Thursday, 19 November 2015

Who should own our health data?

I already mentioned that we had a workshop in San Francisco earlier this year. I summarized some of our insights in a blog post for the World Economic Forum: Who should own our health data?

Monday, 16 November 2015

Annual Meeting of New Champions in Dalian

One of the exciting parts of my work at the World Economic Forum is that I get to meet interesting people all over the world. I have been running a workshop series on different aspects on how to prevent non-communicable diseases. In June, we were in San Francisco looking what value proposition IT/ tech can have in this space, in September we were in Dalian for the Forum's Annual Meeting of New Champions (also dubbed "Summer Davos"), where we looked into how physical and built environments shape health and in October we ran a final workshop in Tokyo on consumerization of health.

Dalian was particularly exciting as this was my first WEF summit and gave me an idea what to expect from Davos. And we had a fantastic group of people attending my workshop, including two ministers of health, executives from the for- and not-for-profit sector as well as leading academics. Gates Cambridge, my scholarship during my PhD at Cambridge, actually wrote a blog about it, which you can find here.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

OECD Health Indicators 2015

For all the number crunchers among us, the OECD has published its "Health at a Glance 2015" report with dashboards and data on health indicators & status, pharmaceutical spending, non-medical determinants of health, health workforce, health care activities, access to care, quality of care, health expenditure and financing, the pharma sector, and ageing and long term care.

My favorite chart is public and private per capita health spending in the OECD countries:
The US are the biggest spender (adjusted by purchasing power) by a large margin but they are also outspending all other countries except the Netherlands and Norway on public health spending. Or to put differently: the amount of public money the US spends on health would be enough to cover all health costs in most other countries.

The full report can be found here:

My work at the World Economic Forum

As you might know, since May I have been taking a semi-break from my work at Bain & Company. Until the Annual Meeting in Davos in January, I am seconded to the World Economic Forum as a project manager for the Future of Healthy project.

FoH is a two year project on the prevention of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Last year it was all about a paradigm shift from curing disease/ preventing deaths to actually Maximizing Healthy Life Years and how interventions that do so are investments that pay off (the report can be found here). My project is looking at how to bring stakeholder from different sector and industries together and how to align their incentives with positive health outcomes.

Thursday, 13 August 2015


Over three years ago, when I was still living in the UK, I had an IUD (inter-uterine device or "copper coil") fitted. For those of you who are not English: Health care by the National Health Service is free at the point of service and this includes contraception. Hence I paid nothing for my IUD. Now it makes intuitive sense that the IUD won't be good forever and I was actually given a piece of paper stating that it will have to be replaced after 10 years - which I figured was fair game.

When I moved back to Germany, I suddenly hear that an IUD (also copper ones) supposedly have to be replaced after 3 to 5 years. Now, you have to know that contraception is usually not covered by German insurance. I leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.

I still did a bit of research and what I found is even more interesting:

Saturday, 30 November 2013

My second paper: "Why are healthcare services fuzzy?"

My second paper just got published in AMJ, an open access journal. Below the abstract and the link to the journal. Very excited to see this finally happen.

Why are healthcare services fuzzy?


Healthcare organisations are an enigma to many people in- and outside the service. Organisational fuzziness is a common state, characterised by a lack of clarity, lack of awareness, lack of organisational knowledge, and the reliance on practice and custom instead of transparency.
The objective of this study was to obtain a better understanding of what causes this fuzziness and provide an actionable description of fuzzy organisations. Such a description is essential to managing and preventing organisational fuzziness.
We used a longitudinal case study in an integrated health- and social care organisation to obtain a thorough understanding of how the organisation functions. These in-depth insights allowed the identification of three generators of fuzziness.
We found that the three main generators of organisational fuzziness are change, informal organisation and complexity. Organisational fuzziness is thus partly due to the inherent complexities of human systems. However, also continuous change and the inability of the system to adapt its formal structures resulted in structures deteriorating or no longer being appropriate.
Existing approaches to explain unclear or absent structures in healthcare organisations by describing these organisations as complex adaptive systems (CAS) are too simplistic. While aspects relating to people and their interactions are indeed complex, fuzziness of structural aspects are often the result of continuous change and insufficient organisational capacity to adapt to it.[]=1857

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Paper now open access

Just to let you know, my paper on the contributions of carers and staff in service design is now available as open access:

Thanks to the CLAHRC for making this happen :)