Technological advances in healthcare - The key to fighting health inequalities?
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Europe is facing serious healthcare challenges. Ageing and the increase in chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and brain conditions are increasing costs to potentially unsustainable levels, raising the risk of unequal access to care for patients across the EU. And losing our ability to protect ourselves against infectious diseases is exposing us to new risks and threats.
The Covid-19 pandemic underlined the widespread impact of inequalities on health outcomes. Factors such as age, race, socio-economic group, geography, and pre-existing health conditions all contributed to a vastly unequal 'experience' of the pandemic. But it became clear during the pandemic that coordinating health research and innovation among European countries can help reduce health inequalities.
The European Union's investment in research, technology and innovation is leading to improvements in the generation of harmonised data for risk assessment, advancement of technologies, better informed decision-making, and production of knowledge. For example, with the use of new medical technologies in diagnostics, it is possible to improve clinical decision-making and treatment choice. All these improvements contribute to a more cost-effective and sustainable healthcare system.
The EU is also taking other practical steps to reduce healthcare inequalities, notably via its €5.1 billion EU4Health 2021-27 strategy. This is complimented by Member States putting forward their own national strategies to tackle inequalities.
Join this EURACTIV Hybrid Conference to discuss the role of research and innovation in the healthcare sector, most notably in fighting health inequalities. Questions to be discussed include:
- What are the biggest health inequalities and consequent challenges across the EU? How are different Member States tackling them?
- How have new technologies helped achieve notable improvements at local level?
- In which ways can innovations in diagnosis contribute to strengthening the health of individuals and communities while combating inequalities?
- What have we learned from Covid-19 in fighting inequalities?
Brussels Network Office - International Press Centre
1 Bd Charlemagne // 2nd floor
Deputy Head of Corporate Communications Europe, Head of Public Affairs Europe, Fujifilm
Policy Officer, Health Innovations & Ecosystems, DG RTD, European Commission
Tomislav Sokol MEP
Member COVI Committee, Substitute ENVI Committee, European Parliament
Health advocate and project lead of the AHEAD Consortium, Wemos
Head of Policy, Public Health Alliance (EPHA)
Dr. Alistair Fraser
Co-Chair of the Advisory Board, Faculty of Remote Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
12:00 - 12:30 Registration of participants
12:30 - 12:35 Welcome
12:35 - 12:50 Panellist statements
12:50 - 13:40 Discussion and Q&A
13:40 - 13:45 Closing statements
Followed by a light networking lunch.
Health technologies have the potential to reduce inequalities in healthcare - but only if they are designed to address underlying social determinants and are accessible to all, according to policymakers.