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‘Embrace innovation to secure better health for all’

Source: Qatar Tribune

LANI ROSE R DIZON

DOHA

WORLD leaders and policy makers have been urged to embrace innovation to secure a better health for all people, whoever they are and wherever they live.

The call was made by experts at panel discussions and forums during the opening of the inaugural World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) in Doha on Tuesday.

The two-day summit showcases a practical range of recent innovations from around the world, including technological advancements, new business models and design-based solutions covering health issues as diverse as obesity, mental health, accountable care, big data and healthcare, antimicrobial resistance, end of life care, patient engagement, road traffic injuries as well as health and ethics.

In his keynote speech at the event, Simon Stevens, president of the Global Health division at UnitedHealth Group, which serves 85 million people in 123 nations, said, Over the next decade, groundbreaking innovation will be possible particularly if we open ourselves to innovation from both within and outside the health.

The next wave of innovations will have to be embedded in personalised, anticipatory and financially-aligned healthcare systems. We’re living at a time of enormous global change and we need to get serious about useful innovation. New technology plus organised healthcare systems equal more care delivered outside hospitals.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Myanmars National League for Democracy Chairperson Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivered the second keynote speech.

In her speech, Suu Kyi reiterated that a societys spiritual health was as important as its physical and mental health.

She added, Healthcare in Burma has been in poor shape for many decades. Our people suffer from not just the lack of material resources but also from lack of good administrative practices. This is what comes after 50 years of dictatorship. Yet, we still think that we can be a country where everybody is entitled to basic healthcare. The challenges are many. But what we need is the human spirit that will enable us to help ourselves and others. Our most valuable resource is our human resource and the kind of innovative healthcare I would follow is one rooted in human values and spirituality.

WISH Executive Chair the Right Honourable Professor Lord Darzi of Denham said, Healthcare is facing some of its greatest ever challenges and if we are to succeed in tackling them, all nations must find new and innovative ways to treat and prevent illness. We want to inspire people to take up the best ideas and implement them in countries all over the world, closing the gap between what we know and what we do. And by bringing together people with the power to make a real difference, our ambition is to help improve the health of people everywhere.

Other delegates who also spoke during the event were Qatar Foundation President Engineer Saad al Muhannadi, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, President and CEO of GE Healthcare John Dineen, Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco and His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG among others.

About 1,000 global health innovators and policy makers including heads of state, ministers, senior government officials, academics and influential business leaders from 67 countries gathered during the event to discuss innovative solutions to the most pressing global health challenges.

The summit was held under the patronage of HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.

The second and final day of the summit will include the launch of the Global Innovation Diffusion report, a ground-breaking initiative that investigates and compares how eight countries healthcare systems foster, implement and share medical innovation. The innovative research looks at how Qatar, India, Brazil, the UK, the US, Australia, Spain and South Africa diffuse the best new ideas to improve healthcare for their populations.

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