PRESS RELEASE / Power to the patient: Conference tackles challenges of medtech innovation

Ghent, 06 March 2023 – MEDVIA and Smart Hub Flemish Brabant are co-hosting HealthTech Summit: Meeting at the Crossroads of Health Innovation on 23 March in Leuven. The international conference is dedicated to challenges faced by the healthtech industry in getting new technologies into the hands of the end users – healthcare providers and patients.

The fifth edition of HealthTech Summit: Meeting at the Crossroads of Health Innovation, formerly known as Life on Chip, brings together national and international experts and VCs in medtech, biotech, digital health and patient care to examine the current state and the future of collaborative innovation.

Why HealthTech Summit?

As a region, Flanders has a worldwide reputation for innovation. It has been named the third most innovative economy in the world, is in the top five worldwide for business accelerators, and three of its biotech incubators are in the European top 25. The region’s knowledge economy is strongly centered on biotech, medtech and digital technologies.

And yet medical innovations that can help doctors and hospitals be more efficient, improve their services and get access to much-needed data can be hampered due to regulatory challenges and reimbursement patterns. MEDVIA is determined to take its services in supporting innovation in the healthtech industry to the next level: Addressing the systems that prevent new medical technologies from reaching the end user – the patient.

Highlights of the HealthTech Summit program:

  • Keynote by Paul Stoffels, CEO of Galapagos, a world leader in the development of new drugs, who will talk about breaking down the silos in pharma-tech collaboration
  • How do we build a forward-looking and collaborative healthcare innovation ecosystem? This panel on the challenges our innovators encounter, including regulation and reimbursement, features Steven Vandeput of beMedTech, KU Leuven chief medical officer Gert Van Assche, MEDVIA CEO Ann Van Gysel, Galapagos CEO Paul Stoffels (TBC) and Emily Blum, medical director of the Global Center for Medical Innovation in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Keynote by Denise Silber, top influencer in digital health and VR and founder of the Paris-based digital health communications bureau Basil Strategies
  • What about the patients? Inspiring presentations on collaborations with end-users in mind featuring AZ Maria Middelares CTO Peter Dierickx, Patient Expert Center chair Stefan Gijssels and Bart Vannieuwenhuyse, senior director of health informtion sciences at Janssen Pharmaceutical
  • Keynote by Dipak Kalra, president of the European Institute for Innovation through Health Data. As a GP, Kalra was frustrated by the lack of organization of health data and decided to dedicate his career to the collection and sharing of data to meet the needs of healthcare providers and patients

HealthTech Summit ClusterXchange

In the two days leading up to HealthTech Summit (21-22 March), MEDVIA is hosting a ClusterXchange, part of the European Cluster Collaboration Platform’s program to better connect Europe’s industrial ecosystems. International visitors, speakers and sponsors at HealthTech Summit have been invited to take part in the ClusterXchange, which includes a visit to Leuven’s Health House and the world-class university hospital UZ Leuven.


Ann Van Gysel, CEO MEDVIA: “I continue to be impressed with the innovations in healthtech that I am privileged to witness every single day in Flanders. As we serve our members with services and funding to put these innovations in the hands of healthcare providers and patients, we have also seen the need to address the bottlenecks that hinder access. This will be a focus of MEDVIA’s work in 2023.”

Philip Dingemans, Smart Hub Manager Internationalization & Healthtech: “Anyone who wants to know more about the latest crossover innovations in the health and life sciences has to attend the HealthTech Summit in Flanders. Located in the heart of Europe, Flanders is a leader in technology entrepreneurship and R&D. Attendees of HealthTech Summit will meet our top Flemish entrepreneurs and researchers active in collaborative innovation.”


MEDVIA is one of Flanders’ seven spearhead clusters, each of which represent companies and organizations involved in a key sector in the region. As the healthtech cluster, MEDVIA’s members include medtech and biotech companies, hospitals, life science research centers, digital health services and academia. MEDVIA supports cross-over collaborations among these domains with innovation services that facilitate growth and market access, as well as earmarked funding made available through Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO).

About Smart Hub Flemish Brabant:

Smart Hub Flemish Brabant is a concentration of tech clusters in the province of Flemish Brabant in Belgium. A full 56% of the population works in science and technology, with innovative companies mainly concentrated in five clusters, or Smart Hubs. Our hallmark technologies are health, food, logistics, cleantech and the creative industry.

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