No one can win the fight against disease on their own (Guest blog)
I am delighted to take part in the Connecting Healthcare Debate as these discussions could not be more timely. We are reaching an inflection point: while the promises of Science and Technology are more exciting than ever, healthcare systems are facing critical efficiency and resource constraints, amplified by our ageing society.
The answers to addressing these challenges will lie in innovation, but multi-stakeholder collaboration has a pivotal role to play.
Multisectoral collaboration has definitively a role to play in the organisation and in the delivery of healthcare systems.
If we look at many of these challenges – such as dementia, increased prevalence of cancer, stroke and diabetes, there is no doubt that they require us to think differently. We cannot expect health systems designed to care for people with acute illnesses to meet the needs of large numbers of citizens living with long-term conditions. It’s time to reimagine how care is delivered.
We all try and, too often, do that in isolation; sometimes it can even be adversarial between different actors in the healthcare landscape.
Connecting healthcare is about looking at the patient’s pathway in its entirety and finding ways to work together to deliver more for the patients we serve. It will require the energy and commitment of everyone and a new mindset – being first driven by the patient’s needs.
Our aim, through Connecting Healthcare, is to look at ways of accelerating and facilitating synergies across healthcare at a pace and scale that can transform the lives of patients in Europe and build a healthier future.
We also need new innovative partnerships between the public and the private sector.
In the field of research, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is a successful example of how breaking down silos within and across sectors, pushing the boundaries of pre-competitive research, can help address complex challenges. IMI became a unique partnership model creating positive impact on healthcare systems, as well as on regulatory and medical practice.
More of that mindset would only be positive!
And we need to continue to further explore the value and potential of innovative partnership models in order to ensure long term impact. It will require to further intensify integration of other sectors in order to look into prevention, monitoring and outcome.
The days of working in silos must end, fast.
We can no longer afford to have a narrow focus when the solutions that patients require call for a broad coalition of actors.
It is in this spirit that I will take part in the Connecting healthcare Debate that will bring together thought leaders from different healthcare sectors, seeking to accelerate the shift towards a more holistic view of healthcare, drawing on the skills and knowhow of all stakeholders involved.
As we seek to add value to the lives of patients, our task is now Connecting Healthcare.