AI is not the next big thing for patients. It IS the big thing – notes from the European Patients’ Forum (EPF) AGM

EPF AI Workshop and Annual General Meeting

During the weekend of 13th- 14th of April, Fertility Europe had the privilege of participating in a workshop organized by the European Patients’ Forum (EPF) and in the EPF Annual General Meeting (AGM), in Brussels.

The workshop focused on the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare. During the AGM, we looked at key achievements from the past year, strategic plans ahead, and budgets and participated in voting new members to the EPF board.

Below is a summary of the discussions and key takeaways from the workshop and the EPF Annual General Meeting.

AI Workshop: Navigating AI in Healthcare

EPF led a great workshop on the 13th of April, aimed at exploring the role of AI in shaping the future of healthcare. The event commenced with a comprehensive presentation by IIdikó Vajda from the Dutch Patient Federation. She shared her experience and insights into the fundamentals of AI and its implications for patient care with the participants of the workshop.

As part of the workshop, there was an interview with Claudia Louati, EPF’s Head of Policy, and Antonio Andreu, EATRIS Scientific Director. They delved into the ethical considerations surrounding AI implementation, stressing the importance of patient involvement in ensuring the responsible and ethical use of AI-driven technologies, particularly concerning healthcare.

The workshop also featured interactive sessions, including a role-playing game moderated by experts from OneVision Healthcare. Through this hands-on experience, participants gained practical insights into how AI can be integrated into the fertility healthcare journey, from diagnosis to treatment and in this way contribute to healthcare being delivered to patients more rapidly and in a more tailored manner. As such, AI has the potential to improve healthcare to the benefit of patients significantly.

EPF Annual General Meeting: Reflections and New Beginnings

At the Annual General Meeting, EPF members gathered to reflect on the organization’s achievements and set the course for the future. Members, including representatives from Fertility Europe, approved the 2023 Annual Report, budget, and work plan, reaffirming their commitment to advancing patient-centred healthcare policies.

The meeting also saw the election of new members to the EPF Board. Additionally, EPF welcomed two new associations, Sjögren Europe and the Association of Patient Organizations of Slovenia (ZOPS), into its network, further strengthening its advocacy efforts across Europe.

The AGM concluded with a discussion on EPF’s #Vote4Patients 2024 EU Elections Campaign, emphasizing the importance of amplifying the patient voice in policy-making processes and advocating for patient-centric healthcare policies at the European level.

Moving Forward

As Fertility Europe continues its mission to empower patients and advance fertility healthcare. The insights gained from the EPF workshop and AGM serve as important inspirations and guides in this effort. FE will look at how patient organizations, working to improve the policies and availability of fertility-related treatments, may contribute to the advancement of AI technologies and do its utmost to contribute to AI being applied in a way that is responsible and ethical and will advocate for patient-centred policies.

Karianne Bye, Fertility Europe ExCo member and delegate to EPF AGM

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