Smart algorithms should be shared

Personalised care is important to us, says strategist Jeroen Kemperman of Zilveren Kruis, one of the large health insurers. He derives a lot of energy from the desire to maintain the solidarity of the Dutch system.
"Everyone with a complex form of cancer can go to the Anthoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital. Internationally, this is not at all a matter of course. We are a unique country in terms of care. Worldwide, only 3.5% of the population has access to all healthcare. We must cherish this accessibility."

Kemperman has knowledge of facts and dossiers. And clear views. "Artificial intelligence can help improve treatment protocols. We are in favour of developing algorithms that focus on 'building together, using together, improving together'.

Data is not a currency to be taken to the bank. It is important that treatment protocols remain public property - as they are now - and that they can be used by various healthcare providers and companies who work together to improve healthcare. Of course, you have to look for ways to reward the inventors. Think of revenue models like Spotify or Buma/Stemra. The creators get a reasonable fee for use. Personally, I doubt the social desirability of models in which algorithms with treatment protocols are monopolised and a company is given the exclusive right to carry out medical treatments. You want 100% certainty that healthcare treatments are always accessible to everyone."

Zilveren Kruis assesses innovation by looking at it in several ways. Jeroen: "First of all we assess the effect on health, the QALI. In addition, the experience of the patient or care professional counts. Is the treatment more pleasant, more enjoyable? We look at whether the innovation does not make the care more expensive (unnecessarily). And finally, we look at whether the innovation makes it possible for practitioners to improve. The ideal innovation meets all these criteria. Tension arises if they do not. Innovations that reduce health, make treatment less pleasant for patients or healthcare providers, or massively increase healthcare costs can count on resistance from society.

He is convinced that there is a world to be won in simpler, personalised care. "We are looking at healthcare and health in an increasingly integrated way. In 70% of cases, the main cause of many chronic diseases is lifestyle. Vitality requires a good combination of body (nutrition and exercise) and mind (sufficient sleep and rest). Also by simply looking at 'what is going on', you can make improvements. Sometimes it's in seemingly small things like the amount of medication prescribed; it has to match the patient's weight.

The relationship between daily life and health is a research field where there is profit to be made." Kemperman gets totally into his element. "If a man dies, the woman's life expectancy remains the same. But if a woman dies, the man's life expectancy halves. Fascinating. Half of all absenteeism in companies is related to psychological factors. The absentee employee may not have a good relationship with the manager, may not be socially adept enough to relate well to colleagues and manager." These are all examples on a simpler level where there is profit to be made in personalised care. A good diagnosis does not stop at a disease or disorder, think of diabetes, but includes a diagnosis of someone's life. Kemperman mentions the Actify app from Zilveren Kruis: "Actify is the vitality coach that helps you live healthier in small steps. If you take small steps, living healthier is easier. That has been scientifically proven. Therefore, the Actify app helps you step by step to a healthier life." Zilveren Kruis stimulates and initiates behavioural change in various health coalitions and also concludes covenants on this with municipalities, among others.


According to Jeroen, "There is a lot of potential in personalised care when it comes to monitoring, diagnosing and taking medicines at home. You need algorithms to judge when someone needs to go to the GP or hospital and when not. The EU is lagging behind in the development of Artificial Intelligence. Kemperman calls improving medicines and treatments by using DNA research to find out the influence of genes 'high school personalised care'. He's not just positive about this. "Personalisation can also lead to solutions that are so costly that they threaten the accessibility of care. Again, the ultimate test is whether it leads to extra healthy years of life through better and affordable treatments and thus brings health closer to everyone."