The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) today announced that WISH 2018 will take place at the Qatar National Convention Centre from November 13–14, 2018.
For the fourth time, WISH, an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), will convene its meeting of global leaders, policy-makers, and innovators in healthcare, charging them with exploring new ways to build a healthier world through collaborative efforts and the sharing of novel ideas.
WISH 2018 will focus on nine topics that highlight and address some of the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges. Groups of experts from around the world will work together to build evidence-based research on the topics in the months leading up to the summit. They will present their findings in a series of reports that will be published prior to the summit and explored during panel discussions at WISH 2018. The topics will be announced over the coming months and will focus on a range of medical, social, humanitarian, and policy-driven areas.
The biennial summit, which alternates with the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), also an initiative of QF, will feature keynote speakers drawn from both inside and outside the healthcare sector.
WISH 2018 will see the inauguration of ‘The WISH Hub’, which will provide interactive demonstrations in health-related technologies – such as robotic devices, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality – and will offer a place for summit attendees to network, take part in informal group discussion sessions, and meet the authors of WISH’s latest reports.
During a press conference held to announce the dates of WISH 2018, Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, Executive Chair of WISH, announced that applications were now open for the WISH 2018 Innovation Showcase competition – a competition that offers entrepreneurs and healthcare innovators from around the world an opportunity to display their innovative projects or products at next year’s summit. Successful applicants will be invited to Doha to be part of an Innovation Showcase gallery that will run alongside the main summit.
At the press conference, held in QF’s Headquarters in Doha, Lord Darzi was joined by Omran Hamad Al Kuwari, Executive Director, CEO Office, QF, and Khalifa Al Kubaisi, Head of Press Office, QF.
Lord Darzi said: “When, back in 2012, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, announced her intention to create WISH, she offered global healthcare leaders an exciting opportunity to come to Qatar and use WISH as a base from which to capture and disseminate the best new evidence-based, healthcare-focused ideas. As we start the build-up to our fourth summit, I think we can be proud of what we’ve achieved so far, confident that our community of leaders continues to bring about positive change through innovation in the global healthcare sector, and ambitious when exploring further ways to work together towards building a healthier world.”
Omran Al Kuwari said: “Qatar Foundation is dedicated to making Qatar a leading global center for excellence and innovation. We seek to foster collaboration across our mission areas, and WISH is a prime example of our approach in creating multi-disciplinary synergies in research and development.
“The WISH 2016 summit welcomed delegates from over 100 countries. Also in attendance were 36 health ministers, who represented 2.6 billion people, and healthcare budgets of more than $1.4 trillion. With this large-scale reach, we believe WISH can create substantial and lasting results in healthcare advocacy, research, and policy. Through close local and international partnerships, WISH is able to not only address Qatar’s national priorities, but also find solutions to global healthcare issues. WISH is an integral part of QF’s ecosystem, and we hope to continue to make breakthroughs to establish QF as an innovation hub for Qatar and the world.”
Emphasizing the importance of innovation in healthcare, Sultana Afdhal, Acting CEO, WISH, commented: “There are few areas where the need to explore fresh, disruptive ideas is as vitally important as in the global healthcare arena. Gathering innovative minds in Doha to tackle healthcare issues offers us a unique opportunity to have a profound, positive effect on the well-being of the world’s populations.
“Since our most recent summit, WISH 2016, concluded a year ago we have been translating the outcomes of that event into a range of community-based initiatives, and we’ve been extremely busy collaborating with organizations both inside and outside Qatar, such as Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health, the Carter Center in Atlanta, USA, and the Liverpool Football Club Foundation, to explore such issues as dementia, autism, patient safety, and the reporting of mental health in the media.
“This year was the turn of our sister initiative, the World Innovation Summit for Education, to take center stage, and they did so with WISE 2017 – a highly successful summit that put the spotlight on innovation in education. We are delighted to take the baton from them and to have the opportunity to host an event that puts the emphasis on innovation in the global healthcare sector next year.”