead the work on a new national life science strategy that aims ten years ahead. That involves listening, discussing and anchoring. She points out that these are processes taking place in parallel. We have to get things done straight away, at the same time as the strategic overall vision is a prerequisite for success in the long-term perspective.
“We see so much action and a whole ecosystem is starting to grow and develop. Look what is happening around AstraZeneca’s BioVentureHub here in West Sweden. That is completely changing how we work together in life science.”
At the top of Jenni Nordborg’s list of strategic focus areas that Sweden has to develop is the much more efficient and effective use of health and patient data.
“We have unique data quality. Everyone who works with AI is looking for this. But we need to have a complete solution for using data in life science. It’s about laws, regulations and security, but also about accessibility”, she pointed out.
Digitalisation opens up completely new opportunities for business and industry to develop new services and products within life science, and to address the challenges of healthcare.
It also poses a major challenge for the education sector and universities – a theme that Sahlgrenska Academy’s new dean, Agneta Holmäng, explored in her presentation at the Park Annual conference.
Text: Kenny Genborg