Jeanette gained experience as a health care consultant
Oftentimes, semester projects are mainly relevant for the project group and the instructor, but Jeanette and her group, who are doing a graduate degree in CBS’ new MSc Innovation in Health Care programme, have succeeded in going beyond that.
Jeanette’s group was asked to find innovative solutions for early identification of dementia among City of Copenhagen residents. Their final report presented useful suggestions, drawing praise from the City of Copenhagen. The group was also asked to present its innovative ideas to KMD, an IT company. Moreover they were encouraged to participate in a conference with their presentation in September.
“We had to present our final project to the local authorities, which was challenging, also because we had to mention the things that didn’t work. But it was fun to gain experience as a consultant,” explains Jeanette, 26, about their collaboration with the City of Copenhagen.
Experience with creative solutions
During the second semester of the MSc Innovation in Health Care, students are expected to solve specific challenges within the health care sector in groups. To make the programme as practical as possible, there is a close collaboration with the City of Copenhagen, hospitals in the Capital Region of Denmark and with businesses.
Jeanette holds a bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of Copenhagen and is one of the fifty students who was admitted to the new health care programme when it started in the spring of 2016.
A key aspect of Jeanette and her group’s semester project was to focus on ageing and early identification of dementia. The project was based on a detailed analysis of people with dementia, their families and health care staff.
“We interviewed someone knowledgeable about dementia who opened our eyes to the complexity of the real world compared to the picture presented in brochures,” she says, continuing:
“It was exciting to work with a current issue and to talk to people in the field about the challenges they face. We felt their commitment and their need for new ideas and initiatives. That motivated me tremendously.”
Jeanette felt that the project involved working highly independently. While doing her bachelor project she was trained more to do research, but this project focused more on coming up with specific creative solutions, like a consultant does.
New look, different perspective
“The students gave us a different perspective. It was great to get an outside viewpoint,” says Berit Soon Olsen, who is a dementia consultant for the City of Copenhagen and who also served as the CBS group’s contact person.
Research shows that less than half of residents who have dementia are examined. Because the disease is taboo, emphasises Soon Olsen. Treatment may otherwise help delay or reduce the symptoms of dementia.
“Dementia can be difficult to talk about, which is why moving the focus from discussing dementia to talking about old age in general when approaching residents was a good suggestion. What’s normal and what’s not,” she adds.
In addition to this new perspective, Jeanette and her group recommended an IT solution to help compile information about the individual person. Often, multiple groups of staff are involved in the individual’s case and if they don’t share their experiences, knowledge is lost.
“Dementia can be identified simply by putting information about the individual together. If the staff who visit the home do not communicate with each other, however, then doing so becomes difficult. The group’s IT solution, which involves knowledge sharing, is an extremely relevant way of addressing the issue,” says Soon Olsen.
She also encourages students to “reach out and be persistent” when they collaborate with companies.
“Even though students find themselves in the midst of a busy workplace, they should definitely not refrain from asking questions,” she explains, adding that she is convinced that she would like to take part in another, future study project.
Many students get the chance to write their thesis with a collaborator
An external grant ensures that the MSc Innovative Health Care will be as practical as possible. For example, the project group is affiliated with an academic advisor and a practical advisor, both of whom are knowledgeable about the health care system.
CBS Associate Professor Till Winkler and part-time CBS Associate Professor and health care consultant Susie Ruff worked jointly as the advisors on the dementia project.
The programme director for Msc Innovation in Health Care, Professor Finn Valentin, is terribly pleased that the students were able to produce results for the project’s partner in just six months.
“The health care system is difficult to enter into a dialgue with, which is why it’s crucial that extensive collaboration goes on between the Capital Region of Denmark, universities and the local authorities. We’ve managed to be more experimental because our partners have joined forces to open doors and engage in close collaboration. But, collaboration, also makes the programme ressource-intensive,” states Valentin. He also sees that an added benefit for the students is how multiple collaborators have encouraged students to return and wirte their thesis.
In recent years the health care sector has undergone major changes and has called for a programme that teaches students to innovate the health care system.
“If you ask Novo Nordisk where their innovation department is they immediately respond ‘Building 4’. If you ask a modern hospital, they say ’Everywhere’, which ia acually nowhere. The sector does not possess an inherent capacity to work systematically with innovation, ” explains Valentin, who describes the new MSc programme’s goal:
“The programme, which is the first graduate degree of its kind, digs deeply into the health care system, equipping students with knowledge about innovation, business economics, management, IT and design. Today, these areas are currently separate blocks of knowledge that do not communicate well together. But we’ve taken on the task of getting these knowledge areas to connect.”
Does the programme sound tempting? Read more about it and how to register: MSc in Business Administration and Innovation in Health Care
Do you already have a good idea for solving a health care challenge? Then sign up for Copenhagen Health Innovation’s (CHI) incubator sessions for students and get help to turn the idea into reality. Deadline 1 February 2018.
Facts about Innovation in Health Care
Working with health care challenges has been made possible by Copenhagen Health Innovation – a partnership between CBS, the Technical University of Denmark, the University of Copenhagen, the City of Copenhagen and the Capital Region of Denmark, which creates innovation in health care through education. The activities are funded in part by the European Social Fund and Regionale Erhvervsudviklingsmidler, which provides funding for regional commercial development.
In the spring, Charlotte Piester and Marianne Rosager, two instructors from the programme, will publish an international textbook called MedTech Marketing.
The four members of the project group
Jeanette Andresen holds a bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of Copenhagen
Volha Samusevich from Belarus holds a bachelor’s degree from CBS
Michelle Romero holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Ecuador and has ten years’ work experience
Mirko Kosic is a trained physiotherapist from Montenegro.
For more information, please contact:
Professor at CBS Finn Valentin
Journalist ved CBS Matilde Hørmand-Pallesen