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Editorial, Members news, /

Scaling up innovations to improve health care quality across Europe

 

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 well-being. 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 cases 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, improve the assessment and flexibility of treatment schedules and efficiency of providers’ time, and, ultimately, empower patients to enhance their own informed decisions about their health. Such innovations stand as safe, effective alternatives to hospital-based care, thus reducing hospital expenditures, the burden of device checks and follow-up assessments, and human resources. This further stresses the instrumental role of technology in transforming the workings of the healthcare sector.

Furthermore, automated solutions, the application of artificial intelligence and robotic systems represent additional ways that can help improve workflow efficiency and support health care systems’ transition to new care models, centred on people’s needs. Such innovations can bring accuracy, better planning and better assessment of risks, reducing unnecessary hospitalisations, increasing population health and, ultimately, make the system financially sustainable in the long run.

HFE counts on your support to call new policymakers to renew their commitment to make Europe the best region when it comes to public health, safety and wellnessInnovation is key to improve access and quality across the healthcare ecosystem.

The growth of new technologies, new medical equipment and diagnostic techniques requires technical know-how in addition to clinical knowledge. Hence, partnerships between patient communities, healthcare providers, academic researchers and the newly elected Parliament are key to stepping up the shift towards citizens’ engagement and widening the use of health technology systems and telehealth networks to grow innovation in the healthcare community.

Roberto Bertollini 
HFE President