PD Dr. med. Maike Henningsen (Vice President, Helios)
PD Dr. med. Maike Henningsen is a clinician of 20 years and a digital health leader in Germany. She is Head of Business Development, Digital Innovation and Vice President of Operations for Ambulatory Women’s Health at HELIOS. She has also initiated the Vision Health Pioneers Incubator, which supports first-time founders in Digital Health, and worked as Professor of Digital Health at the University of Witten Herdecke.
Maike’s goal is to combine her knowledge of innovation management with her medical training to accelerate the development and integration of innovative technologies in the medical field. Among her many leadership activities in the MedTech space, she mentors startups and consulting companies in her areas of expertise, serves as an external healthcare innovation expert for a number of European Commission programs, and is the author of several books in the field of digital health.
Can you explain your job to a five-year-old?
I am responsible for all the gynecologists who work at HELIOS throughout Germany in an MVZ. That's about 70 of them. I am supervising the sites in the work they are doing now, but also planning a new hybrid care model, which should include digital parts, like using apps or remote medicine tools for the medical service, but also physical parts—the way it is performed at the moment. Bringing new forms of care into reality is very exciting for me as a medical doctor.
What excites you most about your job?
Since I run my own practice, I know that medicine will always take place in a real physical space, but increasingly, it will also take place from home or from someone’s workplace or on the go. This change belongs to the realm of disruption and will change medicine sustainably. But what will this look like in reality? How will we take the doctors with us, train them, and implement this change management process? These questions are still unclear. Even if many are already of the opinion that medicine will change dramatically, there are structures in Germany that prevent this. Here we need a good and clearly formulated offer for patients, one which constructively shows ways to let new forms of care arrive in reality. I really enjoy working here, because I know the system very well and also know what the patient needs medically. Both will help.
Which trend will change the future of medicine?
Several trends will determine the medicine of tomorrow. On the one hand, everything that reduces the media break in treatment. Say, for example, a treatment works via video consultation, then via ePrescription with the delivery of a drug to your home. This includes everything that makes home care and self-care possible. AI in improved and facilitated diagnostics, and therapy finding, will also change the future of medicine. So will wearables that detect and inform the patient and/or providers about abnormal deviations in vital parameters. Also, the idea of modern work, and work-life balance, will change things moving forward (although this, of course, is difficult to reconcile with medical care as it exists today). And then I must include the general shortage of young talent in nursing and medical professions.
Looking back, which trends have you missed or underestimated?
The German healthcare system has underestimated all of the above.
Which MedTech initiative or startup deserves more attention?
There are countless MedTech initiatives and startups that are too far under the radar and also risk staying there. There are initiatives from the big MedTech companies and software houses that we do not know in Germany—that we pay too little attention to. In my opinion, Germany is focusing too much on what the system currently does and too little on what the system will have to be able to achieve in 10-20 years, when the shortage of doctors will be clearly felt everywhere.
Where would you put a million dollars?
In healthcare in other countries that allow and implement innovative solutions due to the high demand of health services.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
When you start to be someone, you stop becoming something.