Interview: Mladen Kovaček, Organiser of the HIT Conference

Q: What is the goal of the HIT Conference?
The aim of the HIT Conference is to bring together leaders of developmental processes in the field of digital medicine from the region and from across Europe. The conference will be attended by every level of participant in the process: pharmaceutical and IT companies, state and local administration, doctors, insurance companies, start-up companies, and small- and medium-sized businesses that deal with health. In addition to this, decision makers related to the digitization of medicine are very important for the conference, which in our country are primarily the Ministry of Health and the Health Insurance Fund. The main goal is to bring solutions with better outcomes to patients.

Q: You organised the first Regional Conference of digital Medicine in 2016 – how will you try to be even better in its second year?
Due to the great success of last year’s conference and the relevance of the topics we had great interest and renowned speakers from Europe, so this year we expect a larger number of international speakers and panellists. The official languages are Croatian and English, provided with simultaneous translation. We will of course include Croatian experts who have international experience in these issues. This year we have chosen topics that are very relevant for the healthcare community in the region. We will also try to be goal oriented and have a fast, practical response visible in the Croatian health system.

Q: How do you plan to creatively design the 2017 conference to maximize your goals?
The conference programme is designed in a way that we have two topical panels and between these two panels are lectures that are related to the main themes of the conference. We saw it that the panels, if prepared well and designed in a positive and inclusive manner, are an excellent form for linking the various stakeholders in the digitalization of health. Also, interesting participants help conference visitors remain interested until the end of the conference, which is not always the case, especially at conferences with health issues. The conference production is also a bit more ambitious compared to a similar conference in the region.

Q: What will be the main topics of the 2017 conference and what can participants expect to experience?
This year’s conference will address the subject of the present and near future of Croatian health care, primarily e-card, patient registers and projects that are based on measuring the efficacy of therapy (value-based healthcare) that modern technology allows, as well as the creation of measures based on the results. In addition, the conference will discuss the possibilities and examples of cooperation between the IT sector and the healthcare industry. We will also present several start-ups from the region that deal with health.

Q: How many participants, and of what kind, do you expect at the conference?
The anticipated number of participants is 400. Apart from Croatian participants, at last year’s conference there were also participants from Slovenia, and this year we will make additional promotional activities to Serbia. The last conference was also attended by leading pharmaceutical and IT companies.

Q: How important are these kinds of events for Croatia and what do you think their role is?
They are important because they can highlight topics, connect various stakeholders and professions in making decisions, and contribute to the multi-disciplinary approach. If they are well prepared and well covered by the media they can bring topics closer to the general public. If they are well planned with pre-determined objectives such events can contribute to the improvement of the systems related to the conference topics.

Q: How do you see the role of technological transformation in medicine and in the modern world?
The application of IT in healthcare can optimize many processes so that existing resources are more efficient and purposeful. Technology allows us a much better means of tracking efficiency, thus providing opportunities for savings.

There are very important data on the efficacy of a drug after being placed on the market and a certain period of use. On the basis of such data, physicians can more easily decide on the use of certain therapies.

Q: Why did you choose the City Plaza Zagreb as the conference venue?
City Plaza Zagreb is a business centre that allows for a variety of options for event organisation. The venue is adaptable for changes and can respond to the challenges that such kinds of events pose. The company that is responsible for lending the space is very professional and can also offer additional services together with their partners, necessary for good conference organisation. The technical team is also very well equipped and enthusiastic about the production of the conference.

About Mladen Kovaček:

For the majority of his carrier Mladen has been in a multinational pharmaceutical company that gave him a firm basis upon which to constantly improve his knowledge, being responsible for selecting and training teams in both Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. As a manager of a private medical institution he gained a lot of knowledge about engaging in promotional activities to wide audiences, organising PR activities and promotional activities using classical media as well as with new media channels of promotion.

The “HIT konferencija” company organises specialized events focusing on trends in the health and IT industries as well as their interconnection. These events bring together respective industry representatives and employees from pharmaceutical, IT and start-up companies from the region. The goal of these events is to provide a platform for business leaders to send a message to the general public on innovation and development in their respective areas, with a focus on patients.

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