Patient-Medtech Dialogue

As Europe prepares for a new, inclusive public-private partnership in healthcare, the case for patient engagement is stronger than ever. As far back as 2012, the European Patients’ Forum (EPF) and MedTech Europe sat down to think about how we could work together more closely. We came up with the Patient-Medtech Dialogue – a forum for regular interaction on topics of mutual interest. Now, more than seven years later, the need to collaborate even more closely has grown. At the most recent Patient-Medtech Dialogue workshop in Brussels, we looked at where we are today and how current trends will shape our future collaboration. The conclusion was clear: we are embarking on a new era in multi-stakeholder partnership. An ongoing collaboration among healthcare actors that demands deeper mutual understanding. In concrete terms, patients would benefit to know more about the lifecycle of medical technologies and how products are regulated and financed by health systems. Medical technology companies would benefit to better understand the value patients can bring in setting research priorities and developing products. Learning curve Patients want and should have a role in the innovative process and in conversations about regulation and access. If we are to have a truly patient-centred health system, this is obvious. Take research and innovation as an example: While patients have been playing an increasingly proactive role in medicines development – notably through a number of Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) projects – this knowledge and experience will not automatically transfer to medical devices. The European Commission and healthcare stakeholders are in the process of devising a successor to the IMI – the largest healthcare public-private partnership in the world for health research and innovation. The new public-private partnership will definitely take a much broader view of healthcare -and will seek input from patients and patient...