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It is high time to reform Europe’s healthcare systems. Converging pressures of an ageing population, the growing burden of chronic diseases and unhealthy lifestyles, shortages of healthcare workers and increased demand for care are significant challenges for the sustainability of healthcare systems.
If healthcare could be transformed by the kind of ‘disruptive innovation’ that has revolutionised other sectors of the economy, the potential efficiency and cost gains would be huge. Could this type of innovation pave the way for a much needed shake-up of our healthcare systems?
On this basis, Friends of Europe launched a one-year reflection process on disruptive innovation for health in Europe. We convened a series of high-level roundtables to examine the steps needed to create ‘disruptive models’ for overhauling and improving healthcare systems across the European Union.
This discussion paper includes the key outcomes of the roundtables as well as a number of original guest contributions from leading authors in the field, adding to the perspectives shared during the debates.
The report shows that we have the means to overcome the challenges faced by our healthcare systems. What we need now is political courage and leadership to allow a mindset shift that will drive health innovation across Europe.
The report sets out seven key recommendations:
- Use incentives to redesign health systems towards health outcomes
- Make sure that the EU leads on guidelines and standards, not just on regulation
- Use public procurement strategically to drop investment in what no longer works, and support change
- Identify what evidence is needed for investment and policy decisions
- Pay attention to supporting changes in attitudes and behaviours, as technology tools are designed to be used by people
- Ensure a free flow of data for health within Europe, as this will drive change
- Develop new business models to build successful partnerships between health and other sectors
If the mantra of Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission is to be ‘big on the big things’, the report shows that driving the development of Health 3.0 in the EU will be a fitting legacy.