International Advisors

Walid Abbas Zaher

Walid Abbas Zaher

Group Clinical Research & Innovation Director
Corporate Academic affairs and Research Department Abu Dhabi Health Services Company - SEHA

Walid Zaher, Corporate Group Clinical Research & Innovation Director, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company – (SEHA). Graduated with bachelors of medicine and surgery from Saudi Arabia with a residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology, followed by master degrees in medical education, anatomy & embryology and bioscience technology, A PhD in regenerative Medicine from Denmark, followed by photo-medicine attachment at Harvard-MGH (Boston-USA). Before joining SEHA, Walid was the director of the college of medicine research centers at king Saud University (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), a consultant for the Saudi 2020 national biotechnology and infectious disease plan and an assistant professor of regenerative medicine.

Atif Al Braiki

Atif Al Braiki, Masters of Science (MS) in Computer Engineering – Syracuse University
Chief Executive Officer
Abu Dhabi Health Data Services LLC (Malaffi)

Prior to joining Malaffi, Mr. Al Braiki was the Director of Strategic Projects at Injazat Data Systems, where he was responsible for developing and incubating strategic Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects with key government clients, in addition to defining business models that satisfy client requirements and building relevant business cases, partnerships, and financial models. 

Previously, Mr. Al Braiki held various roles in Zakum Development Company (ZADCO) and Applications Group Manager at C4 Advanced Solutions (C4AS), where he led software development delivery capabilities for one of C4AS’s main managed services accounts, in addition to overseeing and ensuring the successful delivery of various software development projects. 

Mr. Al Braiki holds a M.Sc. in Computer Engineering and a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering and Information Management & Technology from Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA. He is also a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) under the Project Management Institute (PMI) and a Certified Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation v3 practitioner. 

Shawna Butler

Shawna Butler, RN MBA
Nurse Economist. Tech Enthusiast.

As the creator of the  EntrepreNURSE-in-Residence role at Radboud University Medical Center (Netherlands) and part of the Exponential Medicine team at Singularity University (US), Shawna works with the pioneers in the thick of integrating robotics, 3D printing, drones, AI, blended reality, voice recognition, digital humans, big data and sensors into our health solutions and lifestyles. Her various roles have taken her across the world and given her an unusually broad understanding of systemic health, care, and social challenges, and the impact technology and policy have on people, professionals, and populations. She is the energy behind the global EntrepreNURSE movement and host of See You Now (a podcast project of Johnson & Johnson and the American Nurses Association) dedicated to activating nurses in health transformation agendas as discovery engines, inventors, collaborators, scale agents, and policy shapers and makers.  

Herko Coomans

Herko Coomans
International Digital Health Coordinator
Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports

Herko Coomans is a digital health policy coordinator who builds international alliances and partnerships at the Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in The Hague. He is an advocate of less talk and more action, challenging himself and those around him to go outside their comfort-zone. He spent 2013-2017 creating and enabling the National Health Information Council, the ‘whole system in the room’, public-private governance council setting the course for patient access, interoperability and health information exchange in The Netherlands. He has 15 years' experience with e-government development, but has found his heart is in digital health and innovation.

Claus Duedal Pedersen

Claus Duedal Pedersen, Master of Economic 
Chief Consultant
Odense University Hospital

Mr. Pedersen graduated from the University of Southern Denmark with a master’s degree in Economics in 1995.  

He is currently Chief Consultant at the Centre for Innovative Medical Technology at OUH Odense University Hospital. OUH is the largest hospital in Denmark with 1.300 beds and more than 900.000 out-patient consultations every year. At the hospital, he is in charge of CIMT (Centre for Innovative Medical Technology), a joint research centre between OUH and the University of Southern Denmark. 

In this position, Claus Duedal Pedersen is in charge of development, testing and implementation of telemedicine and eHealth solutions in a wide range of areas within the hospital. Over the last 4 – 5 years, various telemedicine solutions have moved from pilot phase to daily practice. The solutions have primarily focused on improving the cooperation between the hospital, the primary care sector and the patients. 

Examples of solutions deployed in this period are home-hospitalisation of COPD patients; videoconference based language interpretation and a shared care system for diabetic foot ulcer patients between homecare and hospital experts. Many of the solutions have been developed within EU projects and have been evaluated at large scale and in RCTs as part of the EU project RENEWING HEALTH. 

