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Building Knowledge Bridges Between the United States & Denmark

The Innovation Centre Denmark Silicon Valley, contributes the American viewpoint and expertise in the discussions on health, healthcare and frontier perspectives, through conferences, webinars, and roundtables; such collaborations often pave the way for insightful publications that distill and summarize the collective learnings. A case in point for a knowledge bridge is the Decentralized Clinical Trials initiative, which gathered 25 prominent Danish healthcare experts and stakeholders to exchange insights on decentralized clinical trials and related technological advancements. Another is the TTRN conference.



The digitization and decentralization of medicine trials are rapidly evolving, with a growing reliance on digital technologies such as electronic consent, virtual consultations, data capture systems, wearable devices, and more. This advancement is shifting patient reliance away from traditional settings like hospital wards and labs (decentralization).

Denmark's Life Science Strategy highlights the need for global cooperation and partnerships, promoting new efforts centered around decentralized clinical trials and the enhancement of digital competencies. This led to the creation of a dialogue forum on the subject, orchestrated by the Danish Medicine Agency and Trial Nation, a public-private entity. 

The forum gathered 25 members, including key figures from government, the pharmaceutical sector, patient advocacy groups, and medical clinics, to ensure a broad range of perspectives were heard and further explored.

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This initiative supports our work to strengthen the ability to do world class research in Denmark
- Pia Elisabeth Nørrisgaard, PhD, Head of Decentralized Clinical Trials Development, Trial Nation

This forum fostered a tight-knit collaboration involving Innovation Centre Denmark in Silicon Valley and Boston, which pinpointed key focal areas and singled out subjects of interest in the US market. Innovation Centre Denmark used its extensive network and expertise to strategically connect with relevant stakeholders and thought leaders – particularly relevant because the US stands out as already having over ten years of experience in the decentralization of clinical practices.

This collaboration reached its pinnacle with a sequence of four webinars and a final publication. It can be downloaded from this link: Decentralized Clinical Trials Report - the report focuses on:

  • Organization – different types and setup’s
  • The clinical environment – investigators and administration
  • Patients – experiences good and bad
  • Sponsor companies – experiences and incentives
  • Technologies used
  • Regulatory issues i.e. approval and ethics
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The Dialogue Forum is really one of a kind and not many countries have been able to gather such a broad group of experts around one table
- Frederik Grell Nørgaard, The Danish Medicines Agency.



The 11th TTRN 2023 Conference (TRANSATLANTIC TELEHEALTH RESEARCH NETWORK) held at the Sutardja Dai Hall at UC Berkeley in 2023, gathered a confluence of esteemed institutions from the US and Denmark and other nations, for example UC Davis Health, UC Berkeley, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, Cleveland Clinic, ISfTeH, Odense University Hospital, Svendborg Hospital, Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences at Aarhus University, Aalborg University, Cardiology Ward Vendsyssel Hospital, Zealand University Hospital, and Innovation Centre Denmark Silicon Valley. The conference gathered to discuss and pave the way forward for transatlantic telehealth research solutions. The takeaways were enlightening, as healthcare everywhere deals with the same looming problem: Estimates today say that by 2034, the US 65+ aged adults will, for the first time in history, outnumber the younger 18- aged population. This is a burning platform. And when human hands can no longer carry the burden, we must look to non-human hands for help – which is where health tech and telehealth come into play.

The conference spanned three days and covered numerous subjects in the field, encouraging industry leaders to engage in debates and enrich the learning experience. A key insight that resonated was that health tech and telehealth are emerging as beacons of hope. Their convergence heralds a future in healthcare where patients receive comprehensive, individualized, and readily accessible treatment at home. Surprisingly, despite telehealth's advantages, attention was drawn to the significant disparities in its adoption across hospitals. Collaboration between nations and healthcare systems will serve as the beacon guiding the healthcare industry through tumultuous times. An echo throughout the conference was the need for nations to share insights, adopt best practices, and build robust frameworks to ensure that telehealth transitions from a buzzword to the default model of healthcare. A concluding takeaway was that the future is not merely a question of whether telehealth will become an integral part of healthcare but how seamlessly it will be integrated into the fabric of evolving healthcare systems.

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Telehealth is now integral to modern healthcare, bridging care gaps and providing accessible solutions from home. It's not just about the technology; it's how clinicians adapt
Jon Therkildsen, Senior Innovation Advisor, Health at ICDK Silicon Valley.
Learn more about the state of technology in telehealth-care in presentations from the TTRN 2023 conference;  now published through the Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth here.
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We have to work differently in future healthcare
 - Peter Yellowlees MBBS MD, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at UC Davis, and Chief Executive Officer, Asynchealth Inc

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