Finally, the Center for e-health had the opportunity to gather its members for a long-awaited seminar.
The gathering took place on Thursday and Friday, 17 - 18 November at Scandic Kristiansand Bystranda, and was for many the first physical meeting with other members associated with the center. Our associate Professor II members, who came from Tromsø, Bergen, Oslo, Finland, and the US, were especially welcome. On Thursday afternoon we also got a visit from the Vice-Rector for Research and Interdisciplinary Initiatives Hans Kjetil Lysgård, Dean Anders Johan Wickstrøm Andersen from the Faculty of Health and Sports Science, and several department heads from various faculties.
One of the main goals of the gathering was to get feedback on the strategy draft that the center has made for the period 2022-2024. The draft was sent out to those mentioned above in advance, and we were able to start a very productive discussion, which we greatly appreciated. The feedback was mostly that the center had to be more ambitious in its goals, and if possible, sharpen the profile of the center a bit more. "You can create a world-leading center here if you want, together with the i4Helse building, this can be a melting pot for both education and research in Norway", was one of the feedbacks. We agree with this, and it must be made clearer in the strategy. It was also pointed out that one could challenge the current Prime Minister, who in 2017 stated that Norway should be the leading country in Europe in e-health by 2025.
Another goal was to clarify for our guests, but also for everyone who belongs to the center what is going on with research and applications so that it is easier to get connected to relevant projects. All the researchers at the center therefore gave a one-minute presentation about themselves and their research areas, in addition to the academic leader, Margunn Aanestad, giving a presentation of the e-health field in Norway and the center itself.
Thursday morning was reserved for our PhD-students. They first presented their projects, and then received useful tips from our researchers and professors. Finally, they were given a golden opportunity to get feedback on their projects by dividing into groups with our researchers and discussing their dissertation. “Getting the opportunity to present my PhD project to professors and post-docs that had little or no knowledge about my project beforehand, was extremely useful. Unbiased and professional feedback from them made me rethink some elements of my project and restructure others, so that the project now feels more coherent and logical”, says PhD student Magnus Repstad Wanderås.
After lunch, we received contributions from several of the researchers who worked on applications for new research projects, and those who listened were encouraged to provide useful feedback and ask questions.
On Friday, it was time to sum up and plan for further work.
The prof. II members had the opportunity to present their views and feedback of the gathering, and they had to say a little about what they think their role going forward in the center might be.
We greatly appreciated everyone who took the time to attend the gathering, and who contributed to a useful discussion about what the center's ambitions and visions can and should be. We look forward to reuniting in 2022.