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 In 2017, we created a circle of International Ambassadors with the aim to create contact points on national level in the Member States and expand the EKTG’s European network, supporting research, policy formation, education, entrepreneurship and public engagement.

The  International Ambassadors are the official representatives of EKTG accredited in their own countries and beyond advocating our aim and objectives.

International Ambassadors for the EKTG for eTechnology


  • Christiane Brockes, Zurich, Switzerland.

In recent years the technological advances in medicine have resulted in new requirements and challenges in the doctor-patient-relationship. The roles of the patients and medical layers have been altered as technology has developed, as well as the provision of health information. The patient has evolved from being a passive and dependent acceptor regarding medical treatment to an active, well-informed and responsible participant in the health care system. Additionally, digital health assistants like health and fitness apps are trendy, self-tracking and telemedical consultations in combination with a certain play and fun factor can help to motivate the user to take control of their own health. Nonetheless the patient increasingly requires certain assistance for the creative and profitable utilisation of the often confusing amount of data and information that the apps provide. Medical professionals can support their patient to select and to evaluate the interesting and relevant data for themselves, to avoid danger for example in relation with the protection of data privacy. The digitalisation in healthiness can strongly increase the quality of living from citizens and patients. Therefore “eHealth - better education and understanding” is a big challenge in our society. It is a great pleasure for me to be an international ambassador of EKTG.

I would like to give my long experience in the activities of the EKTG, especially in the field of education of medical staff and layers in e-Health  and telemedicine. I have a widespread network in the German speaking countries. My target is to increase the numbers of collaborations, contributes and supporters of EKTG in mainly four fields:

1 Education Institutions i.e. universities, colleges of higher education

2 Companies i.e. Novartis, La Roche, Nixdorf, Microsoft, Google, Post

3 Organizations eg. Age-Foundation, Quantified Self Society, Prevention

of Patients Society

4 Regions e.g., mia Engiadina, senior residence, communities


  • Sabine Lobnig, Vienna, Austria

As international ambassador for the EKTG, I have spread the word about  the mission and activities of EKTG within my network of accessibility experts, organisations of persons with disabilities, and industry representatives (mobile technologies mostly). In my role in the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE) and my participation in the In Life EU project, I have also informed stakeholders in these groups about EKTG and tried to find synergies and ways for collaboration. The next pertinent event will be the AAATE Congress 2017 in September in Sheffield, which will be the opportunity to talk to many people in the healthcare and social sector, who are right now looking at how technology can help in tackling the challenges ahead, including integrated care and our ageing societies.

  • Henk Herman Nap, Vilans, Utrecht, The Netherlands


Henk has Ph.D., M.Sc. has a background in cognitive ergonomics, with a MSc. degree in psychology (Utrecht University), a Ph.D. in Gerontechnology, and a Postdoc in senior gamers from Eindhoven University of Technology. He worked as a project leader and coordinator in various EU eHeatlh projects and as research scientist at Stichting Smart Homes. He currently works as a senior scientist/advisor eHealth at Vilans and as a senior researcher at Eindhoven University of Technology in human-technology interaction. Henk Herman published journal & conference papers and is active as a reviewer and associate editor of both. He is continuously involved as a researcher or coordinator in various EU and NL research proposals in the field of AAL, playful persuasion, and UX design. From 2017, Henk Herman is happy to coordinate the AAL eWare project on lifestyle monitoring and social robotics for people with dementia and their (in) formal carers.


  • Sofía Moreno-Perez, Independent Consultatnt Madrid, Spain.


My experience in the field stated in 2008 and since then it has covered several activities with complementary perspective among them, that gives me a broad vision of the field (technology, ethics, business) and also a European Network of contacts.

At the moment, my experience as European Expert gives me a continuous update on the European Commission trends and policies and my participation in two European projects under the schema of Public Procurement of Innovation (STOPandGO and RITMOCORE) give me a close vision on the drivers and barriers for ICT innovations adoption by European Public Administrations.

