The Innovation Conference ‘Keys to the new healthcare system’, organized by the Institute for the Development and Integration of Healthcare (IDIS Foundation), in collaboration with Farmaindustria and Fenin, showed that innovation in healthcare technology is key to the economic development of the country and the sustainability of the healthcare system.
In this sense, it was pointed out that the recovery plans seem to anticipate new models of public-private collaboration, collaborative environments in which the role of the healthcare technology industry will be increasingly relevant as a dynamic agent of innovation and as a strategic ally of the system and of healthcare professionals.
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Innovation in healthcare technology
“Covid-19 has put accessibility to the healthcare system in check. Innovation in healthcare technology is a real catalyst for being able to treat more patients and is key to the economic development of the country and the development of the healthcare system,” explained Maria Vila, Vice President of Medtronic Spain and Portugal.
In addition, she assured that we must invest in healthcare technology. “We have had the news of the Inveat Plan with 800 million for the renewal of high-tech equipment, but we still have a long way to go”. He also specified that the Inveat Plan is limited to certain equipment. “Not everything is to buy equipment, sometimes we need digital solutions,” he said.
Lluís Blanch, coordinator of the Itemas network, wanted to highlight the contribution to innovation of the “great forgotten”, the hospitals, where there is talent, money, and patients. “Hospitals have already had innovation units for seven or eight years. Whether they are permeable to the whole hospital depends on who is in charge in the hospitals (managers and directors). If we get them interested in innovation, these units will continue to be there,” he explained.
For her part, María Elena Hernando, professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), gave her view from the academic sphere on the work of training in innovation and advocated the retention of talent. “The culture of innovation has to start moving from schools. When our students go to hospitals they arrive with an open mind and are able to think of solutions.” As for biomedical engineering, he stressed that its role is fundamental. “You can’t live progress without it being technology that helps us in diagnosis and time optimization.”
During this second round table moderated by Margarita Alfonsel, secretary-general of Fenin, the existing barriers in the field of innovation were highlighted. The first of these is the quality of the data. “Today in hospitals there is no interoperability in data, they do not communicate and it is really problematic. A lot of work needs to be done with the industry to make the data interoperable,” said the Itemas network coordinator. He also identified a second barrier: the lack of competitiveness. For this reason, he called for “more subsidies for start-ups”, as he considers it important for them to be in the territory, to put down roots and to be competitive.
Lluís Blanch identified two barriers to innovation in healthcare technology: the lack of interoperability of data and the lack of competitiveness.
The future role of healthcare technology
For the UPM professor, the future challenge in healthcare technology is to collect patient data in the least invasive way possible, involve the patient, and achieve shared decision-making. “I expect a very big boost to this joint innovation from academia, hospitals and industry”. The speakers also stressed the importance of selling this innovation, creating wealth, and being able to measure the return.
Ángel de Benito, Secretary-General of the IDIS Foundation, closed the conference by stressing that “health and healthcare results depend on the degree of innovation that we are able to bring to the healthcare system”. Finally, he assured that the driving force behind the new healthcare model must always be close public-private collaboration.
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First published in iSanidad, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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