11th May 2022
EIT Health InnoStars and Emerging Europe survey carried out in 2021 during Morning Health Talks events reveals the most important benefits of digital health solutions in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. Almost 60 per cent of healthcare professionals and stakeholders in CEE and Southern European countries believe that digital health solutions would improve access to health services in hard-to-reach areas and regions. According to Italian respondents, this is by far the most important benefit of digitalisation in healthcare. In Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Portugal, the reduction of the process inefficiencies in hospitals was mentioned as utmost significant.
EIT Health InnoStars organised a series of discussions about the acceleration of healthcare innovations during the pandemic. The Morning Health Talks, which took place in 12 countries across Central, Eastern and Southern Europe, were dedicated to convening regional leaders to help map best practices and common challenges of digital health solutions.
A survey and in-depth interviews have also been conducted amongst the region’s key opinion leaders, policymakers, representatives of public institutions, innovators, start-up founders, investors, and healthcare professionals to understand their perception of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the development of digital health solutions. Questions also tackled what solutions have been implemented in their countries.
The survey found that almost 60 per cent of respondents believe that digital health solutions helped improve access to health services in hard-to-reach areas and regions – as most frequently marked by respondents from Italy. In Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Portugal, the reduction of the process inefficiencies in hospitals was mentioned by responding healthcare experts as the most important benefit of digitalisation.
Almost two thirds (66.3 per cent) of respondents mentioned that digital health solutions that have been implemented in their country due to the Covid-19 pandemic were virtual care and telemedicine solutions, another 47 per cent stated that their country implemented solutions aimed at the digitalisation of medical records and appointment booking.
Discussions pave the way for healthcare innovation and new solutions to the market
The pandemic has resulted in the realisation that challenges such as Covid-19 are easier to overcome through collaboration. The cooperation between governments, scientists, businesses, start-ups, scale-ups, civil society, and individuals was needed to increase efficiency, accelerate the healthcare innovation processes and cut costs.
EIT Health fosters collaboration amongst major stakeholders and decision-makers of the healthcare sector in Europe. With Morning Health Talks, the organisation is creating a network environment for healthcare thinkers and doers in the Central, Eastern and Southern regions of Europe. During the events, professionals had the chance to discuss what worked, what did not, and where there was room for improvement. Learning from each other is important not only for the benefit of particular organisations, but also for local communities and the well-being of citizens.
“EIT Health not only facilitates discussions among stakeholders, but also brings new innovative healthcare solutions to the market. We aim to direct innovation efforts onto the right path leading to a healthier future with home care, novel therapeutic solutions, rapid diagnostic solutions, more accurate surgical procedures, more effective pain management, remote-monitoring, personalised medicine, driven by new medical technologies like nanotechnology, AI, robotics, augmented reality, and 3D printing. In our business creation programmes, around two thirds of innovative solutions have entered the market since 2018“, said Monika Tóth, Director of EIT Health RIS programme.
Read the full study here.