This context allows me to contribute to EKTG goals, as EKTG ambassador, in two knowledge areas:

- Policy makers: generation of evidences, identification of drivers and barriers and educational material for deploy and adoption of purchasing mechanisms fostering alignment of interests among care pathway stakeholders

- Clinical professionals: The overwhelming offer of apps and monitoring devices is on one hand an opportunity for a new care service concept but on the other hand is a threat, as not all apps and devices are reliable, efficient or even safe. RITMOCORE will develop a menu of ICT solutions (Apps and monitoring devices) aligned with its care service, based on a Quality Labelling procedure, to facilitate the work to doctor and nurses of recommending ICT solutions to their patients.

Despite this potential contribution, I could also contribute by identifying educational best practices, mostly in Spain and spreading the knowledge generated


  • Ai-Lian Lim, DPS, OTR/L, Director of Occupational Therapy, Bellevue Hospital, New York, and Professor, NYU School of Medicine, NY, USA

Bellevue Hospital is the largest Public Sector Hospital in New York. In normal times the Hospital has a wide range of specialists clinical services and the Occupational Therapists work collaboratively. Ai-Lian spends part of her time teaching Students based at NYU and also ensuring that they gain quality experience in clinical practice at the Bellevue Hospital. Recently the Hospital has coped with a huge number of patients with Covid 19, New York having one of the largest numbers in the USA,

Prior to being in New York Ai-Lian worked at The Royal London Hospital both specialising in Paediatrics and later as Head of Department at the Main Hospital.

In 2018 she joined the EKTG at the AAL Forum in Bilbao, Spain to contribute to our Workshop on Risk Competence in AAL and Technological Innovations as viewed by Users and Policy Makers.


  • Brigitte Buehrlen


Brigette is an International Ambassador of EKTG.  Brigitte Buehrlen accompanied her mother with dementia for 20 years 2010 founding „WE! Foundation of family carers “, chairperson 2015 founding „WE! Association of family carers in Germany e.V., chairperson 2015 appointed to the "Independent advisory board for the compatibility of care and occupation“by BMFSFJ, Federal Ministry, Germany. Current activities: Networking of family carers with and representation of user interests towards, politics, bussines and science Development of interfaces to digital services and use of AI in informal care. Member of scientific advisory boards, policy advisor

  • Dr. Elizabeth Mestheneos,


Elizabeth is a UK trained sociologist, moved to Greece in 1983 where she worked as an independent social researcher from 1988,

with many projects and publications on ageing. (see She co-founded the NGO “50+ Hellas” in 2005 (see; helped create the Greek e-library of Gerontology and Geriatrics (see She served from 2003 on the Board of AGE-Platform Europe, and as its President 2008-2011; she was also on the Board of the IFA (2008-14). She is active as advisor and evaluator on various EU projects on new technologies, accessibility, and the human rights of older people. 

  • John McGrory, DIT, now Technological University Dublin, – TU Dublin, Eire. 

John began commercial life abroad in cross-disciplinary manufacturing. John worked as a contract’s manager and project manager for two Irish companies specialising in large scale mechanical, electrical and control installations of industrial processes. This work included mechanical and electrical design and development, interactive automation, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, HVAC and multifaceted process control. During this time John gained status as an Electrical Chartered Engineer (C.Eng.) with The Institution of Engineering and Technology, and Chartered Engineer with The Institution of Engineers of Ireland. John joined the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in 1999 as manager of the Industrial Control Centre (IC²). The purpose of the IC² was to work on radically innovative prototype research projects (both software and hardware). In 2001 John received is Masters in Engineering Computation and joined the academic staff in the DIT (now Technological University Dublin – TU Dublin) specialising in electrical, intelligent automation and process control of buildings and commercial processes, with a specialisation in mature student education paradigms. John’s research area focuses on cross-discipline intelligent validation systems.


