Mark van Gils appointed as Research Professor at VTT – in charge of artificial intelligence in Wellness and Healthcare

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​Mark van Gils (Ph.D.) has started work as a Research Professor at VTT. He will be responsible for the area of artificial intelligence in wellness and healthcare.

van Gils has previously worked as a Principal Scientist at VTT and is also a docent at Aalto University. He has strong experience in research and development in data analytics for healthcare applications. van Gils has been working in this field at VTT since 1996. His main tasks have included leading R&D in health data analytics, the coordination of research projects, the creation of an ICT portfolio for wellbeing and health technology, and leadership of a research team.

Towards a healthcare ecosystem

"Artificial intelligence potentially provides opportunities to address challenges in health care, where more and more emphasis is being placed on the role of preventive care. This requires a huge amount of data and know-how, combined with intelligent algorithms. The aim is to improve healthcare decision-making in cooperation with key stakeholders. The direction is towards larger ecosystems involving healthcare actors, industry and universities," notes Mark van Gils.

Industrialised and emerging economies experience major population and socio-economic changes that pose challenges to the current healthcare system. Our aging society and unhealthy lifestyles are examples of causes of increases in chronic illnesses, which are greatly affecting overall healthcare costs.

According to van Gils, in addition to personal care, early risk assessment and, if possible, early diagnosis are needed, even before any clear symptoms appear. "It is believed that, as it develops, artificial intelligence will help us towards meeting these challenges," he says.

"VTT has strong expertise in artificial intelligence, data analytics and sensor technologies, and their application to the area of health and wellbeing. Professor Mark van Gils will reinforce VTT's research in this important area,” says Tua Huomo, EVP of Knowledge Intensive Products and Services.