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Summer school with a focus on health innovations

Summer, sun and science. These are the words that were used to describe the summer course Health Innovation Summer School (HISS), which was held at Halmstad University during the second half of August.

The course was a unique collaboration between Uppsala University and Halmstad University, and this summer it was arranged for the second time. This year, the theme of the course was Health innovation in a changing society- from idea to implementation. The course attracted participants from both Swedish and international universities. All participants were enrolled in educational programs on master- or PhD levels.

High expectations

Both students and professors had expectations set high when the course started. Charlotte Sylvander, student at the Master’s Programme (120 credits) in Health and Lifestyle at Halmstad University, was looking forward to learning more about health innovations.

- I expect to get a lot of inspiration during this course. In the future, I hope to become a part of a positive change for a healthier Sweden. In order to achieve that, I think that it is important that experts from different professions, for instance medical professionals, computer engineers and economists, work together in interdisciplinary cooperation. If we combine our forces, I believe that we can reach a sustainable future, Charlotte says.


Examination inspired by Dragon's Den.

Prestigious lecturers

The opening lecture was held by Dr. James Barlow from Imperial College Business School in Great Britain. He has recently been appointed visiting professor at Halmstad University, and is going to work here for the next three years. Barlow’s visiting professorship is intended to further inforce the university’s position as a driving force within the field of health innovation. Barlow, too, was looking forward to the course.

– I think this course is a great opportunity for students in the field of health care technology to develop a deeper understanding to the challenges of getting innovations adopted in the health care system. They should learn a lot about the reasons why it is difficult to get new technologies taken up, and some of the solutions to addressing those problems, Barlow says.

In addition to Barlow, other lecturers were Dr. Helena Grönqvist from Uppsala University, and Dr. Maya Hoveskog, Dr. Pontus Wärnestål and Dr. Jens Nygren, all working at Halmstad University. Nygren is also the Programme Director of Health Innovation at Halmstad University, and course coordinator for HISS.

Opening lecture by Dr. James Barlow.

Innovative way to present results

The course consisted of a mixture between lectures and more hands-on practical work, which was conducted in groups. The students were asked to produce a suggestion for a plausible innovation within the field of health. The suggestion was to be presented in a way which was inspired by the well-known TV-show Dragon’s Den. The audience was made up of the rest of the course participants, but also of a jury consisting of academics, representatives from the different user groups and a business representative.

Pleased participants

Jens Nygren was very happy with this year’s version of HISS, and also with what the students had accomplished.

– It has been an interesting week with many exciting new ideas and perspectives. I have really enjoyed listening to all the presentations, Nygren says.

It was not only Nygren who was pleased with the course. The students were also satisfied. Dilana Lòpez Borbón, student at the Master’s Programme (120 credits) in Global Health at Gothenburg University, learned a lot of things that she will be able to apply to her future studies.

– The most important experience that I have gained from this course is the opportunity to learn from other participants with different backgrounds and different approaches to health innovation. This course was very fruitful in that way. And I have really enjoyed having fika together, Dilana says with a big smile.


Photo and film: JOACHIM BRINK

Participants, lecturers and jury members.

Updated 2018-08-28