Strategies for international collaborationHealthcare of the future: digital, intelligent, and personalized
The rapid aging of the population in industrialized and emerging countries is a major and increasing challenge. This includes comprehensive healthcare with ever-increasing healthcare costs, changing lifestyles (e.g., due to lack of exercise), and increasing prevalence/abundance of chronic diseases and multimorbidities.
Today in the 21st century, it is still problematic that the efficacy of a drug within a patient cannot be predicted. In general, only 30 to 50 percent of the patients respond to the majority (~90 percent) of standard drugs.
Also, the abundance of different diseases in society has changed over time. Non-infectious diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and mental health problems are more common nowadays, as well as chronic diseases, which require long-term treatments.
Consequently, different approaches and changes in healthcare are needed. The current trends require a shift from curative to preventive healthcare combined with a turn towards digital and personalized practices.
Digital health solutions and approaches for preventive care and therapy matching the individual needs of the patient play a key role to cope with this challenge. Thus, digital technologies and personalized healthcare are two crucial factors driving the needed transformation in healthcare.
- Digital health solutions (e.g., with the support of wearables and devices controlled by artificial intelligence, or telemedicine consultations) enable to provide healthcare outside of facilities such as hospitals or clinics.
- Personalized medicine addresses the individual needs of each patient. An individual und evidence-based therapy is selected according to the genomic fingerprint and with considering the personal circumstances, as well as the behavior of the patient.
Governments (worldwide) can help to bring promising innovations from theory to practice by the provision of research fundings and the promotion of targeted, cross-border knowledge exchange between pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers and researchers.
International collaboration as a driver for changes in healthcare
The collaboration on international level and the global exchange of experiences, innovative approaches and best practices will sustainably relieve, strengthen and improve our healthcare systems.
To drive innovation in digital health and personalized medicine, the Steinbeis Europa Zentrum has expanded international cooperation between the EU and strategic partner countries through the EU projects IDIH and IC2PerMed.
In the IDIH project (International Digital Health Cooperation for Preventive, Integrated, Independent and Inclusive Living), experts, policy makers and end-users from six regions worldwide (Canada, China, EU, Japan, South Korea and US) developed a strategic roadmap for international cooperation in the field of "Digital Health for Active and Healthy Aging" on behalf of the European Commission. This roadmap defined common priorities and identified collaboration opportunities in this field, paving the way for increased international cooperation.
As project coordinator, the Steinbeis Europa Zentrum supported the consultations with various actors and stakeholders from the fields of research, technology and innovation (expert forums) for the creation of the strategic roadmap on behalf of the European Commission.
On the other hand, the IC2PerMed (Integrating China in the International Consortium for Personalized Medicine) project, developed a strategic roadmap and identified facilitators and barriers for collaboration between the European Union and the People's Republic of China to establish a common ground for broader implementation of topics in personalized medicine. The goal was to develop a joint strategy, advance common policy goals, and launch bilateral research projects.
As a project partner, the Steinbeis Europa Zentrum supported the identification and mapping of the diverse initiatives, regulatory frameworks and strategies on both the European and Chinese side.
Digital technologies and personalized medicine are already a central component of effective healthcare around the world - and they are pointing the way towards the healthcare of the future.
The healthcare of the future will thus be intelligent and personalized. It will be characterized by continuous monitoring rather than by occasional visits to medical facilities. People will be empowered to play an active role in their own healthcare and in preventing diseases rather than wait for a medical response. The result will be a healthcare system that provides patients with better experiences, better outcomes, and a better cost control.
- To the IDIH Roadmap: Roadmap-IDIH-final.pdf (idih-global.eu)
- To the IC2PerMed Roadmap: https://www.ic2permed.eu/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/IC2PerMed-Deliverable-1.4.pdf