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Innovation-Driven Healthcare Could Improve Access, Quality, Efficiency in European Healthcare


David Boyd, Director, European Government and Public Policy, GE Healthcare

The European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electro-medical and Healthcare IT Industry, COCIR, has called for a clear strategy to be adopted at a European level to support innovation in healthcare, including rapid and robust evaluation of innovations during product-development and the quicker bringing to market of innovative healthcare products and services.

“The socio-economic trends in Europe are well-understood and described: ageing populations, increasing chronic disease and budgetary pressures,” says David Boyd, European Government and Public Policy , GE Healthcare. “What is less well understood is the role of technological innovation in providing solutions to the problems that these trends present the governments and health services of Europe.”

In its position paper, COCIR describes the view from industry on the opportunities and challenges of innovation-driven healthcare, and sets out a list of expectations for an innovation-friendly environment in Europe.

“Uptake of technological innovation in healthcare is slow,” Boyd says “Countries are reluctant to go first until they see the benefit and  they may not want to be the pioneers. Often innovation in medical technology has been seen as a driver of rising healthcare costs, but more recently it is becoming increasingly clear at a European level that the right technology at the right place and time is actually a core part of the solution to healthcare challenges,

“We really must start to view appropriate technology as our friend and work together on ways to ensure its speedier uptake and adoption throughout Europe.”

The COCIR position paper calls for a mechanism to ensure a robust evaluation of innovations during the product-development cycle, faster access to market for value-adding innovative products and services, a clear strategy at the EU level to support innovation and further financing of R&D across the EU.