On the frontline of healthcare innovation in Brussels

On December 14, the last Alumni Connect session of 2017 took 50 Alumni behind the scenes of the innovative St. Elisabeth site from the Europe Hospitals Group in Uccle.


The ambition of Europe Hospitals Group is to be a reference in terms of innovation, advanced medicine, personalized care and multidisciplinary care paths. Healthcare innovation is also a key focus of Accenture, so we were delighted to have this opportunity to welcome Alumni for an open discussion about the challenges of healthcare today and in the future with members of the hospital’s management team, including CEO Peter Fontaine. It was also an opportunity to explore how innovative technologies, new ways of working and digitally enabled patient pathways are providing concrete solutions… not least during exclusive guided tour of two state-of-the-art operating theatres to see some of the latest medical innovations in action (no patients involved)!

The hospital of tomorrow

Hospitals are large employers (in the case of Europe Hospitals, 2000 employees and 300 doctors) but finding the right balance between delivering their core activity and operational efficiency is challenging, especially in today’s complex healthcare environment with multiple stakeholders, fewer government subsidies and increased patient demand. Digital is one important pillar for enabling a shift in way of working to optimize everything a hospital does while always delivering high quality medical services to patients.

Another important pillar is medical innovation. This is not only about technology, but also co-creation between different medical disciplines, re-designing the patient pathway and patient empowerment. Using the scenarios of a heart attack and hip surgery, our alumna host, Caroline Franckx (Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Europe Hospitals Group) walked Alumni through the enhanced patient pathway of the future, from diagnosis to recovery. At the heart of these innovations: putting people first and enhancing the healthcare experience for all.

Healthcare innovation being applied now

  • Meet Zora: This mini robot is used at Europe Hospitals to cheer up and support, for example, patients suffering from Parkinson disease during physiotherapy
  • Sound & vision: Google Glass is being used as an additional diagnostic tool at a distance, for example in ambulances, providing medical staff with sound & vision of a patient in the first key minutes of treatment.
  • Vital signs: Telematics solutions during ambulances journeys can capture a patient’s vital signs and relay them to the doctor in real-time.
  • Smart dispensary: The Betrace pharmaceutical storage system provides secure, ID-only access to medicine in hospitals and integrates with the patient’s medical record.
  • Electronic check-in: The once-only, electronic registration via eID card at Europe Hospitals is a similar experience to express check-at the airport!
  • Added dimension: Thanks to a collaboration between radiology & orthopedics medical images can now be converted into 3D samples to help surgeons prepare for surgery, but also to train junior doctors.
  • Home recovery: The Belgian moveUP app allows patients to recover on their own terms after orthopedic surgery at home via a bracelet, tablet and personalized exercise plan.
  • Virtual Reality (VR): Tests using VR with burn victims reveal that when entering the cold environment of the SnowWorld game, patients’ neurological signals relating to pain are cut, resulting in 80% pain reduction without the need for medication! Similarly, Oncomfort (based in Brussels) uses VR to help patients manage anxiety, stress and pain during critical moments in their treatment.
  • Extended Reality (XR) is also making inroads into healthcare, with doctors and surgeons increasingly using it for medical procedures (for example, Microsoft’s HoloLens).

Thank you to all the participants and especially to Caroline Franckx and the entire Europe Hospitals team!

If you have an excellent topic for a future Alumni Connect session, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Read more about Accenture & healthcare innovation | AI is the New UI: Healthcare Experience above all

Discover Caroline’s story!

Author: Alumni Network