EHMA COVID Webinar featuring To-Reach. Better health systems and policies revealed from research and innovation

2 September 2020

The EHMA COVID webinar of the 1st of September that featured To-Reach focused on the challenges facing health systems and that the pandemic has highlighted and on how a framework that facilitates policy and innovation transfer can be a game changer. This is what To-Reach has been working on. The webinar’s keynote speaker from the To-Reach consortium have been:

  • Sabrina Montante, Senior Advisor- EU Affairs, ISS – National Institute of Health of Italy and TO-REACH project coordinator, Brussels
  • Marius Ungureanu, MD PhD, Director of Education – Department of Public Health, Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania

The Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) that To-Reach developed proposes two interlinked types of priority research:

To get to the SRA, the To-Reach consortium first a mapped key policy documents on strategic roadmaps; then national roundtable experts’ consultations took place; finally, online consultations with the wider scientific stakeholder communities were launched.

The core of the SRA is structured around a number of key priority areas of :

Many of the challenges that we’re facing with COVID are not new. They were already present and the pandemic only uncovered them more. These issues include population ageing, accelerated advances in biomed tech, growing consumers expectations, healthcare professionals’ shortages & uneven distributions, and persistent health and financial inequalities and inequities. COVID also highlighted how health and care systems are key translators of innovation, the latter intended as a feature that organisations need to incorporate to have efficient and sustainable solutions. To-Reach aims at identifying innovation, promoting and understanding how to promote innovation and innovation transfer while providing the conceptual frameworks to do that.

The key elements of scaling and transferring innovation are 1) knowing the characteristics of the innovation and its originating system, 2) translating and adapting to the receiving system, 3) setting up the decision making and implementation process, 4) analysis of the effects and performance on the receiving system.

In the future the EU and national systems will be able to respond more coherently to events such as pandemics hopefully. Coordination and integration of health systems in the future could lead to healthier populations and in this process, it will be important to involve non-experts that are impacted by the themes of To-Reach and communicate with each of the involved stakeholders by fine-tuning the message also based on their perspective.

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