How Digital Health is transforming oncology care


Technological advances are a driving force for developments in medicine, enabling new ways of diagnosing and treating patients. The session increased awareness on early stage diagnosis methods using innovative digital health strategies. The highlight was on the future of oncology and the benefits brought by technology on personalisation, diagnosis and prognosis. The model of virtual consultation panels for rare disease patients –the first one at EU level - was presented during the lecture.


  • Marco Marsella, Head of Unit, DG CONNECT H3 eHealth, well-being, ageing

Title of the presentation: Digital technology for oncology: ongoing EU actions and future outlook

Marco Marsella is Head of the “eHealth, Well-being, and Ageing” Unit in the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) of the European Commission. From 2016 to June 2018, Marco Marsella was leading the Unit responsible for the Web Accessibility Directive, Safer Internet and Language Technologies. He has worked on policy development, innovation and research implementation in the areas of digital content, technologies for learning, e-inclusion and assistive technologies.

  • Koen Kas, Health care futurist, entrepreneur, professor of molecular oncology, and renowned international keynote speaker

Title of the presentation: How Digital Health is transforming oncology care

Prof. Dr. Koen Kas is a health care futurist, entrepreneur, professor of molecular oncology, and renowned international keynote speaker. He published his vision in 2 books. ‘Sick no more’ describes how we will transition from reactive sickcare to proactive healthcare. ‘Your guide to Delight’ is a roadmap towards that future. He is focused on pioneering the novel concept of digital twins as personal health companions, combining his expertise in genomics, drug discovery, biomarker research, datascience and digital health.  
He is founding CEO of HealthSkouts. His team combines real world data, collected via biomarker and sensor measurements, with design and business model innovations into novel, delightful experiences redefining health. This way they help shape a new breed of digital health companies. HealthSkouts also curates the public database of certified digital health Apps & devices:
Koen is a guest professor at Ghent University in Belgium. He is chairman of the European Cancer Prevention Organisation; ambassador of Health House; Jury of the Prix Galien; editor of the mHealth and European Journal of Cancer Prevention journals, and sits on the advisory board of 7 emerging (digital) healthcare companies and 1 investor. 
Koen was CSO Oncology at Thrombogenics, where he spun out Oncurious and developed a novel drug for pediatric brain cancer. Before this, he was founder and CSO of Pronota, building a protein biomarker discovery platform and pipeline of four diagnostic programs. Prior to that, he was the director of drug discovery at Galapagos. Previously he set up and directed the cancer drug discovery program at Tibotec (now Johnson & Johnson). He started his career elucidating the molecular basis of two types of cancers

  • Luis Martí Bonmatí, Head of the Medical Imaging Area and Director of the Biomedical Imaging Research Group (GIBI230) at La Fe University and Polytechnic Hospital

Title of the presentation: The PRIMAGE experience in childhood cancer

He is author of more than 250 journal manuscripts in the fields of abdominal radiology and applications of imaging biomarkers to the study of brain, heart, musculoskeletal system and different pathologies like cancer. His special areas of interest are mainly imaging biomarkers, image processing, imaging biobanks, and clinical innovations in medical imaging. He is the current president of the European Society of Abdominal and Gastrointestinal Radiology (ESGAR), former president of the European Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB) during 2002-2003 and a member of other European initiatives such as the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR).

Dr Martí-Bonmatí is currently leading two Horizon 2020 projects. PRIMAGE proposes a cloud-based platform to support decision making in the clinical management of two paediatric cancers, based on the use of novel imaging biomarkers, and CHAIMELEON aims to set up a structured repository for health imaging data to be openly reused in AI experimentation for cancer management. He has been PI of several national funded projects and participated in an important number of European projects. Thus, he is well experienced in facilitating joint research efforts in very diverse fields. Dr Martí-Bonmatí has co-founded QUIBIM, a spin-off based on a proprietary radiomics platform that allows cooperative storage, management and analysis of medical images in multi-centre studies and clinical trials. An innovative tool that may disrupt how disease diagnosis is currently managed.

  • Ruth Ladenstein, Professor of Pediatrics, Senior Consultant in Pediatric Oncology, Head of the Clinical Trials Unit S2IRP-CCRI (Studies & Statistics for Integrated Research and Projects), EC Cancer Mission Board Member

Title of the presentation: Vision on Digital Health Transformation in Paediatric Cancer

Ruth Ladenstein is Professor in Paediatrics and Senior Consultant for Paediatric Haematology and Oncology at the St. Anna Children´s Hospital . She is Head of the Clinical Trials Unit S2IRP (Studies & Statistics for Integrated Research and Projects) at the Children’s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) of the St. Kinderkrebsforschung e.V. ( and Deputy Director of the CCRI.  Prof. Ladenstein’s recent project activities are the coordination of the European Reference Network in Paediatric Cancer ERN PaedCan (, and the Austrian Medicine for Children Research Network OKIDS ( 

Background information

This session is part of the CONNECT University Autumn School on Digital Health open for everyone. Check the full programme.

digital health