08.10.2019 | Sanna Lauslahti, Managing Director, PIF
Smart Health - solutions for healthcare needs
It is difficult to define in simple words what the transition of healthcare means. Digitalisation and data are essential drivers of the change but how to best put into words what is currently happening? One of the excellent attempts is the new concept “Smart Health”.
Smart Health as notion combines pharmaceuticals, health technologies, data and other new technologies. In addition to using technology, Smart Health is something that typically changes the processes, practices or ways in which technologies are used in healthcare. It builds a whole new kind of value chain of digitalization, data economy, health technology and pharmaceuticals.
The need to describe this phenomenon raises as we want to communicate our common aim to improve people’s well-being and bring more effective solutions to healthcare.
The European Commission has identified Smart Health as one of the important European value chains. This highlights the raising awareness of the importance of the health sector for Europe.
The health sector and the pharma industry are important for Europe in many ways. The European population is aging and there is a need for more healthcare services. The effectiveness of the healthcare systems needs constant updating.
With data and technology and the know-how to harness it, new pharmaceutical therapies can be developed and delivered better to the right patients. When innovations emerge in Europe, Europeans can benefit from them in many ways.
Currently, the EU research-based pharmaceutical sector is a key asset for the European economy, employing 115,000 people in R&D alone and 765,000 in total. We invested more than €36,5 billion in R&D across Europe in 2018 and are planning to sustain these investment levels in Europe over the next years.
Digitalisation offers many opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry, both in traditional clinical trials and in monitoring the effectiveness of therapies. At the same time, the opportunities for monitoring are improving as citizens seek and produce more information on their own well-being. Developing the operating environment means, for example, European rules for utilizing the data generated in health sector research.
It is vital for the pharmaceutical industry to have an operating environment that supports research and delivers new innovations to patients – a functioning Smart Health ecosystem.
At its best, it will bring economic prosperity to Europe. European patients will have the opportunity to be the first to benefit from new, effective therapies and the European healthcare systems are the first to focus their resources on the most effective therapies available: to deliver more health.