Improved health solutions, new medical technologies and access to innovation presented by the operating health ecosystem in Bulgaria

On September 26, the first ever digital event took place in the Azaryan Theater, National Palace of Culture – from from TREATMENT to HEALTHcare through DIGITALIZATION. The forum was organized by the Digital Health and Innovation Cluster Bulgaria in healthcare under the patronage of N.P. Muriel Berce Cohen, Ambassador of Switzerland and was part of the INNOVATION 4 HEALTH week.

The Digital Health and Innovation Cluster Bulgaria is a non-profit association established in November 2018 by 9 companies and 2 non-profit organizations. Currently, the DHI Cluster has 19 members – IT and pharma organizations. Its goal is to support companies and organizations in the field of digital solutions and innovations in healthcare for building an ecosystem and establishing a sustainable and effective healthcare environment for patients, healthcare professionals, society and institutions.

The event of the newly created DHI Cluster brought together over 43 speakers in six separate panels and an audience of 350 people. Representatives of the state institutions, embassies, patient and medical organizations, medical specialists, directors of medical establishments, entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders in the digitalisation of healthcare in Bulgaria and others, participated in the event of the DHI Cluster Bulgaria.

The purpose of the forum was to showcase the progress in the development of the already established in the sector health ecosystem, which offers a platform for collaboration between all stakeholders. Digital innovators, startup IT companies, policy makers, patient organizations, insurance companies and the pharma industry have engaged in discussions aimed at presenting digital solutions already existing on the Bulgarian market that offer precision and structured medical data, work to improve medical services and hospital processes, for access to innovation and new treatment approaches, enable effective prevention and diagnosis, remote precision monitoring, solutions that can optimize the administrative burden of all and structures and create effective and sustainable healthcare based on data and technology.

The event was divided into six panels, which presented to the audience specific health issues and opportunities to address them through digitalization. The first discussion on digital public health solutions included: Dr. Daniela Daritkova, Chairperson of the National Health Committee to the Bulgarian Parliament, Dr. Ivan Madjarov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Medical Association, Andrey Markov, Manager of the City Clinic Cardiovascular Center, Dr. Stanimir Hasardzhiev Chairman of the National Patient Organization, Svetla Nesterova, Member of the Association of Bulgarian Insurance Companies, Prof. Silvia Ilieva, Department of Software Technologies of Sofia University. The moderator of the panel was Milena Stoycheva, Executive Director of Junior Achievement Bulgaria.

“Bulgarian healthcare can improve when we build a unified national health information system. The entry of a patient file, an electronic prescription, an electronic dossier, the ability to exchange data between structures, the ability to create registers, on one hand, will guarantee patient safety and, on the other, create preconditions for a transparent and well-controlled health system.” , said the Chairperson of the National Health Committee to the Bulgarian Parliament, Dr. Daniela Daritkova. She also added that, “innovation is sustainable, it is three times cheaper, much faster, and it can free up our time to be person oriented.”

According to Dr. Ivan Madzharov, Chairman of the BMA, “digital solutions are the ones that can help overcome some of the problems in healthcare. Dr Madzharov also added that digitalization is the way doctors will be able to earn the trust of the patients, who have chosen them, offering them an alternative and easy access to a second opinion in case of their hesitation.

“We believe that the path to better treatment, access and proper management and health goes through digitalisation and data mining in the sector. The forum aimed at presenting to the general public an already rapidly evolving health ecosystem that meets the needs of all stakeholders in the sector and puts the patient at the center of all processes. Because when it comes to treatment, patients need to have access to the best treatment, and technology can now give them the best in Bulgaria, ”said Dr Mira Ganova, Executive Director of the Cluster.

During the forum, constructive and in-depth discussions were also held on current topics: “The patient as an active participant in healthcare”, “Timely access to information and connectivity”, “Effective health prevention and care”, “Reliability and security of health data “,” Processes and compatibility in a single health ecosystem.”