The University of Oulu and the University of Lapland from Finland, Luleå University of Technology from Sweden and The Arctic University of Norway announced a joint Arctic agenda during the Arctic Europe Forum held in Oulu, Finland, on September 8, 2016. The four universities agreed to find synergies and further strengthen their research, education and outreach related to Arctic interests including for instance eHealth and telemedicine.
As part of Norway´s state visit to Finland, representatives of Norwegian government, research institutes and companies visited Oulu at the same time, September 8-9. The program of the delegation included also a visit to Oulu University Hospital´s OYS TestLab, where Oulu based companies and their products were presented. In addition, researchers from University of Oulu, Norwegian Centre for e-Health Research as well as from Luleå University of Technology gathered to eHealth Breakfast at the University of Oulu to present their research activities on eHealth field to each other.
“We took the first steps to implement the joint Arctic agenda, and invited Oulu based research groups and our Nordic visitors to present their activities and to mingle in the eHealth Breakfast pitching event”, Kalevi Virta, Nordic Test Beds project coordinator and coordinator of international networks, Centre for Health and Technology, University of Oulu said. He organized the meeting after realizing that there will be plenty of eHealth researchers and professionals at the same time in Oulu.
The Norwegian Centre for e-Health Research was established in January 2016 to build on the competence and experience in the Norwegian Centre for Integrated Care and Telemedicine (NST) into a national context. The centre is located in Tromsø. “The centre is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services and the main task of the centre is to support the national deployment of ICT solutions for the health sector through research activities”, Stein Olav Skrøvseth, Center Director told. Senior Researcher Marianne Trondsen from the Tromsø center told the participants about e-health research from a social science perspective, and gave examples from her research projects concentrating on the use of eHealth solutions in promoting the wellbeing and coping of mentally ill and their families. Catrine Kostenius, Professor of Health Science presented the health research of Luleå University of Technology including nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy and health sciences.
Several research groups from three different faculties of the University of Oulu pitched their research in the event. eHealth related research interests of for example Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Oulu School of Architecture, Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH), Biomimetics and Intelligent Systems Group and Health and wellbeing research group of Center for Measurement and Information Systems (CEMIS) were presented. In addition, health related activities of Oulu University of Applied Sciences were presented.
“The research topics presented ranged from healthy urban planning and architecture to biosensor development and promoting physical activity, health and wellbeing across lifespan, among others” Virta summed and continued: “It was a heavy morning with a lot of information. But it was something that has been needed, and that we will continue in the future too. Our Nordic colleagues already started to plan the next event which might be a workshop allowing more in depth idea exchance. There is a lot going on in the eHealth field in the Arctic area, where similar challenges are met in different countries. Organized meetings such as our eHealth Breakfast provide researchers an easy way to connect and plan future collaboration.”
For more information about joint Arctic agenda, see the news published by the University of Oulu