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Future of Healthcare Q1 2022

Can collaboration between public & private improve healthcare?

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Susan Treacy

Chief Executive Officer, HealthTech Ireland

The pandemic has demonstrated that when governments, organisations, regulators and the healthcare industry work together it is possible to adopt new ways of providing effective healthcare products and services rapidly and safely.

The question of what is possible from our healthcare system, and how we achieve it through collaboration and innovation, is more at the forefront of healthcare than ever before, and a key theme through the recent Health Summit.

How has the pandemic helped create a shift in healthcare?

The pandemic has highlighted the need for change and transformation in healthcare systems globally. It has also demonstrated the collaboration and work across organisations to develop and roll out the vaccinations, and is evident in the delivered medtech and digital solutions, e.g. contact tracing, and national rapid upscaling in diagnostics to meet PCR testing demand.

Healthcare organisations have demonstrated how, when given the opportunity, we can be dynamic and collaborative in delivering solutions. We have demonstrated resilience and drive and have had to ask hard questions – how do we best deliver patient solutions in this complex ecosystem? How do we continue to bring the value of health products and services to the system and patients in a collective way? These are important questions as global demands on healthcare systems continue to grow. Ireland’s healthcare costs are 25% higher than the European average despite us having a younger and healthier population than many European countries, and we are ranked joint last for telehealth maturity along with Serbia and Romania.

With public and private sectors working together we can capitalise on digital technology and deliver radical improvements.

What needs to be done for the advantages of digital health to be seen?

We in the sector know the future for health transformation is bright for Ireland. HealthTech Ireland members know that for patients to see the benefits of digital health and transformative medtech products and services, funding and effective collaboration is key. The HSE Digital Transformation Team with collaborators is facilitating this need to think differently. Martin Curley, Director, Digital Transformation HSE describes ‘How the National Digital Health Strategy ‘Leap Frog – Stay Left, Shift Left’ acts as a compass to drive coherency amongst the radical digital innovations so they combine so that the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts’.

He explains how research demonstrates that digital technologies create the opportunity to deliver 10x improvements. With public and private sectors working together we can capitalise on digital technology and deliver radical improvements.

It will be more important than ever, as we emerge from the pandemic to build on this momentum to become a leader in healthcare.

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