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.
Spiros Peristeris, Prescriptive Solutions Entity Ltd., Athens, Greece
Being an EKTG Ambassador means evangelizing its purpose, capabilities and focus to my immediate group of colleagues, relevant experts and Gov. bodies. During the past 6 months, due to my engagement in the deployment of Health-related IT projects in the Middle East, a number of high level Info sessions have been arranged in conjunction with creating overall awareness for our line of products and services as Prescriptive Solutions Entity Services Ltd. Since PSEntity also provides Security Solutions as a Service, articles have been prepared and submitted as general Cyber Safety Guidelines to be included in the EKTG Newsletter. Copies of the Newsletter have been distributed at Fora and Presentations in the ME (Amman-Jordan, UAEDubai, Athens-Greece, Bucharest-Romania ). In addition, we would like to introduce vertical capacity within the EKTG in the form of (PSEntityServices Ltd) Products/Services available within the arsenal of EKTG to function as a pivotal/starting point for further refinement and UK localisation under the funded Innovate UK framework
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.
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.
Vadim Kramar - Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Oamk), Finland
We all know that the advancement of technologies is unstoppable. The speed of technologies’ advancement that we have observed in recent years is amazing. But we all know that any technology is a double-edged sword; any technology has advantages and disadvantages. I'm in a very difficult position. For many years I have been involved in the development of technologies. I like technologies, but I do not need them. Yet… At least some of them... That is what I think. But can I really avoid technologies? Are we able to resist the technology wave? Do we need to do so and how can we do that?
Internet of Things, Block-chain, Big Data analytics, Virtual, Augmented, Mixed and Hybrid Reality, Algorithmic Techniques, Simulations, Gamification, and Artificial Intelligence are among the disruptive technologies listed by the European Commission in the Horizon 2020 calls. What is the level of disruption they bring to us, who are still lost in a wood of the Digital Divide, Digital Inclusion, and Digital Democracy?
We understand that disruption brings societal and economic challenges, and changes caused by actions addressing those challenges may last for a long time. But, after all, the one who is always reached by these changes is a single person. A human. Any of us. All of us.
That is probably a reason that a new way of developing human-oriented technologies focuses on the user. The European Commission encourages us to practise user-centred design, user-driven development and early user inclusion. Do we understand these methodologies correctly and are we able to follow user needs, sacrificing our great technological ideas? Furthermore, do we understand what the notion “user” really means and whether this notion is broad enough? And finally, can any technology make any of us happy: me, you or our user?
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.
Monique Epstein - Founder and director of Eseniors association, France
Ms Epstein started her career as a Math teacher, going over to computers Analyst/Programmer, moving on to designing and implementing RDBMS-based information systems, Monique re-oriented her career in 1994 towards multimedia application design, working as Project Manager, and Consultant. Since 2004, she has created several non-profit organizations whose common aims are helping e-excluded people (seniors, disabled people and juniors) to get familiar with new technologies.
Dr. Jože Gričar, Professor Emeritus, University of Maribor, Slovenia
Dr Gričar is Professor Emeritus of the University of Maribor, and a Member of the Slovenia Delegation. His work with Active Aging Networks highlights the growing issues in active aging. Active aging is a concept which evokes the idea of longer activity, with a higher retirement age and working practices adapted to the age of the employee. It also extends to the social engagement of the elderly in the collectively.
EKTG Int Ambassadors April 2021