It’s already been a few weeks now, but the 2nd of June we had the graduation ceremony for all international master students in Aula Medica at Karolinska Institutet. It’s always a very nice ceremony, but this year it was extra special for me. Since I’m now the programme director for the health informatics master programme, it’s my job to give a speach congratulating our graduates. I was surprisingly nervous about this. It’s such an important occasion in our students lives and I wanted to live up to their expectations. So I thought long and hard on what I wanted to say. Panicked. Asked for help. And finally decided to just go with what I want them to remember as they leave KI – why they are needed!

Dear Health Informatics graduates of 2017!

I am so very proud to see you all here today.

Two years ago, when we first met in Widerströmska huset, some of you were probably a bit nervous, wondering what you were getting yourselves into… what does it mean to be a health informatician? What will I be able to do with my degree?

I’d like to think that you have a somewhat clearer picture of what roles a health informatician can take today – but I bet some of you are still a little nervous. What happens next? And I want to reassure you – regardless of where you are heading as you leave us – you are needed!

Healthcare needs you – current and future health systems around the world (not just across the street at Nya Karolinska) are not sustainable anymore without eHealth.

Physicians, nurses, physiotherapists – all health and social care professionals – need you to design and implement eHealth that actually supports their daily work. eHealth should be Facilitating not Frustrating!

Industry needs you – vendors and developers of eHealth needs your insight into healthcare work processes, your knowledge of standards, information modeling, usability, project management and implementation.

Decision makers, managers and governing organizations need you to provide evidence on the impact and usefulness of eHealth interventions.

Finally, we patients need you. We family carers need you.  – we need flexible, usable and empowering eHealth tools to help us communicate, learn, navigate and manage not only our illnesses but also the complex and to be honest far from ideal healthcare systems.

So whether you aim to design, develop, implement, evaluate, research or educate – you are needed.

When you leave Karolinska Insitutet today, make sure you make a difference. Ok – you can take a couple of days (or weeks?) off to celebrate this important step in your life and career – but then I NEED you to take all the tools and knowledge and experience you have gained over the last two years – “your Health Informatics super powers” – and make sure that eHealth and health informatics of the future helps transform healthcare into a better, safer, more efficient and a little less frustrating place for all of us.

I challenge you to go out and make me even prouder than I am today!

Thank you!


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