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International Association of CyberPsychology, Training & Rehabilitation (iACToR)

Conference Participation Report Fall/Winter 2011 European Health Forum Gastein Bad Hofgastein, Austria / October 5-8, 2011 The 14th annual European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) was held October 5-8, 2011, in Bad Hofgastein, Austria, with this year’s theme of “Innovation and Wellbeing – European Health in 2020 and beyond.” EU Health Commissioner John Dalli, EC Director Generals Paola Testori Coggi and Robert Madelin, and Zsuzsanna Jakab, Regional Director of World Health Organization Europe, were among some 600 experts who attended the conference. The basis for Gastein's typically practical and open debate was Europe's aging, and ailing, population – described by one speaker as a “demographic time-bomb” – which is straining all European health budgets. Six parallel forum discussions took place on Health Technology Assessment, Towards Health in 2020, Non-communicable Diseases, European Innovation Partnership on Active and


The 2nd Annual World Health Care Congress Middle East

Healthy Ageing, and Harnessing Europe’s Social Innovation Potential in Health. There was a particular emphasis on a topic dear to the heart of the Forum's Founder-President, Prof. Dr. Günther Leiner, who denounced a high level of unnecessary diagnostic and surgical procedures. The forum also focused on dealing with the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases. These types of diseases have become a growing problem even outside the wealthy West, the EHFG noted, and call for due attention. Commissioner Dalli backed a plea for more preventive medicine, with doctors actively discouraging smoking. Several experts called for a complete EU-wide tobacco ban. There was also lively debate about the effect of misinformation on the Internet on what experts called a growing "confidence gap" in vaccinations. For more information on the conference, visit

Games for Health Europe Amsterdam, Netherlands / October 24-25, 2011

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates / December 11-13, 2011 The 2nd Annual World Health Care Congress Middle East (WHCC ME), co-sponsored by the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), was a global event in which over 600 healthcare, government and corporate leaders from over 25 countries came together to define objectives and frame solutions to the challenges of healthcare reform, cost, quality and delivery.

The first annual Games for Health Europe conference, which took place in Amsterdam on October 24-25, was a great success. The conference brought together medical professionals, academics and industry leaders and featured 468 attendees, 72 speakers, 24 partner companies and 22 ground exhibitors. Nine keynote speakers from various fields presented their visions of the future for serious games for healthcare.

The 2011 WHCC ME Congress featured the top innovative leaders and industry influencers including health ministers, leading government officials, hospital directors, health system and hospital providers, patient safety directors, disease management professionals and health and wellness experts, chief financial leaders, IT and mHealth innovators, decision makers from public and private insurance funds, investment and venture capital principals, pharmaceutical and biotech executives, and healthcare industry suppliers.

Presenters included diverse specialists such as Ben Sawyer, the founder of Games for Health in the U.S., Adam Gazzaley, a cognitive neuroscientist who presented some remarkable discoveries on the link between games and cognition, Jan-Willem Huisman, CEO of IJsfontein (a successful Dutch serious games company) and Bertalan Mesco, founder of Scienceroll blog, and successful practitioner of both medicine and new media.

The WHCC ME agenda featured debates, case studies and best practices from all industry sectors to identify innovative strategies to improve the overall delivery of healthcare. This unparalleled networking event puts together senior executives to meet and strategize on the crucial steps necessary to adapt their health systems to operate more efficiently to decrease the cost of care, enhance the delivery of service and improve the patient experience.

The main theme of the conference was “How Games & Simulations Can Improve Health(care) and Make it Affordable” and topics discussed included rehabilitation games, exergaming, active gaming and fitness, and medical education, training, modeling and simulation. The next Games for Health Europe will take place November 5-6, 2012 in Amsterdam.

For more information, visit

For more information, visit

CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation, Issue 4 (4), Winter 2011.  

CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation Magazine (C&R), the official voice of the International Association of CyberPsychology, Training & Rehabilitat...