Wednesday April 17th 18:30h - 21:30h

Symposium Transforming Healthcare through Big Data


This event is free, open to all and will be in English
Date: April 17th 18:30 – 21:30 EST
Venue: Maastricht University Aula, Minderbroedersberg 4-6 Maastricht
2 accreditation points
Follow live through live-stream:
Organized by: Dr. Kamali Sadeghian, Prof. Dr. van der Hulst, Dr. Rakhorst, Dr. Schop
For more information or questions please contact  +31633457383

With the adoption of the internet and digitization of all sorts of information, Big Data has quickly become one of the biggest buzzwords of the decade. Although it has been making waves in other industries for some time, its application in healthcare is still in its formative stages. Medicine has traditionally been a science of observation and experience. For thousands of years, clinicians have integrated the knowledge of preceding generations with their own life-long experiences to treat patients according to the Hippocratic Oath; mostly based on trial and error. Over the years, the collection of health information has changed dramatically due to the Digital Revolution. Driven by record keeping, compliance and regulatory requirements, the healthcare industry has historically produced a large amount of data. While most of the data are stored in hard copy form, since the advent of health information technology (HIT), these data have emerged as a “natural resource”, that could potentially revolutionize how we deliver personalized medicine and improve healthcare outcomes. Moreover, the implementation of the electronic health records (EHR) has resulted in immense quantities of individual health data. With the creation of massive datasets (Big Data), these data hold great potential to change the whole healthcare value chain. Therefore, some argue that we are on the edge of the next revolution in medicine.

Research using healthcare big data has made a significant impact in healthcare research, resulting in changes in treatment guidelines and health policy. This being said, the concept, potential and power of big data within the medical field is still underutilized.

This symposium aims to:

  • Elaborate on the concept, potential, current practice and future perspectives of big data research in healthcare
  • Create awareness on the subject
  • Connect different stakeholders in the field and provide a platform to share their insight(s)

A variety of different questions will be answered during this symposium:




18:00 – 18:30



18:30 – 18:35

Welcome note

Dr. H.J.M.M. Mertens, Executive board MUMC+

18:35 – 18:45


Prof. Dr. R.R.J.W. van der Hulst, Head of Department Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery MUMC+

18:45 – 19:00

What is big data and how can it transform healthcare?

Parisa Kamali

19:00 – 19:15

Translating big data research into clinical practice

Prof. Dr. S.J. Lin, Harvard Medical School

19:15 – 19:30

Big data and cancer care; current state and future perspectives

Prof. Dr. V.E.P.P. Lemmens, Director of Research and Development of the Netherlands Comprehensive Cancer Organization (IKNL)

19:30 – 19:45

Coffee break


19:45 – 20:00

Claims-data; Using available data to transform healthcare

Dhr Bennema, CEO Vektis

20:00 – 20:15    

Big data in Healthcare; the role of industry

Dr. Wischmann, Innovation Program Manager in Philips Research

20:15 – 20:30

Governance of Big Data in healthcare Big Data and the implications on our privacy

Prof. Dr. Townend, professor of Law and Legal Philosophy in Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University

20:30 – 20:45

Healthcare Research in the
era of GDPR (AVG)

Mr.Rutte, Politician. Member of the House of Representatives (2e kamerlid VVD)(online)

20:45 – 21:15

Panel: how can we collaborate & Q&A

Dr. Rakhorst and speakers


What is big data and how can it transform healthcare
Dr. Parisa Kamali

Dr. Kamali will give a global overview on the concept of Big Data and how it can transform healthcare. In her presentation, she will elaborate on the background and provide a comprehensive overview of the different types of big data in healthcare. Moreover, she will elaborate on how big data research is currently transforming healthcare. This will form a bridge and an introduction of the other speakers.

Parisa Kamali is currently working as resident Emergency Medicine at the Red Cross Hospital in Beverwijk. After completing her medical education, she worked as a Senior Research Fellow and Ph.D. student at the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Harvard Medical School/BIDMC. Focusing on Big Data research and health disparities both nationally and internationally, Dr. Kamali published more than 30 original articles and presented at multiple conferences. On 17th of April 2019, she will defend her Thesis “Breast Reconstruction: Trends and Variation using Big Data”. Moreover, she is the organizer of the symposium “Transforming Healthcare Through Big Data” that will be held on the 17th of April following the defense of her Ph.D.

Translating big data research into clinical practice
Prof. Dr. S.J. Lin

Prof. Dr. Samuel J. Lin will elaborate on how big data and outcomes research have been used into clinical plastic surgical practice. He will elaborate on the different types of “big data” databases available and how it has been impacting and improving clinical care.

Dr. Samuel J. Lin is 
Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and holds appointments as an attending Plastic Surgeon with Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at BIDMC and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Lin serves as Program Director of the Harvard Plastic Surgery Residency Training Program at BIDMC, and he is co-director of the Harvard Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Fellowship at BIDMC. He serves as the Outcomes Section editor and Associate Editor on the Editorial board for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as Associate Editor for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery-Global Open.  Dr. Lin, his team, and his collaborators have regularly published scientific papers in the literature to further knowledge about plastic surgery and other topics. Dr. Lin is an active Board Member of the New England Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Bright Pink Foundations. He is actively involved in innovation, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. 

