innovation

Health systems across the European Union are facing numerous challenges – from the ageing of the European population and sustainable financing of health care, to great variations and inequalities in clinical practice within and between countries, a necessary and rising emphasis on patient experience and patient-centredness within health systems, and significant public health threats. The common driver shared among these challenges is the vital importance of ensuring that health systems are fully equipped with innovative care solutions in the fields of health management, performance and sustainability of healthcare systems to deliver maximum value for the resources invested in them. Therefore, to address unmet public health needs and effectively transform health care, we need to invest more on innovation in health which has the potential to create new ways of thinking and working and ultimately improve people’s health and wellbeing. These transformations will help Europe achieve universal health coverage within the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. HFE fiercely operates to encourage this change by promoting new models of delivering healthcare services that put emphasis on an innovative and patient-centric approach. Today we launch the HFE Compendium of Innovative Solutions to boost efficiency in health care , a best case compendium which offers a series of innovative solutions to address current gaps, improve health outcomes and make health care more efficient, inclusive and sustainable. As a vast proportion of resources are spent on curative services, the system has been neglecting the critical role of secondary prevention, screening and early diagnosis. Accessibility of patients to companion diagnostics, laboratory tests, home dialysis equipment and glucose monitoring systems significantly contribute to the monitoring of pathologic conditions and the identification of specific treatments as necessary. In doing so, these technologies are able to reduce the incidence of complications, save patients’ lives, enhance bodily autonomy,...
Everything we know about healthcare will be totally different in twenty years. But while breath-taking new technologies become available, I believe our most important task is to integrate them in a way that always benefits patients. Emerging medical technologies are fantastic tools with which we can completely reimagine the continuum of care. We can redesign how, when and where healthcare is delivered to improve the quality of our lives and the sustainability of healthcare systems. Artificial intelligence is the most powerful breakthrough I see in healthcare. Digital health will revolutionize prevention, diagnosis, care and long-term monitoring, profoundly transforming outcomes for patients. While there may be some reluctance to ‘trust’ machines today for both security and ethical issues which must be addressed, I may imagine a day when it would be unethical not to consult AI before making clinical decisions. There are other fields where we can see awe-inspiring progress. In nanomedicine, biomaterials, photonics and robotics, innovation is becoming a reality for patients. These technologies can combine to deliver unprecedented solutions: nanoparticles to treat cancer without using drugs, artificial pancreas to make life with diabetes simpler, exoskeletons controlled by the brain of patients with disabilities, retinal implants to treat age-related blindness, etc. Today’s health systems are mainly responsive. We are still focusing on acute, short-term responses to chronic conditions. This is inefficient. I see three ways in which technologies can transform the continuum of care for the good of patients. First, a modern health system should seek to avoid the acute phase of care through smarter prevention and earlier diagnosis. Basically, it is all about not becoming a patient, through wellness care. Second, we must optimize the management of the acute phase when it occurs. Patients who require hospitalisation should benefit from personalized approaches and a faster return to their normal...
In European countries, we have seen a rise in real health expenditure that is greater than real growth in national incomes. But, despite this, improvement s in health outcomes have been subdued. More is going in but less is coming out of health systems. To me, the key question is not only Why has this happened? It is also important to ask how we reverse the trend to achieve much better outcomes while achieving improved efficiency in health systems of Europe. We know that there are high levels of inefficiency and waste in European health systems. But there is hope: the best performing EU countries have managed to improve efficiency levels while increasing life expectancy and reducing levels of premature death. I believe innovation is the key to solving this problem. However, we are faced with a paradox between the 'delivery of innovations' and 'innovation in delivery'. The 'delivery of innovations' has been remarkable, thanks to breakthroughs in science and the digital revolution. Medical devices, medicines and health technologies are enabling more precise diagnosis, monitoring and treatment. At the same time, 'innovation in delivery' of healthcare services has been all but stagnant. This is a source of inefficiency; a failure to improve the effectiveness, equity and responsiveness of health care required to achieve better and more consistent outcomes. And so, while the world around us changes, healthcare is a laggard in terms of how it delivers services. Entertainment, communication, banking and government services have responded to technological advances to rethink how they meet the needs of citizens and consumers. We cannot afford this any longer. New funding and investment models are critically needed for transformative innovations in health systems to achieve value, ensure sustainability and protect universal health coverage enjoyed by citizens of Europe. A sustainable model By incorporating value...
