Report of the meeting on Disruptive...

Report of the meeting on Disruptive…

Report of the meeting on Disruptive Models of Healthcare for Europe; Europe’s Search for new Business Models- Brussels: 21 April 2016

From our EHFF correspondent:


  • Clemens Martin Auer (CA) (DG of Austrian Ministry of Health and Coordinator of the eHealth Governance Initiative (eHGI))
  • Stefan Biesdorf (SB), Partner at McKinsey & Company and Leader of McKinsey’s Healthcare Informatics Group
  • Max Muller (MM) , Chief Strategy Officer at DocMorris
  • Petra Wilson (PW), Director at the Digital Health and Care Institute

The meeting aimed to try and answer the following questions:

  • What do governments need to do to encourage new business models?
  • What mechanisms could create the incentives for technological innovation in health to facilitate a paradigm shift?
  • And is there a ‘European dimension’ of the healthcare challenges confronting EU countries?’

SB said that there are many start-ups out there with great ideas but no money to bring them forward. The healthcare providers (HCP) and the health care system feel no need for these ideas. But they have a huge savings potential; they can lower costs of health care provision. But there is no business model. Start-ups are asked for proof of effectiveness but they can’t give that without money to develop their idea. The healthcare system needs to take a leadership role and set up a technical platform for third parties. The HC system needs to contribute data and there must be a payment system combined with output and value; this will create a virtuous circle. An open innovation platform is needed. If the EU doesn’t do anything in this area somebody will step up and take the lead (think about Google and Amazon providing free data storage for genomics). We do not want them to own the data.

CA says that we need to shift the risk and come up with a system of venture capitalism. IT is not included in the payment scheme for services nor within health insurances and will therefore never be included.

PW talks about co-creation where producer and end-user work together. Healthcare is not perceived by patients in the way that they for example perceive booking their holidays; there they would never accept providers dictating their holidays whereas they do have that attitude about their healthcare. A shift needs to take place towards monetization (although not in the same way as with ‘Patients like me’) and patients need to see that their illness impacts their entire life and doesn’t limit itself to the Doctor’s office.

She explains the system MedGate in Switzerland where a triage system is put in place before patients are sent to their GP. This was implemented because of a lack of GP’s and the need to work part-time for the mostly female GP’s in this country.

The trust in handing over data is there but the system is not set up for it.  We need standards and interoperability, new government structures and an answer for everyone involved to the question “What’s in it for me?” otherwise there will be only niche solutions for niche markets.

MM explains the idea of an ePharmacy in a village in rural Germany where patients and local government where all in favour of implementing this after the closing of the local pharmacy except for the pharmacist itself. What we need is an innovative health service register with standards, registration, political oversight so that the patient’s health is guaranteed. We must also unblock the protection of the healthcare provider. Instead of that we must protect the patient.

Eero Lahtinen (Ministerial Counsellor for Health, ministry of Social Affairs and Health) is amazed that there are still no business platforms created after all these years and that European standards are still lacking.

Roger Wallhouse (Vice-President European Institute for Health Records) talks about the dried up funding for European Health Records and the lack of interest for this in the five big EU member states. There is no integration of systems and that is due to culture.

Paul van Hoof (GSK) talks about the Valencia model where GP’s and hospital have a physical link between their buildings and the systems are integrated. There is a flat fee per patient that has to be shared between them. But in the end it is the willingness to work together that makes it work. Regional upscaling and shared funding is the way forward.

Wrap up: we need financial incentives that don’t encourage silo behaviour and policy makers that show more ambition.

Corine van Lingen

Consultant EU Public Affairs

Share This: