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On June 21, 2024, the Institute for Preventive Health (i4PH) in collaboration with the EWUU alliance’s AI group hosted two masterclasses during the annual NSPOH Midsummer Day. Organised by the Netherlands School of Public & Occupational Health (NSPOH), a non-profit organisation dedicated to training professionals to enhance public health, working conditions, and labor participation in the Netherlands, this event focused on the theme “Future Proof Healthcare.”

Exploring Future Proof Healthcare

Two sessions, in the morning and afternoon, explored the integration and potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the field of social medicine. Our masterclasses focussed on “AI in Action: Innovation for Health,”. Around 100 participants joined us to explore the transformative power of AI through two of our research projects.

DINO GAME Project by Thomas Jalving

The masterclass began with Thomas Jalving from Utrecht University presenting the DINO GAME project. This initiative targets children aged 7 to 12 coping with chronic illnesses or limitations due to Covid-19. The project integrates AI into a multiplayer location-based game.

Alongside an overview of current AI methods used to stimulate phsyical activity, Thomas demonstrated the initial app prototype during the presentation.”. The app’s core concept involves encouraging children to engage in physical activities together, either in real life or virtually, emphasizing social interaction alongside physical activities.

Though there was initital skepticism from the audience about the app being on a phone (aren’t we trying to reduce screen time?), Thomas was quick to argue that since phones are already part of children’s lives, leveraging them for interactive and physical activities can be advantageous. Overall, his insights left the audience reconsidering the potential benefits of integrating technology and AI into physical play for children facing health challenges.

Verticai by Joep Wegstapel

The second presentation in our masterclass was by Joep Wegstapel, who introduced an AI tool developed by Verticai, which is a spinoff company from the Care2Report research program. The tool aims to streamline administrative registration processes in healthcare, following successful results that led to the establishment of the company. Wegstapel highlighted the AI developments integrated into the tool.

During the presentation, there were numerous questions from the audience, particularly from healthcare providers in various fields of social medicine (such as forensic medicine and occupational health physicians), seeking clarification on how they can integrate and benefit from the tool. There was evident hope that this tool could simplify their work, potentially freeing up time for patient care and efficiency gains.

It was clear that participants did see Verticai’s solution as a promising step towards leveraging AI-driven solutions to improve healthcare administration and enhance patient care delivery.

Collaborative Efforts and Seed Funding

Both the DINO Game and Verticai projects exemplify successful collaborations within the EWUU alliance, supported by seed funding from AI and i4PH seed calls.We extend our gratitude to Thomas and Joep for showcasing the outcomes of these projects in their workshops.

We were very happy to be part of the NSPOH Midsummer Day and hope to have inspired health professionals to include preventive health and AI in their daily practise!