Professor, doctor, pharmacist - Speaker for Healthcare, Medicine and Life Sciences

Professor Harald Schmidt is a physician, pharmacist and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Personalized Medicine, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University.

On the end of medicine as we know it – and why its health has a future

After his double degree in medicine and pharmacy, he distinguished himself as an internationally recognized researcher in the fields of drug therapy, elucidation of disease causes and prevention.

As an Advanced Investigator of the European Research Council (ERC), Harald Schmidt leads several research programs, including clinical proof-of-concept studies on stroke, heart failure and hypertension; the COST Action OpenMultiMed on systems medicine, the Horizon 2020 program REPO-TRIAL.

He founded companies with which he brought therapeutics and diagnostics to market, is co-editor of the journal Network and Systems Medicine, and has authored over 200 peer-reviewed international publications, review articles, and books.

He is the editor of a textbook on drug therapy with a foreword and afterword by Eckart von Hirschhausen, who also wrote an endorsement for his current book. He conducted research together with future Nobel laureate Ferid Murad, led international teams, institutes and research centers in Germany, USA, Australia and currently in the Netherlands.

Harald Schmidt lecture topics

  1. The end of medicine as we know it

    How healthy do we want to be? We should become healthier, but avoid a pathological fixation on symptoms and pathological self-optimization.

  2. The medicine of the future

    Human instead of organ. Research for the patient. Healed instead of treated. We will evolve from the current disease system to a true health system worthy of the name. Completely new elements will be added. Prevention and prevention will be precisely and psychologically pleasantly packaged as wellness/wellbeing.

  3. The future has already begun

    Self is the diagnosis. Self is the therapy. Concrete tips on how to benefit from digital diagnostics and digital therapy today. Your digital twin. Concrete tips on how to create the first, safe version of your digital twin today. No one is really sick anymore.

Digitization in medicine, everyone’s talking about it….

But the crisis in medicine is much deeper, and so is its potential for innovation.

  • The goal cannot be to merely digitize the status quo of medicine.
  • Nor is more investment in the healthcare system necessary; on the contrary.
  • Digitization is not the key

Crisis, what crisis might you ask? Here’s a selection:

  • We understand virtually no disease in terms of its causes
  • As a result, most patients do not benefit from their medicine
  • Because diseases are not cured, they become chronic
  • Healthy life expectancy begins to decline
  • We invest only 1% of our health expenditure in preventive care
  • We do not have a health system but a disease system
  • Men and the socially worse off live up to 12 years shorter
  • Our health care system is full of misdirected incentives, wastes money
  • Biomedical research has only wrong incentives and is ineffective.
  • Our current concept of having a specialist for every organ is a dead end

What needs to change, far beyond digitization?

  • Innovative systems medicine based on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.
  • New definitions of disease, by causes, not symptoms in organs
  • Much more investment in personalized preventive care
  • Abolition of all misaligned incentives and unnecessary costs in health care
  • Completely new research funding and career parameters in university medicine
  • In short: cure instead of treat

As a critical analyst, Harald Schmidt recognized the broad conceptual crisis in medicine and emerged as one of the pioneers of systems medicine, i.e., a complete redefinition of what we even call a “disease,” how we organize medicine, and we use Big Data to heal instead of treat, to prevent instead of cure.

Harald Schmidt is a dedicated, wooed panel speaker, podcaster, screencaster and initiator of the German-language platform. His hobbies are sports, he was a soccer referee for a long time, social engagement e.g. with Rotary International especially for homeless people, e.g. in the Homeless World Cup, and is interested in socially critical and political contemporary art; so much so that he himself has started to build up a small oeuvre ( and had first exhibitions.