Claus was Project Manager of the Methotelemed project that developed the MAST evaluation model for telemedicine solutions. Previously, Claus worked in MedCom - the national Danish organisation for implementation of electronic communication in the health and social care sector. From 2000 to 2003 he was in charge of establishing the national Danish IP-based healthcare network. Then, from 2003 to 2008, he headed MedCom’s International Department as well as being a Project Manager of a number of EU projects. He was the Coordinator of the MasterMind CIP Pilot A project, and is currently coordinating the ImpleMentAll Horizon2020 project.

Osama Elhassan

Osama Elhassan, PhD., Msc.
Specialist, Health Informatics & Smart Health Dept.
Dubai Health Authority

Dr. Osama Elhassan is a co-founder and the vice-chair of Emirates Health Informatics Society. He serves as a Health Informatics Specialist at Dubai Health Authority to strategize and develop the digital health regulatory framework of Dubai. Dr Elhassan is also the co-founder and the coordinator of the GCC Taskforce on Workforce Development in Digital Healthcare, which aims at empowering young local talents to enact eHealth roles through continuous training and rewarding career paths. He also contributes to academia through his adjunct lecturer role at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University.

Dr Elhassan obtained a PhD in Software Engineering from University of Leicester and an MSc in Advanced Computing from Imperial College in UK. Throughout his 15 years journey within the healthcare domain, Dr Elhassan gained substantial experience in eHealth workforce development, Health Information Exchange models, Health Information Governance and Tele-Health.

David Elvira-Martinez

David Elvira-Martinez, MSc in Economics
Health Economist and Health Policy Advisor

I am an experienced health economist with a strong institutional background as a top healthcare policymaker with in depth knowledge of market access and public affairs activities in the pharmaceutical sector, and with an extensive international consultancy experience related to healthcare system policies, pharmaceutical business, healthcare reimbursement systems and economic evaluation methods. My main responsibilities included carrying out top management duties in several public healthcare organizations and regional ministries in Spain as well as lobbying entities. Moreover, I have been in charge of advising at regional (Catalonia), national (Spain) and international (World Health Organization) levels for healthcare policy planning and financing. I have 13 years teaching experience as an Adjunct Faculty Professor in several universities in Spain with over 20 scientific publications as well as experience as a visiting researcher overseas.

Fenna Heyning

Fenna Heyning, MD, PhD
Director STZ association of top clinical hospitals | Internist-Hematologist 

More quality, less waste. It is my ambition to translate Michael Porter's ideas into concrete improvements in hospital care. As an internist hematologist, I first focused on helping the patient, but now I focus on improving the system. Innovation, both medical-technological and organizational and social, is crucial. Empathy and medical leadership are key words.

For me, art is also an important source of inspiration. Through the foundation medicine art, we also bring innovative and interactive art to patients and their loved ones, see

Hans Vanderwyngaerde

Hans Vandewyngaerde 
President HCIS Division and Region Europe/Brazil
Agfa HealthCare

Hans Vandewyngaerde (Belgian) joined Agfa HealthCare in 2004 and held several management roles in Europe and Growth Markets. Hans today also leads the Business Development efforts in Integrated Care as well as the EMR division. Prior to joining Agfa, Hans held management positions in medical devices and telecom.

Sinisa Varga

Siniša Varga, Doctor of Medical Dentistry
Member of Croatian Parliament
Croatian Parliament

Master’s degree in Health Resources Management, Quality Systems Manager and Auditor, Doctor of Medical Dentistry, Prosthodontics Specialist, senior consultant. 

Over 26 years of relevant professional work experience as provider of health services and senior manager in tertiary care hospital; payer of health services as Director of National Health Insurance Fund; policy maker as Minister of Health and Deputy Minister of Health; and international consultant for health care reforms in close communication with international organizations, government institutions and non-governmental organizations.

Over 13 years of work experience in health care restructuring activities including designing and executing the National Plan for the Development of Clinical Hospital Centers, Clinical Hospitals, Clinics and General Hospitals in the Republic of Croatia from 2014 to 2016 (Health Care Network Optimization Plan - Masterplan); Reform of health organization payment systems; Realigning role of family medicine centers; Emergency Medicine reforms; Health institution financial rehabilitation.

He has extensive knowledge and experience as a consultant involved in reforms for numerous projects in Western Europe, Central or Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans countries: Croatia, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Latvia, North Macedonia and Georgia.

English and Croatian are spoken as a first language.