Radio Telescope: Emerging Patterns and Environmental Scanning
This workstream is applying existing expertise available for environmental scanning, exclusively to the field of European health. The intended outputs are:
- Create a European Health Futures electronic newsletter;
- To aggregate and grow a community of practice using emerging social media as a tool for collecting and broadcasting insights and ideas and to provide continuously updated feedback from the work streams. In due course this portal will become the focus of an interactive ‘hub’;
- Apply existing scanning technologies and tools to the field of health and healthcare in Europe. A key focus will be to probe activities in countries where use of English is not the norm with the aim of reducing the tendency to reinvent the wheel but also to uncover cultural differences.
EHFF activities are broadly aligned with the direction of the EU Innovation Union Europe 2020 initiative. Initially the focus will be on:
- Acquiring funds for and undertaking a major multinational project on self management of chronic conditions as an exemplar of disruptive innovation. This project will coordinate a series of multi-stakeholder round tables, including business representatives, citizens, academics, and policy makers, to discuss the implications of the results and agree further actions.
- The EVY project (European network of Visionary Young health innovators) is a small dedicated teams of 25-35 year-old professionals with a keen interest in healthcare who share innovative ideas and practices from their own countries on a regular basis, analysing characteristics of what works and what doesn’t and building a repository of successful innovations. The scheme initial involves three countries (Netherlands, Portugal and Poland) and will gradually grow as the mechanism was refined by practice. There is an annual conference and an innovation award. This will also provide data for the ‘radio telescope’ scanning project (above) and has synergy with the prototype Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC).
- The European Innovation and Technology Institute (EIT) has proposed a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) for wellbeing as part of the 2014-16 work plan awaiting approval. The KIC concept is so similar to the principle espoused by EHFF of facilitating joint action between educators, health providers and business, that it seems logical to anticipate, as we have the means to create, on an informal basis (not being unduly hampered by bureaucracy) a prototype KIC on health.
Health Futures Scenarios
The methodology of large scale scenario planning has successfully been applied to the problem of AIDS in Africa, to international money markets and to intellectual property rights in Europe. Although there have been nationally based scenarios on health, there has never been a multi-stakeholder scenario project in health with a Europe wide focus. Having established a working relationship with industry-trained scenario planners and having the benefit of the ESQH network of contacts in more than 15 European countries, EHFF is well placed to carry out this exercise, which has enormous potential in terms of information, associated research and influence on thinking in this area. The expected outputs of this work will be to show the likely future of healthcare delivery in Europe given the current realities and trends as well of alternative futures based on changing conditions and assumptions.
Community of Practice
There is grave concern about the overall quality of health professional education across Europe. The grip of traditional teaching approaches wherein physicians, nurses etc. continue to be trained for health systems of the past, seems very hard to shift. On the other hand there are some very forward looking educators scattered across Europe who lack any specific locus from which to state a European position. In addition, a veritable revolution is taking place in the broader educational context with the application of new media for teaching and learning.
It is proposed that, as a beginning, a two-day seminar is convened by EHFF in Lisbon in early March 2013, with invited participants, to discuss the possibility of creating a ‘community of practice’, to act as a pressure group and a beacon within Europe for transformational change in professional health education. If the idea is deemed useful the group would determine its terms of reference and action plan. EHFF would offer to support them on mutually agreed terms.