The 4th International Health Congress took place on 11th and 12th May 2018 at the School of Health Sciences of the Polytechnic of Leiria, Portugal. It was organized by the Center for Innovative Care and Health Technology (ciTechCare). This year around 350 professionals, students and researchers from health-related fields participated in a congress that contributed significantly to the discussion on current and emerging topics related to the main theme: “Global Health Trends”. Delegates from 16 countries from all five continents took part in 43 sessions and 363 communications on the most diverse topics. They ranged from healthcare provision to service management, materials and product engineering, nutrition, pharmaceutics, teaching and training of healthcare professionals, among many others. The plenary sessions, given by nationally and internationally renowned speakers, lead to the discussion and development of topics associated with challenges facing health, emerging health threats, health trends in an ageing society and research based on the practice and promotion of innovation in health education. All the papers presented will be published in a special supplement of BMC Health Services Research (Thomson Reuters, ISI, FI 1.61).