Big data and cancer care; current state and future perspectives
Prof. Dr. V. Lemmens

Measuring quality is more popular than ever before. Health care does not escape from this trend: more and more, hospitals and individual healthcare providers are being rated and compared. But does measuring health care lead to better quality of care? In this talk Prof. Dr. Lemmens will elaborate on the relation between quality of care and registry indicators. Moreover, he will touch on how the current era of big data in the form of registries, quality of care indicators and personalized care is transforming cancer care.

Prof. Dr. Valery Lemmens is head of the Department of Research & Development of the Comprehensive Cancer Organisation the Netherlands (IKNL). He is a full professor of Cancer Surveillance at Erasmus MC University Medical Centre Rotterdam. He has (co-)authored 270 international peer-reviewed articles, the majority on colorectal cancer. He has worked on several linkage studies such as the Netherlands Cancer Registry (NCR) – PHARMO linkage, and also has extensive experience in studies using pooled European data such as EUROCARE and EURECCA studies. Next to cancer-related research, he has published on the effectiveness of interventions to prevent obesity among adults.

Claims-data; Using available data to transform healthcare
Mr Bennema

In this lecture, Mr Bennema will be touching on how Vektis, the leading healthcare information provider in the Netherlands, is using healthcare claims-data to transform healthcare. What can we do with the currently available data. What are the pittfalls? What is needed to collaborate? How is Vektis using the available data to transform healthcare?

Herman Bennema is CEO of Vektis, the leading healthcare information provider in the Netherlands. Mr Bennema is an experienced executive with an inherent strength of improving businesses based on analytical insight. Under his leadership, Vektis evolved from an organization focused on collecting healthcare claims-data to an information provider for the entire healthcare system in the Netherlands. Prior to Vektis, Mr Bennema was boardmember of Solera Netherlands, specializing in automobile related claims. Herman started his career as a technical officer in the Royal Netherlands Airforce after finishing his education at the Royal Military Academie. He also holds a graduate degree in business economics. 

Big data in Healthcare; the role of industry
Dr. Wischmann

Royal Philips, together with its consortium partners, have received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program to pilot big data solutions to achieve better patient outcomes in healthcare at a lower cost. The three-year program is the largest EU-funded initiative to transform the region’s healthcare sector through the use of big data. The program aims to improve patient outcomes and increase productivity in the health sector by applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to complex datasets across the data value chain. This includes data from patients, healthcare providers, health insurers and medical technology providers. Dr. Wischmann will be elaborating on what the role of industry has shifted over the years, and how it is now a major player in the field by using big data to transform healthcare. Moreover, Dr. Wischmann will touch on the future of big data in healthcare.

Hans-Aloys Wischmann was born in Germany, studied physics in Cologne and Lyon, and joined Philips almost 28 years ago, immediately after receiving his PhD. He has held a variety of positions within research, the healthcare business, and the CTO office, including a few years of overseeing the Research lab in Suresnes, France. As the Head of Philips Research North America, together with his team, he has moved the lab in 2015 from Briarcliff Manor, NY, to Cambridge, MA – and built collaborations and partnerships in the fascinating and vibrating health-tech ecosystem there. Dr. Wischmann returned to Europe in 2017, and is currently responsible for the research programs in Healthcare Informatics and Population Health Management. 

Governance of healthcare Big Data and the implications for our privacy
Prof. Dr. Townend

Technological developments in medicine, life sciences and healthcare raise questions about governance, regulation and ethics. Linking and deep mining medical data offers tremendous opportunities for advances in healthcare. Linking data brings us one step closer to personalized medicine, but also raises questions about the implications for our privacy, our healthcare systems and our personal and collective responsibilities. This lecture will first look at the uses of data across healthcare industry, and particularly consider the possible harms that could follow the use of data. It will then consider those benefits and harms within the two concepts of privacy and property. Finally, it will see how far the current data protection and intellectual property regimes produce adequate safeguards for the various interests that operate in the area.

Dr David Townend is Professor of Law and Legal Philosophy in Health, Medicine and Life Sciences in Maastricht University. His theoretical work focuses on the relationship between autonomy and solidarity in relation to health and life science research; politeness and governance; and, on the concepts of privacy and property in research governance. His practical work focuses on data protection and privacy in medical and health research, and on the creation of effective research governance.

Healthcare Research in the era of GDPR (AVG)

Unfortunately due to personal circumstances, Mr A. Rutte will not be able to present. We are humbled and honored to announce that Mr. Leendert de Lange, politician and member of the House of Representatives (VVD) will share his views and expertise.

After four years of preparation and debate in the European Union Parliament, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May 2018. The GDPR recognizes that everyone “has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her”. The collection and use of our personal data have come under increased scrunity and public attention in recent years, the introduction of GDPR being a prime example. When it comes to medical data, how do we balance protecting patents’ data with the benefits that big data research and combined datasets bring to medical research?

Leendert Arent-Willem de Lange (born 13 November 1972) is a Dutch politician, has been a member of the House of Representatives for the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy since 31 October 2017 (VVD 2e Kamerlid). He previously served in the House between 31 March 2015 and 23 March 2017. Previously he was alderman in Noordwijk between 2006 and 2013 and in Wassenaar between 2013 and 2014 where he also served as deputy mayor.


This symposium is organized as a result of the Ph.D. dissertation of P. Kamali Sadeghian. You are welcome to the public defense on April 17th at 16:00 – 17:00 Venue: Maastricht University Aula, Minderbroedersweg 4-6 Maastricht