Digital technology will redefine health and care

Digital technologies such as 4G/5G mobile communication, artificial intelligence or supercomputing offer new opportunities to transform healthcare systems. They enable new approaches to personalised medicine, independent living or integrated health and social care, accelerating scientific progress, early diagnosis of diseases and more effective treatments.

Technological innovations and their large-scale implementation bring along changes in service delivery and redefine healthcare.

Scientific advances translate into better results for people

Personalised medicine enabled by data analysis will benefit every citizen. Disease management supported by health data analytics will lead to drug therapies that are more effective, with less adverse effects and that can ensure improved quality of life. Physicians also increasingly embrace therapies supported by data analytics, which will minimize trial-and-error diagnosis and treatment, with benefits for providers and recipients of health and care services.

Supercomputing (also called High Performance Computing) already provides early detection of tumours in a simple, quick and precise way. In some cases, early detection is now possible in a few hours, whereas just 10 years ago it would have taken days or weeks, and in other cases would have been virtually impossible. Data analytics enabled by supercomputing allow for early diagnosis of genetic disorders leading to more effective (and timely) treatment and saving lives.

Innovation enables “people-powered” health and care provision

Health is more than medicine: it is about people helping themselves and helping other people. It is about dispersed health and care networks that work together in the interests of the citizen and it is about using people to re-design their own health and care services. Evidence shows that digital technology increasingly helps health and care professionals tapping into the wealth of information and skills in communities and to capitalise on this experiential knowledge for managing health conditions or maintaining healthy lifestyles.

Digitisation of health and care services can also improve patient-experience, and empower each of us to look after our own health. ICPNN, a digitally-enabled integrated care programme in the Netherlands, provides integrated health and community care support for adults over 75 living at home. It allows citizens to age in their own community for as long as possible and with as much involvement in the management of their own care process. In a period of two years, this programme led to a decrease of between 37% and 47% in consultations related to ageing-related problems (chronic conditions), and an equivalent increase in the perceived sense of wellbeing by the elderly population.


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Second colour vision satellite for Copernicus launched

The ESA-developed Sentinel-2B satellite was launched today, doubling the coverage of high-resolution optical imaging in the Sentinel-2 mission for the European Union Copernicus environmental monitoring system.

“With this launch we are taking another step toward advancing the Copernicus programme, which is the most sophisticated Earth observation system in the world. And we are planning to add two more satellites to the constellation in the next months: with Sentinel-5P and Sentinel-3B,” said ESA Director General Jan Woerner.

The optical imaging Sentinel-2 mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites: Sentinel-2A, which was launched in June 2015, and Sentinel-2B. Although launched separately, the satellites are placed in the same orbit, flying 180° apart. Every five days, the satellites jointly cover all land surfaces, large islands, and inland and coastal waters between latitudes 84°S and 84°N, optimising global coverage and data delivery.

Each Sentinel-2 satellite carries an innovative high-resolution multispectral camera with 13 spectral bands for a new perspective of land and vegetation. The combination of high-resolution, novel spectral capabilities, a field of vision covering 290 km and frequent revisit times will provide unprecedented views of Earth.

Agricultural monitoring


Information from this mission is helping to improve agricultural practices, monitor the world’s forests, detect pollution in lakes and coastal waters, and contribute to disaster mapping.

“I have personally been involved in Copernicus since its very first day and helped shape it along its way. It is therefore extremely satisfying to see the constellation of satellites delivering data for the services we have always dreamt of,” said Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes.

“Sentinel-2A gets its twin brother in space with the launch of Sentinel-2B today. This allows global coverage every five days with the 13-channel high-resolution sensor, which is unprecedented in this class of satellites. I look forward to many new applications coming from Sentinel-2 now that this constellation is complete.”

Six families of Sentinel satellites will make up the core of EU’s Copernicus environmental monitoring network. An EU flagship space initiative, Copernicus provides operational information on the world’s land surfaces, oceans and atmosphere to support environmental and security policymaking, and meet the needs of citizens and service providers.


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mobile world congress 2017

Mobile World Congress 2017 trends: Ready for 5G and Internet of Things

The Mobile World Congress (MWC), which ends today, has set trends in the sector for the next months and years. Devices, networks and services have grabbed the leading role.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things merges physical and virtual worlds, creating smart environments. IoT represents the next step towards the digitization of our society and economy, where objects and people are interconnected through communication networks and report about their status and/or the surrounding environment.

According to a European Commission study the market value of the IoT in the EU is expected to exceed one trillion euros in 2020.

Ready for 5G

As part of its connectivity proposal, the European Commission has set a series of targets to make sure Europe is at the forefront of broadband and connectivity by 2025.

These targets are:

  • A Gigabit connectivity for all main socio-economic drivers.
  • High performance 5G for all urban areas and all major transport paths.
  • Improved connectivity in rural areas




Do you have an innovative project with a focus on technology transfer between Health, ICT, AeroSpace, Agri-Food sectors?

ACTTiVAte offers direct funding to innovative SME projects.