Denise Silber is part of a small group of people, who’ve chosen to always look to the future in order to deliver a perfect quality to the projects they are involved in.
President @ Basil Strategies, Denise is driven by a passion to improve healthcare through better use of digital innovation.
With 20+ years of experience, she has a deep vision and understanding of the opportunities and challenges of digital health.
After having the opportunity to learn from her on many conferences they have met around the world, Lorena Macnaughtan (iCEE.health Event Director) talked with Denise Silber, before her second participation at the festival – iCEE.health will take place in Bucharest, June 16th.
- You are one of the pioneers of eHealth? Tell us a bit about how it started and how did that lead to being decorated with the French Legion of Honor?
When I discovered the existence of the web and looked at the healthcare information on it while at Harvard, it was “love at first sight”.
I made a 90 degree shift in my traditional career in health communication, over 20 years ago, and never went back on this decision.
- And why was that?
It was because eHealth or “digital health” is at the intersection of questions that motivate me deeply.
How do we treat people when they are ill, vulnerable, and in danger? Do we respect the individual? Do we ensure that he or she has access to the best solutions? Unfortunately, being respected and well-cared for is not a given, due to the opacity and complexity of the healthcare system.
How do we solve problems and make things better? I’m attracted to innovation and benefiting from the latest in technology, whether science, medicine, business, leisure.
How do we bring people together for mutual benefit? I love people and absolutely love to foster enriching contacts.
“With eHealth, nothing was written in advance. I had to invent my work. So, taking advantage of my American and European experiences, I launched a start-up in telemedicine in the US, managed an online surgeons’ community in Europe, worked with the European Commission pioneers” Denise Silber, Basil Strategies
With the Legion of Honor, the French government recognized in me an American citizen who had brought European and American healthcare communities together through these multiple digital initiatives.
- How do we reinvent healthcare?
There is an answer to this difficult question!
We would reinvent healthcare, if we built it from scratch through the eyes and experience of patients and caregivers, working side by side with the professionals.
But we also need to break down the silos between the different facets of our life: what we eat, our physical activity, our mental health, our working conditions, and preventive measures.
In an increasingly sedentary world with more processed food and an endangered environment, we are not heading in the right direction, despite our best intentions.
- This is your second time at iCEE health. Tell us about the first year and what do you expect most to see upon your return.
I totally enjoyed discovering the event and Bucharest in 2016. Everyone was enthusiastic, and we were so well received.
We could attend the general digital track as well as the digital health track.
In digital health, we met leading people from the US and Europe who provided their insights and content.
I’m really looking forward to meeting this year’s set of speakers, to see what happened to them in the past year, and to contrast these ideas with my experience.
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