400 people for the debut of the world health forum veneto. tomorrow the focus on ai, ethics, and medicine


Padua, March 20, 2024 – Sold out for the first day of the World Health Forum Veneto, which opened at the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua: all 400 seats set up in the hall were occupied, but over 500 had booked online. Over four days, until Saturday, over 100 speakers will intervene, with researchers, academics, and experts representing 35 universities and research centers, including 13 from abroad, and over 20 companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and health software sectors.
The event was inaugurated by the President of the Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, followed by a conversation between the Magnificent Rector of the University of Padua, Daniela Mapelli, and academics Angelo Paolo Dei Tos, Gaudenzio Meneghesso, Mattia Veronese, and Roberto Vettor. Predicting the next pandemic was the theme addressed by Giorgio Palù, emeritus professor of microbiology and virology at the University of Padua and former president of the European Society for Virology, and Thomas Mertens, president of the STIKO (permanent commission on vaccines of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany) and emeritus professor of virology at the University of Ulm. Following this, Martin Curley, director of the Digital Health Ecosystem Innovation Value Institute at Maynooth University (Ireland), held a keynote speech, followed by a conversation between Antonio Santocono, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Padua, and Gilberto Muraro, president of the Cariparo Foundation, and closing with an intervention by the mayor of Padua, Sergio Giordani.

How to prepare for a future pandemic

The first debate focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, the event that four years ago forever changed the relationship between citizens and health. "In Germany, what we missed the most were good data, our structures were not prepared to have and process them in real time," said Thomas Mertens. “This must absolutely change in the future: we will need data and evaluate them in a very short time.”

Giorgio Palù emphasized how predictive models enhanced with artificial intelligence can help decision-makers make better choices regarding strategies to contain the spread of the virus. We cannot predict what it will be, but "the current global situation is very favorable for making pandemics pathogens," Mertens explained, "starting from the growing population of livestock, human demographic growth, to the possibility of traveling quickly." The European dimension will also be central, Palù emphasized: "We will have to establish a central entity, the HERA - Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority in Brussels, which is not enough, a little more than a bureaucratic office. We would need a European center where specialists can discuss and be able, as soon as a new pandemic emerges, to establish the most appropriate response to give. In Italy, the anti-pandemic hub of the Siena Biotechnopole, born on paper three years ago, is not yet active.”

Thursday's program

From the second day, Thursday, the event moves to the Padua Congress conference center, in the Fair area. At 9:00 AM greetings from the authorities: Daniela Mapelli, rector of the University of Padua, Gaudenzio Meneghesso, director of the Department of Information Engineering of Unipd, Roberto Vettor, director of the Department of Medicine of Unipd, Angelo Paolo Dei Tos, president of the School of Medicine of Padua, and Giuseppe Dal Ben, general director of the Padua Hospital.

At 9:40 AM, the event begins with the keynote speeches "Pushing Medical Frontiers: AI-Driven Breakthroughs in Medicine" by Mihaela van der Schaar (University of Cambridge, UK) and "From Hype to Ripe: Implementing AI in Health Systems" by Yael Ophir, Executive Director HealthIL (Israel).

At 11:00 AM the first session, "The central role of data," with Tianxi Cai (Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA), Manlio De Domenico (University of Padua), Björn Eskofier (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität, Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany), and Rosario Rizzuto (University of Padua).

At 2:00 PM the second session, "AI for precision medicine," with Matej Oresic (Örebro University, Sweden), Jens Rittscher (University of Oxford, UK), Fabio Vandin (University of Padua), Davide Risso (University of Padua), and Mario Luca Morieri (University of Padua). The third session, "Ethics, Regulations, Fairness, and Explainability," starts at 4:10 PM with interventions by Giusella Finocchiaro (University of Bologna), Alessandro Fabris (Max Planck Institute for Security and Privacy, Bochum, Germany), Fabio Grigenti (University of Padua), and Guglielmo Tamburrini (University of Napoli Federico II), who at 4:50 PM will participate in a round table discussion. Registration for the scheduled meetings, free of charge, is still open on the website https://www.worldhealthforum.it.

The World Health Forum Veneto is born with a specific purpose: to analyze the present and delve into the future of medical sciences and technologies that can improve life.

© 2024 World Health Forum Veneto - All rights reserved