Frank Lievens has a Master’s degree in Economic and Diplomatic Sciences, is a previous Board member and Treasurer of the ISfTeH (International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth), Managing Director of Lievens-Lanckman bvba (Belgium) and Akromed France (France), and the Director of Med-e-Tel (Luxembourg). You will be able to meet him at the eHealth 360° Summit 2016 in Budapest, Hungary (14-16 June), as one of the keynote speakers. We bring you an interview with Frank, introducing his view on eHealth and the issues that surround it.
Could you introduce the scope of your work and tell us what kind of expertise you will bring to the eHealth 360° Summit?
I have been involved in Telemedicine since 1999 when I first participated in the ISfT International Conference in Jerusalem. Around that time, I also brought up the idea to organize an international telemedicine event in Luxembourg, which finally started up in 2002 and since 2004 is known under the name Med-e-Tel. This year, in 2016, this event will celebrate its 14th edition and gathers participants from more than 50 countries worldwide, from all 5 continents.
The definition of the event is: “The International eHealth, Telemedicine and Health ICT Forum for Education, Networking and Business”. In 2003, I joined the ISfTeH and was elected on the Board as representative of the Individual Members. At the end of a fourth term, I decided not to seek for re-election, allowing other members to continue the work, though still staying active in the Executive Secretariat of the Society.
My work is focusing on the global aspects of Telemedicine/eHealth and over the last twelve years gave presentations covering that topic in almost 50 countries.
For anyone involved in Telemedicine/eHealth, in whatever capacity, it is essential to also have a broad vision on all possible application fields, as well geographically as thematically. This is also the message I want to share with the audience at the eHealth 360° Summit.
What do you see as the biggest challenge that eHealth is currently facing?
Technology is no longer the major challenge. It covers almost every need and is accessible everywhere. But, when applied to health, reaching out to patients/citizens, it is essential that it stays under control of humans. We cannot accept to be dominated by technology. It’s all about the patients/citizens! So, we must learn to master the use of these technological tools. That is the highest priority and permanent challenge.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future of eHealth?
There is no way back !
The future of Telemedicine/eHealth does not evolve between two parallel lines. They evolve between two permanently enlarging axes, meaning that, as we speak, the scope becomes broader and the potential increases day by day. My vision and hope are that eHealth/Telemedicine will grow in such a controlled way that, maybe within the next 10…20…50 years, there will be no more need to talk about it, as it will have melted entirely in the common practice of medicine and health policies.
Registration for eHealth 360° Summit 2016 is open! Find out more.