John completed his Doctorate research in the area of patient-centred clinical validation using autonomous socialising knowledge agents through Trinity College Dublin (TCD). A current avenue for research is to extend the developed agent based intelligent validation technology for use on mobile devices for use in buildings, elder care and medical patients. Overlapping with his ongoing research John has worked with international companies on documenting the performance of cross-discipline projects. This is where the channels of interaction (i.e. meetings, emails, telephone communications) between cross-discipline teams are monitored and nuances of the method and success of knowledge transfer between these disciplines is analysed.



Chair of the ECRIN-ERIC Assembly of Members Subject: European clinical trials

Delegate co-representing JPND at EBRA (CSA of HBP, JPND and NEURON, funded by EU H2020).       

Correspondent Academic of the Valencian Community Academy of Medicine, elected in 1994.

President of the TFEU article 185 AAL (Active & Assisted Living) and Chair of its Executive Board (cofunded by H2020): elected for two terms and an extension (September 2013 - April 2018)..

  • Niko Männikkö 

Niko Männikkö, PhD, is Post-doctoral researcher at University of Oulu, Finland. He is also a Head of RDI at Oulu University of Applied Sciences, in the field of Social and Health Care. His passion is developing actionable projects to optimize healthy development of young people. Current projects include of explorations of issues surrounding people’s use of, and interactions via, screens (i.e., smartphones, laptops, consoles etc) and how these behaviors may be related to wellbeing.

  • Dirk Lukkien


Dirk Lukkien, MSc. is a senior researcher in data-driven care and artificial intelligence at Vilans (the Dutch expertise centre of long-term care) in the Netherlands. Also, he is an external PhD candidate on responsible AI innovation at Utrecht University (Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development). Dirk is fascinated by people's continuous search for intelligent technologies that make our lives easier and could help to answer to growing challenges such as ageing societies and shrinking workforces. The rapid technological developments cause much enthusiasm but are simultaneously accompanied by warnings that technology may have unintended side effects and can harm people's lives and our social and economic systems. Dirk embraces the idea that both the enthusiasm and warnings are justified. Therefore, at Vilans, he supports long-term care organizations that explore how data and AI can be applied meaningfully and responsibly. From a national and connecting role, his team collects and disseminates insights about the practical, technical, change management and ethical opportunities and challenges in this area. In his PhD research, Dirk studies how both innovators and users account for the social desirability, ethical acceptability and sustainability of these AI-based innovations. 


  • Sarah Boland

Sarah Boland Assistive Technology Facilitator at Saint John of God Community Services Ireland

  • Alain Francois

University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | UNS · CoBtek : Cognition Behaviour TechnologyMD, PhD Antipolis | UNS · CoBtek : Cognition Behaviour TechnologyMD, PhD


  • Professor Miki Hasegawa


Professor Miki Hasagawa, used to be a Senior Consultant at One 0f the largest Hospitals in Tokyo. After a while he found this work rather restricting and developed his own Organisation working in the Community in Tokyo. Such work is of course very unusual as it is far more usual for Structures in Japan to be based within a Large Hospital. Alongside his hospital work he collaborated with his wife, Sachiko, who was working as the Senior Nurse organising Quality Assurance in the Largest Private Hospital in Tokyo. She also found this work rather restricting and left that task. Gradually Miki Hasagawa was able to develop a Team of people including Medical and Paramedical Staff, to work with him running a Community Service. Over time patients heard about this special Team Working and and increasing numbers went to become his patients. Miki Hasegawa had gained a considerable understanding of such Community Working in various parts of Europe. He encouraged his medical and paramedical Staff to work as equals, again something which has not been common in Japan. Patients were also treated as equals, another unusual approach as many Doctors in Japan are used to instructing their patients rather than collaborating with them. Although Sachiko had no official job title with the Community Services many of the staff were well aware of her amazing abilities and asked her advice frequently.


Miki Hasagawa does not drive a car but he is well known as he rides his bicycle around the community to visit his patients at home. Sometimes people stop him along the way seeking his immediate help and guidance. A pavement consultation is therefore not unusual.  Over time staff involved in the Community Service have developed a wider range of technologies to use within the team and with patients. This work is extended during a special Quarterly Meeting of all interested Staff.

EKTG Int Ambassadors Jan 24

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