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The Thomas Kellner
Innovation Award

Sadly, Thomas Kellner passed away in 2020.  He was recognized as someone who designed for the future, a visionary thinker. Many of us who worked with him felt he seemed five years ahead and we found it engaging to work in the gap between now and then. That battle between what is happening now and what should be happening was a challenge he relished. He was a generous man, with a strong dedication to evolving and improving healthcare systems, lifelong learning, and the experience of patients.

Innovations submitted for the 2021 Futurist Forum were reviewed, and the award selected based on criteria which GAME feels represented Thomas's approach to learning.  These include an approach to work that includes 1) networking and collaboration, 2) accurate needs assessment, 3) outcomes-based planning, 4) interdisciplinary inspiration (projects that tap in to multiple disciplines), and 5) recognition of the role of the pharmaceutical industry in lifelong learning.

2023 Awardee

GAME is proud to announce the 2023 Thomas Kellner Innovation Award was awarded at the 2023 Futurist Forum webinar to:

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The North American Innovathon team #1 explored the future role of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. They envision a scenario where clinicians collaborate with AI colleagues and patients to optimize care. The team conducted a literature search and organized focus groups with patients and healthcare professionals to understand perspectives, concerns, and levels of trust in AI. Focus group participants helped identify functions for a digital colleague, such as providing medical information and assisting in diagnosis. Concerns were raised about trust, bias, logistics, and cost. Members of the focus groups also saw the advantages that AI could provide, such as an AI digital colleague assisting with complex diagnosis, streamlining administrative processes that can slow down healthcare deliver, an AI triage system to support patients in identifying symptoms, and using AI in different forms for training and simulation at academic institutions.  The Innovathon team acknowledges limitations of their small research initiative and recommended further research and the inclusion of AI topics in future educational events led by GAME. They propose conducting a large-scale, international survey and preparing a white paper or manuscript for publication of the results.

Key Points:

  • The team explored the future role of AI in healthcare, with a focus on clinicians collaborating with AI colleagues and patients for optimal care.

  • A literature search and focus groups were conducted to understand the perspectives and concerns of patients and clinicians.

  • Functions of a digital colleague: providing medical information, performing administrative tasks, training, and assisting in complex case diagnosis.

  • Concerns raised about trust, bias, logistics, and cost.

  • Recommendations for further research and inclusion of AI topics in future educational events.

  • Proposal for a large-scale, international survey and publication.

Inaugural Awardee (2021)

GAME is proud to announce the inaugural Thomas Kellner Innovation Award was awarded at the 2021 Futurist Forum:


Thieme Stap of Radboudumc Health Academy

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For decades the relation between healthcare and science has been determined by a reductionist thinking paradigm, in which only what can be counted, really counts. We are still in that paradigm, but new voices are heard that argue we are, in fact, transitioning to a new era in healthcare that is more pluralistic, integrative and focused on learning together. The patient movement, and an omnipresent appeal for genuinely person-centered care are the main drivers for this transition.

Research methodologies that produce new forms of knowledge required to steer this transition are on the rise. Arts-based inquiry represents one promising direction thereof. At the 2021 FuturistForum we presented a combined visual, and narrative panorama for the participants to get close to the process of doing this type of research.

The qualitative research involves photographic portraits or Parkinson’s patients and their care professionals. With the use of this innovative approach, we hope to shed light on how person-centered care comes about, and may be improved by looking at it from a learning perspective. At the same time the research setting of the artist’s studio or the patient’s home provides a new learning environment for professionals to learn in. Exhibitions of the photographs also provide innovation opportunities for lifelong learning in health care and medical education.

The photographs and stories of the people portrayed will be published in a book (December 2022, contact to pre-purchase a copy).

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The research team is based in the Netherlands in the city of Nijmegen at the Radboud University Medical Center, and the research is positioned within the transformative learning research group led by Jur Koksma, and carried out in close collaboration of the hospital’s Department of Neurology:

- Thieme Stap, PhD-candidate Radboudumc Health Academy, presenter at the GAME 2021 FuturistForum

- Richard Grol, photographer, Emeritus Professor Quality of Care
- Roland Laan, director of the Radboudumc Health Academy
- Marten Munneke, Radboudumc Department of Neurology
- Bas Bloem, Radboudumc Department of Neurology
- Jur Koksma, Radboudumc Health Academy


Stap T.B., Grol R., R. Laan, Munneke M., Bloem B.R., Koksma J.J. Holding still, together: person-centered Parkinson’s care portrayed. In: Richard A., Pelowski M., Spee B.T.M. (Ed.) Art and Neurodegenerative Disease - Illuminating the Intersection of Illness and Creativity. In press.

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