Interview with DeHealth’s Advisor: Philippe Gerwill

2 Jun, 2022
07:22 min read

Philippe is currently a Digitalization Humanist, a Futurist and an Innovation KOL who regularly speaks at international events about Digital Health, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, AR/VR, 5G or Healthcare in the Metaverse that he would rather call the MEDaverse.

As an member of DeHealth Advisory Board, Philippe will help us to connect with some key players in the pharmaceutical industry but also with some other connections in his extensive network while sharing some of his broader expertise in healthcare and across various countries and continents.

Please, tell more about yourself and your background.

My name is Philippe Gerwill. I’m a Digitalization Humanist, a Futurist and an Innovation KOL and regularly speak at international events about Digital Health, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, AR/VR, 5G or Healthcare in the Metaverse that I would rather call the MEDaverse. For me, while being a big advocate and supporter of all those amazing technologies, it is primordial to always put people back at the center of our design in order to ensure that those technologies are serving the humans and not the other way around. Before that I spent about 30 years in global roles in big multinationals and mostly in the pharmaceutical industry.

I actually serve as executive advisor or board member in different companies in Switzerland, France, UK, Singapore and China. I’m also a mentor/coach as well as a guest speaker at some well-known business schools like the ESCP (Ecole Supérieur de Commerce de Paris) in France or the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands where I am mainly intervening as a cultural broker. 

What or who inspired you to come closer to Health?

My friend Ralf P. Gerteis, who is actually already a strategic advisor, was the key driver who recommended me and introduced me to DeHealth’s co-founders Denys and Anna. Once I had my first video call with both of them it became quite obvious that we are sharing a lot of common values and the same vision in terms of the future of healthcare. 

 I am blessed and honored to join the DeHealth Advisory Board. Beyond the conviction of the technical acumen and growing maturity of the solutions provided by DeHealth, I was really impressed by my first exchanges with the founders with whom I am sharing so many common values and vision. We need to move from Sick Care to Health Care while bringing all the key actors into our ecosystem. We need to provide new tools and visibility to the HCPs, reward patients or even one step earlier, consumers for behaving as recommended and for sharing their data before providing the resulting prepared and structured data to the R&D departments of major pharma companies as well as smaller startups or scale ups. Nurturing that data economy with our DHLT while embarking on the metaverse and web 3.0 which is promised to be the biggest major tech disruption to our everyday’s life since the smartphone.

Apart from DeHealth you also act as an advisor to other projects. Please, share how your experience in different ventures and industries helps you to advise other companies?

I did quite some mentoring, coaching and advisory roles for amazing companies and talented individuals in the healthcare as well as in the blockchain space in the recent years mainly in Switzerland, France and UK but also in Singapore, China or in the US and Canada. I’ve recently received an “Outstanding Leadership in Healthcare” award during the Health 2.0 conference in March in Dubai. I love to work with many different countries to understand their specificities, different rules, regulations and especially cultures. While I love to be defined as a cultural broker, I think it is also important to be a kind of “technical broker”. It is time that we stop speaking only about blockchain or AI in silos but that we start to talk about IoT or AIoT, Big Data, AI, AR/VR, 5G, Cloud and Quantum Computing or other Blockchain technologies in conjunction.

 

Are health projects in demand on the market?

Health projects were always in demand, but the recent pandemic tremendously boosted that demand and the interest of a whole generation. There was an impressive increase for example of vocational interest from the younger generation which was previously going more towards high-tech or other trendy domains. Needless to say, healthcare and high-tech came much closer and merged into what is called today healthtech. Our health is actually our key asset and we can’t say that it is actually very well managed. We need to move from sick care to healthcare era where fitness, wellness and preventive care should become the key focus. 

World moving to web 3.0. Should the healthcare industry transform as well and how can this help mankind?

Web 3.0 is the natural next step after web 2.0. With web 2.0, the web became dynamic and social but centralized. With web 3.0, the web will become smarter, more distributed and secured thanks to blockchain technologies. That’s why healthcare should transform the same way and embrace those new technologies to reinforce data privacy and security in a safe sharing environment. As I already mentioned, health is our key asset and healthcare data is its foundation. It has quite an underestimated value today and that’s why it should be protected.

 

How can you describe the development of the metaverse and is there a place for healthcare? 

I had the honor to recently deliver a whole online course about “Healthcare in the Metaverse” in May at Marisiensis, an International Scientific Congress for students, young doctors and pharmacists organized by the University of Medicine, Pharmacy, Science and Technology “G.E. Palade” of Târgu Mures in Romania.

There are many opportunities for healthcare in what I personally call the MEDaverse from fitness and wellbeing, to virtual gym&sports, telemedicine, mental health treatments, medical training and education, medical procedures and surgeries and many more.

AI is of course going to play a primordial role but as already mentioned, we should not look at AI in a silo. We would need IoT and connected devices for example to collect data, that data becoming big data that needs to be protected and secured via blockchain before being structured to train the AI algorithms or using 5G to proceed remote surgeries etc.

AI will be the key to translate the input into the output.  

According to your experience in the pharma sector, which challenges for these players do you see working with medical data, and how DeHealth’s approach can solve the main issues for them?

I personally put a lot of hope on AI, especially on medical data to find new insights and potentially new treatments to cure some of the main diseases affecting us. However there might still be a huge resistance from an industry that is quite risk averse and that might not trust those new insights. On the other hand, getting enough meaningful and representative medical data to train an AI algorithm and especially structured data is probably one of the main issues which DeHealth’s approach and expertise could solve.

Why does big pharma have to cooperate with DeHealth?

When it comes to medical data, pharmaceutical companies are indeed barely not talking to final consumers - to patients. They are mainly in a B2B and not a B2C business model even in pharmacovigilance scenarios. Getting valuable depersonalized medical data directly from patients is a challenge that DeHealth could surely pickup on their behalf and build a win-win solution for both parties.

In your opinion, why should people take an eye on DeHealth?

First of all, I think that what sets DeHealth apart from other similar ventures are again the spirit of its founders and the team that they have built around them.

Secondly DeHealth is building its solution around a whole ecosystem including doctors, medical centers, pharma companies and patients for example and not addressing just a portion of it. It is based on win-win solutions for everybody.

Thirdly, people should keep an eye on DeHealth because they already have solutions which are trusted by more than 35’000 doctors, 650 medical centers and more than 3’200’000 patients from all over the world.

Finally, I think that the team has already demonstrated strong resilience despite some major recent threats including the Ukrainian-Russian war. 

I see DeHealth as one of the key players in its space in a couple of years across many countries around the globe and leveraging the growing healthcare data economy.

I see my role in helping them to connect with some key players in the pharmaceutical industry but also with some other connections in my extensive network while sharing some of my broader expertise in healthcare and across various countries and continents.

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