Digital revolution in healthcare
Prof. Dr. Niels H. Chavannes MD, PhD, graduated in Medicine at Maastricht University in 1998. He combined his specialization as a Family Physician (2003) with several diagnostic and therapeutic studies in primary care, resulting in his 2005 PhD thesis: “Tracking and treating COPD in Primary Care: An integrated approach to diagnosis and therapy” at the CAPHRI Research Institute of Maastricht University, the Netherlands.
In Rotterdam he was involved in setting up an innovative multidisciplinary health care center in a deprived area since 2003, and worked there as a Family Physician for four years. In 2006 his team received the National Public Health Stimulation Award (2006) for the Kroonluchter Project, implementing a highly successful integrated COPD management program. In 2008, this was followed by two years as a Consultant Family Physician at United Family Hospital in Shanghai, China, combined with an Assistant Professorship at Leiden University Medical Center. In 2010 he returned to the Netherlands as an Associate Professor, coordinating several (inter)national clinical research projects, and teaching on chronic disease management, eHealth and mHealth applicability, therapy adherence, and smoking cessation strategies.
In 2015 he was appointed as a Full Professor of Primary Care Medicine, Strategic Chair of eHealth Applications in Disease Management, and in 2016 he became Head of Research at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center. He is also appointed as Visiting Professor at the Respiratory Research Institute at Fudan University, Shanghai, China. He has been supervising 23 PhD students, of whom 5 recently have graduated, one cum laude. His multidisciplinary team currently consists of 8 postdocs with clinical, psychological, epidemiological and biomedical expertise, and several projects are embedded in the Medical Delta eHealth Institute, of which Chavannes is one of the founders.
He enjoys working as a part-time Family Physician in his residence Zeist, the Netherlands, and is the Vice-Chair of the Dutch Asthma and COPD Advisory Group (CAHAG) and the National Advisor of the Dutch Action Program on Chronic Lung Diseases of the Lung Alliance Netherlands (LAN). In March 2018 he opened the National eHealth Living Lab, a patient-centered multidisciplinary Open Science institute to scale up eHealth initiatives in an evidence-based manner, using innovative eHealth methodology and stimulating public-private partnerships.