Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul







Netherlands delegation discusses use of data in health sciences

Dutch researchers welcomed at HealthPlus Innovation Center

03/12/2019 - 08h41

Photo: Bruno Todeschini

On Thursday, Nov 28, PUCRS opened its doors to a group of researchers from the Netherlands with the main goal of discussing the use of data in health care. The delegation wants to find out more about how Brazil’s main organizations are working with big data in life and health sciences. Visitors joined a round-table discussion on the subject with University professors.

The reception and conference took place at Tecnopuc’s HealthPlus Innovation Center. The guests were welcomed by the Superintendent of PUCRS’ São Lucas Hospital (HSL), Br. Lauri Heck. After that, School of Medicine professor, Dr Rodrigo Grassi, introduced the visitors to the Brain Institute of Rio Grande do Sul (BraIns) and the different research groups that work there. He also made mention to the next developments to be made at BraIns, including laboratories dedicated to experimental research in neuroscience.

The coordinator of BioHub, Mr Carlos Klein, talked about the network of hospitals of Porto Alegre and introduced visitors to Tecnopuc. He told them a little bit about the history of the park and stressed the presence of science and health companies in the area. Before the round-table began, School of Technology professor, Dr Felipe Meneguzzi, presented some projects on Artificial Intelligence in health and how the data obtained can contribute to better results.

In the round-table, Grassi presented the types of data being generated from the projects developed at BraIns. In order to explain the reality of health care in the Netherlands, the Consultant for Research and Development at the Life Sciences and Health Sector at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Mr Niels van Leeuwen, shared information about the health infrastructure in the country – which has one of the best health care systems in Europe – including public-private initiatives. Van Leeuwen also stressed the importance of establishing connections with the rest of the world in order to learn more about other scenarios and make progresses in the area of health care.

Event was an opportunity to share experiences

At the meeting, representatives from the Netherlands and PUCRS talked about the similarities between the country and the south of Brazil. These similarities include an increase in the elderly population and the importance of having a health care system prepared to serve this public. The meeting was also an opportunity to learn about research and projects involving the use of data and to assess the possibilities for collaboration between the two countries in the future.

The Dutch delegation included, besides van Leeuwen, Leiden University professor, Dr Fons Verbeek; Technology and Innovation specialist, Mr Robert Thijssen; the Associate Professor of University Medical Center Groningen and Coordinator of the Machine Learning Laboratory at Data Science Center in Health (DASH), Dr Peter Van Ooiijen; Petra Smits and Rick Breugelmans, of the Consulate General of São Paulo as well as Richard Posma and Lucila Almeida, of the Netherlands Business Support Office (NBSO) of Porto Alegre. PUCRS was represented by School of Technology professor Dr Marcio Pinho; Executive Coordinator of PUCRS International Cooperation Office, Mrs Carla Cassol and the Assistant for International Affairs, Thais Gonçalves.

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