Emerging technologies, innovative software and medical devices are revolutionising the healthcare industry. Decentralising clinical trial data is helping to unlock the full potential these tools by enabling people in different places to work securely on data without compromising patient privacy . One of the areas that I find most exciting is the use of predictive modelling and artificial intelligence in federated machine learning – a way to learn from data without removing it from the location where it is stored. This takes us beyond the current established concept of federated databases. By combining several new technologies, we can not only have distributed data – but also distributed 'data fictionalisation' (i.e. the learning from data). This enables owner control of the data during learning. In practice, this disruptive approach ensures that the study is built around the patient, rather than a centralized trial site. It unleashes new ways to use data, transforming how scientists conduct R&D in the discovery and management of various diseases. This new patient-centred approach means data can be collected anywhere – at a hospital or research centre, or from the patient's home using telemedicine tools. This produces data that is far more representative of a patient's real-world activities during their participation in a clinical study. Building clinical trials around patients in their homes and in the community through remote visits and monitoring, enhances recruitment and increases convenience for participants. The implementation of this decentralised research approach is well accepted by patients, offering measurable benefits. It means fewer site visits, making trial participation less daunting. Today's remote advanced technologies have provided many opportunities for healthcare organizations to enhance the overall care experience, improve the health of populations and reduce per capita healthcare costs, globally. As a result, we have seen readmissions among congestive heart failure (CHF) patients in...
heart innovation health
Given that the number of Europeans aged over 65 will double in the next 50 years, and the number of over 80 year olds will almost triple, it follows that keeping this age group in good health is a particular priority. However, European healthcare systems are at a tipping point, driven by the increasing burden of providing world-class care at a time when the long-term effects of austerity measures are putting pressure on healthcare spending. Keeping these challenges in mind, Heart Month is a good time to reflect on how breakthrough innovation in the area of healthcare can contribute to building a cohesive, prosperous and successful Europe. I spoke recently at a Friends of Europe event to discuss the McKinsey Institute report, Europe 2030 - Towards a Renewed Social Contract . McKinsey proposed that Security, Prosperity and Sustainability should be three pillars of this renewed social contract. I argued that we need to add a fourth pillar of Health, built upon disruptive technological innovation and a commitment to positive ageing. I believe that good health is at the cornerstone of a strong and prosperous Europe. It is also a reciprocal responsibility; we citizens should take personal responsibility for our own health and, in return, those running our healthcare systems should provide the best treatment for us when we are ill. However, the impact of disruptive technology in improving healthcare system sustainability for the benefit of patients is not fully appreciated in Europe. This innovation can transform medical practice, with faster procedures and reduced lengths of hospital stay. It can lead, as a consequence, to more patients benefiting; and it can even potentially reduce long-term costs, both within the healthcare system and in social care for older people. We need to rekindle our openness to healthcare innovation in Europe. Our health...
Digital technologies provide an opportunity to move musculoskeletal care to the heart of value-based healthcare. MedTech Views spoke to Satschin Bansal of Zimmer Biomet about some of the innovations that will change the field. Will digital health deliver the Holy Grail of better results for patients and better value for health systems? The technologies we have today, and those I see emerging from start-ups, are more than capable of changing musculoskeletal care. These digital tools contribute to the promise of value-based healthcare – improving patient outcomes while allowing greater cost-effectiveness. Digital health has to deliver both of these elements if it is to be adopted widely. What kinds of technologies are you thinking of? Think of rehabilitation after a knee or hip replacement. The six weeks after surgery are crucial to the patients’ quality of life after they recover. A major challenge, particularly in older patient populations, is patient compliance with physiotherapy. One of the solutions is to use wearable devices with sensors that give biofeedback to patients on whether they are bending their knee correctly or whether their mobility has improved. It can become like a “game”, making them more likely to stick to exercising. How else could technology improve rehabilitation without adding costs? The major costs of rehab are performing physiotherapy at a clinic and then later at home. The strong increase in using mobile technology also among elderly patients means physiotherapy can be delivered remotely. The physio could, for example, programme exercises for the patient to do in their own time – and then review the data afterwards. This helps each physiotherapist work more effectively with a larger number of patients – which is crucial as our population ages. In addition, further reducing length of stay in hospitals after joint replacement allows patients to return to their...