Bonjour! Yesterday was a day when innovation, technology and information were at the forefront of the debate on health. It was exactly one year ago, at the 2011 Annual Meeting here in Davos, that the World Economic Forum and its partners released the Global Health Data Charter, a foundational document to foster capturing information which enables better care: better data for better health. Moving from paper to digital format is a prerequisite for using the wealth of data on health and care and to improve quality and productivity, and to foster innovation through technology-enabled care. Advances in the area of health data seem a strong basis for a meaningful debate on personal data (including financial, behavioural, consumer, etc.) and overall Digital Governance.
The session on “scenarios for sustainable health systems” provided the opportunity for a clear agreement on the need for transformation – no longer just incremental reform – of existing health systems. Participants were invited to develop scenarios for a collaborative design of a future health system, towards which developed, emerging or developing economies could converge. The importance of prevention and primary care will definitely be a strong pillar of any sustainable system.
I was energized and inspired by a very unique, interactive and graphical format called IdeasLab, where several professors from the National University of Singapore revealed cutting-edge concepts, such as body sensors that are connected to the “cloud” and may predict disease, as well as how different ethnicities respond differently to treatments. I was surprised to learn that, while people in the western world should be examined for stroke risk by checking the arteries in the neck, people in Singapore should be checked by looking directly at arteries in the brain!