Dr L. Witkamp (1960) has been named professor by special appointment of Telemedicine at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA). The chair was established on behalf of the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG).
Leonard Witkamp is using research and education to anchor telemedicine in the healthcare system. Telemedicine refers to the use of telecommunication and information technologies to improve healthcare efficiency. Telemedicine allows patients and doctors to diagnose symptoms, communicate test results and exchange information by means of a computer system. Witkamp will also be providing scientific associations, interest groups, patients' organisations, healthcare insurers and government agencies with updates on the latest telemedical innovations. His focus is on strengthening the positions of doctors and patients through the application of ICT solutions, on better care through ICT, patient empowerment, and the various responsibility and privacy issues affecting doctors. Witkamp's efforts are based around the key principal of ‘teleMedicine = Medicine’.
His research is also focused on further development of the Health Management Research Model, a model for the development, study and implementation of telemedicine services, and in particular on telemedicine services for patients/consumers that contribute to patient empowerment and self-management. Witkamp assesses services – especially apps – developed by the medical industry in order to offer patients home support, lighten the workloads of doctors and improve the quality of care. He also assesses how the medical profession can make better use of the vast amount of health-related consumer apps to improve patient care.
Witkamp has served as director of the KSYOS TeleMedical Centre since 2005. He has also headed KYSOS Health Management research projects since 2000. Previous positions include a tenure as staff member at the AMC-UvA's Dermatology Department and head of the Dermatology Department at the St Lucas Andreas Hospital in Amsterdam.