A digital health summit of the ERS


Digital respiratory medicine – realism v futurism

A digital health summit of the ERS


Virtual, live and broadcast from a studio


WHO defines digital health, or the use of digital technologies for health, as the “salient field of practice for employing routine and innovative forms of information and communications technology (ICT) to address health needs. Digital health is a term encompassing eHealth (which includes mHealth), as well as emerging areas, such as the use of advanced computing sciences in ‘big data’, genomics and artificial intelligence”. Despite gradual adoption of technologies over the last decade, digital health has come rapidly to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic. Smartwatches, thermal cameras and smartphone apps — all are being used throughout the world to help track and manage the spread of Covid-19.


Respiratory physicians have embraced digital health during the crisis like never before. Video consultations, telemonitoring, artificial intelligence have all been relied on out of necessity rather than choice in hospitals and clinics across the world. These technologies have been very helpful to provide essential health services to our patients. Yet there are many issues, for example, virtual health can amplify health inequalities and not everyone in the world has a smartphone.


This Summit will seek to define the innovations which are realistic for digital respiratory medicine in the here and now and those that are to be considered more aspirational and futuristic.  We will discuss:

  • How can the virtual respiratory team affect the change and improve respiratory health better than we did before?
  • In the pandemic what have we gained from the digital health experience and what have we lost?
  • What is a digital respiratory physician? What is a digital trainee?
  • What virtual tools can be applied now, how can we evaluate these and what should we expect in future?
  • What are the key points in ethics, regulation and policy that we need to consider?

The first day, on Thursday 3th June we will examine the current digital tools that can be used in respiratory healthcare. It will include various sessions, as well as panel discussions. It will be moderated live from a studio and will emphasise interactivity with the audience using polling, questions and answers and by connecting to international experts from around the world.

The second day, on Friday 4th June, will focus on growth areas and future aspects such as big data and AI but also ethical considerations, regulation and policy.


10.00 – 10:15

Scene setter

Summit opening

  • Anita Simonds, ERS President
  • Thierry Troosters, ERS Past President

10.15 – 10:50

Scene setter

Keynote address

Creating a realistic digital roadmap: lessons learned from Cardiology

  • Martin Cowie, Imperial College London

11.00 – 12:00

THEME I: The virtual world

Chaired by  Thierry Troosters, ERS Past President

Lessons from virtual ward – COVID-19 and new models of care for our respiratory patients and workforce

  • Sarah Sibley, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital

Virtual pulmonary and COVID-19 rehabilitation

  • Sally Singh, University of Leicester

12.15 – 13:30

THEME II: Wearables and apps

Chaired by Hilary Pinnock, University of Edinburgh

Patient wearables – how effective are they?

  • Andrea Aliverti, Politecnico di Milano

Wearables, sports and health

  • Ioannis Vogiatzis, Northumbria University

What have we learnt from contact tracing apps?

  • Vitalii Poberezhets, National Pirogov Memorial Medical University

How can digital techniques improve the lives of patients? Barriers and solutions

  • Kjeld Hansen, Chair of the European Lung Foundation


13:30 - 14:30


14.30 – 15:30

THEME III: Virtual/multimodal education, communication skills

Chaired by Anita Simonds, ERS President

How to care for and communicate with patients digitally

  • Hilary Pinnock, University of Edinburgh

Digital approaches to promote adherence to treatments and patient education

  • Omar Usmani, Imperial College London 

Digital training programmes – the best of new resources

  • Maxime Patout, Rouen University Hospital

15.45 – 16:45

THEME IV: Digital health and innovation

Chaired by Tamsin Rose

Digital home resources in clinical trial management 

  • Marlies Wijsenbeek, Erasmus MC

How digital health can drive value based healthcare

  • Jim Hollingshead, ResMed

Addressing digital exclusion

  • Kjeld Hansen, Chair of the European Lung Foundation

Digital Health and data use

  • Michael Strübin, MidTech Europe

17:00 – 17:30


Moderator and studio chairs reconvene for takeaways of first day

  • Anita Simonds, ERS President
  • Thierry Troosters, ERS Past President
  • Hilary Pinnock, University of Edinburgh


End of first day

10.00 – 11:00

Theme V: Ethics, equity and regulation

Chaired by Anita Simonds, ERS President and Tamsin Rose, Moderator

Towards a more effective Health Union: Digitalisation and the European Health Data Space 

  • Pierre Delsaux, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety

Human in the Loop: strengths and weaknesses of AI-safety controls

  • Nikita Lukianets, Open Ethics

Digital respiratory medicine - in the global health context: the case of TB

  • Dennis Falzon, World Health Organisation

11.15 – 12:15

Theme VI: Artificial intelligence and big data

Chaired by Anita Simonds, ERS President

Decision Support Systems and patient management

  • Wim Vos, Radiomics

Harnessing big data for evaluation and regulation of medicines

  • Luís Correia Pinheiro, European Medicines Agency

Digital advances in disease surveillance and extended remit of ECDC

  • Pasi Penttinen, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

12.15 – 13.15

Realism v Futurism

Chaired by Tamsin Rose, Moderator

  • Anita Simonds, ERS President
  • Marc Humbert, ERS President Elect
  • Wim Vos, Radiomics
  • Joanna Chorostowska-Wynimko, ERS Secretary General

13.15 – 13.30


Anita Simonds, ERS President

Please note all times are in CET time.