Event summary, /

29 November 2011 – Health First Europe (HFE) organised its Innovation Day 2011 in the European Parliament gathering support from Parliamentary members for the need to research the drivers of innovation in healthcare. On this occasion, HFE launched its publication “Overcoming Barriers to Innovation in Health: Examining the drivers of innovation” which calls upon the European Commission to examine the value chain of innovation – from identifying where gaps in quality of care exist, to determining where best practices have occurred and how such practices can be utilised to address gaps in Member States.

In order to facilitate a comprehensive exchange and adoption of best practices in health innovation, delegations of HFE members including patients, healthcare professionals, hospitals and the medical technology industry together met with policymakers to discuss HFE’s publication, focusing on the adoption of best practices so that greater efficiency and better patient outcomes can be more easily achieved.

John Bowis, Honorary President of Health First Europe expressed:

“Health First Europe’s Innovation Day raised awareness about the important role the European Parliament has to play in encouraging the European Commission to undertake research in healthcare innovation. The meetings held between policymakers and HFE delegations focused on the importance of clearly identifying, validating and sharing best practices throughout the EU. The European Commission can add value to Member States by making data of this kind readily available so as to support the implementation of initiatives which will help to achieve a smart, sustainable and inclusive European economy. We are pleased to see that our initiative has received support from policymakers and we look forward to seeing this research undertaken as part of upcoming discussions in the Parliament on research and innovation.”

Concentrating research on a few key areas of concern, such as patient safety (healthcare associated infections) and chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, would provide significant insight into the factors which both drive and prevent access to innovation in health. The research would necessitate taking account of the disparities between member states, identifying the barriers to access, validating best practice and communicating these best practices throughout the EU. Health First Europe believes that innovative research of this kind could create a comprehensive exchange and adoption of best practices between Member States thus promoting the growth of innovation in healthcare throughout the Community.

HFE encourages the European Commission to undertake this research and calls upon policymakers throughout the EU to support examining the drivers of innovation as part of the upcoming discussions on the Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding and the Health for Growth Programme 2014-2020.

Click here to read “Overcoming Barriers to Innovation in Health: Examining the drivers of innovation”.