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Making Healthcare Systems More Sustainable Through Integrated Care – Brief Outcome from COCIR Successful eHealth Summit


05 Feb 2016


Health & Consumers
BRUSSELS – 5 February 2016 – The second annual COCIR* eHealth Summit took place last week in Brussels, Belgium, in cooperation with the European Commission and in partnership with European Hospital and Healthcare Foundation (HOPE) and the European Patients Forum (EPF). This year high level speakers and participants shared their insights on integrated care as a response to some of the most  pressing  challenges  currently  faced  by  healthcare  systems. The  audience and speakers came from various stakeholders, including high level representation from European Commission, European Parliament and State Secretaries of various EU  countries, national and regional policy-makers, scientific societies and healthcare professionals, civil society, industry and prestigious international organizations.
During the Summit speakers shared their experience on integrated care around Europe and beyond. Discussions focused on how to break down the silos and deliver more holistic, responsive care to a constantly growing ageing population. The European Commission communicated on the  importance of integrated care and bringing the health and social care ecosystems  together.  But it was acknowledged  that, in order to succeed, there is a need for deeper patient and informal carers engagement. This shift to more  integrated  care  will  require overcoming  regulatory,  and  organisational  barriers, systems’ re-designed  and developing new payment models, but, most importantly it will require  a significant cultural  change and a new  mind-set.  As  Clemens-Martin  Auer,  Chair  of  the  EU eHealth  Network,  explained  “Integrated  Care  is  not just  about  changing  policies but also integrating people and changing culture, which is still a challenge today”.
Scaling  up  digital  innovation  across  health systems to enable care coordination was also discussed at large during the summit. In this sense participants highlighted the importance of meeting users’ demands, develop business models to  make  it  sustainable  and  measure  the  value of technology  in  terms  of  costeffectiveness  and better health outcomes, including patient reported outcomes and patient experience. In this regard, European  Commission, pointed out that evaluation methodologies for digital health, as well as regulatory decision-making processes, were not keeping up with the disruption of eHealth innovations.
Finally,  participants  stressed  the need  to  build  trust  among  the  different stakeholders and exchanged their views about the implications of the new General Data  Protection Regulation  for  the  development of digital  health.  Roberto  Viola, Director General at European Commission, DG Connect, called for a data-centric society and highlighted the importance of the health sector, as part of the Digital Single Market strategy, to show the benefits of technological innovation. 
In the context of the Summit, a closed door lunch was steered  with  senior representatives of our industries together with representatives of Member States and  other stakeholders  and  partners  with  introductory  remarks  on  what  are  the critical factors of innovation to support healthcare transformation and growth from Andrzej RYŚ, Director for Health Systems, medical Products and Innovation, from European Commission (DG SANTE).
In addition,  we partnered with EFPIA during a closed door dinner discussing on the potential  of  big  data  for  healthcare  and  research  in  Europe  steered  by  Paul Timmers, Director of the Sustainable & Secure Society Directorate in the European Commission (DG CONNECT)  and with participation of EPHA  sharing the perspective of the civil society on Big Data risks and benefits.
Nicole  Denjoy,  COCIR  Secretary  General,  confirmed,  “COCIR  was  delighted  with our second annual eHealth Summit – the broad variety of high level speakers and participants who, in an interactive and friendly manner provided valuable insight on the challenges facing healthcare systems and the positive role digital solutions can play. COCIR looks forward to continue working with its members and partners and moving forward together with other key stakeholders on innovative solutions to overcome barriers. A concerted action to act together now towards Integrated Care will be further communicated soon.”
*COCIR is the European Trade Association representing the medical imaging, health ICT and electromedical industries. Founded in 1959, COCIR is a non-profit  association headquartered in Brussels (Belgium) with a China Desk based in Beijing since 2007. COCIR is unique as it brings together the healthcare, IT and telecommunications industries.
For more information, contact:
Nicole Denjoy 
COCIR Secretary General 
Tel: +32 (0)2 706 8961
Kathryn Sheridan 
COCIR Communications Advisor
Tel: +32 (0)496 116198  



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