20th Healthcare Meeting Focuses on Patients

Speakers emphasize empowering patients and collaboration


20th Healthcare Industry Meeting

On October 23, healthcare experts, industry leaders and academics gathered at IESE’s Barcelona campus for the 20th Healthcare Industry Meeting. With Professors Núria Mas and Pedro Nueno as academic directors and KPMG as co-organizer, the meeting focused on making patient-centric care happen.   

Speakers discussed the complexity of issues facing healthcare systems locally and globally and the emerging solutions that could help nations strengthen their systems’ sustainability and also improve the health of their populations. 

The regional health ministers of Catalonia, Madrid, Valencia and Galicia -  Boi Ruiz, Javier Fernández-Lasquetty, Manuel Llombart and Rocío Mosquera respectively – deliberated about developing health policy initiatives in the context of today’s economic, budgetary and social challenges. 

With IESE Professor Pedro Nueno as moderator, the “Global Perspectives” session brought together Fernando de Górgolas, Group Marketing and Business Director of Unilabs, Paul Kosters, Senior Vice President EMEA, Nuvasive, and Michael J. Taylor, Senior Vice President Aon Hewitt.  

Mr. Górgolas, whose company performs 67.5 million diagnostic tests in 11 European countries annually, discussed the challenges of operating in a complex market of varying healthcare systems, where they apply different business models based on the customer in each country.

Paul Kosters underscored how pivotal innovative technologies are for changing people’s lives.  Nuvasive’s minimally invasive spinal surgery is an example of innovative procedures improving patient recovery and their ability to resume daily activity more promptly.  While emphasizing the importance of innovation for improving healthcare, he also shed light on obstacles to its implementation such as the mismatch in timing between innovative and evidence cycles, the latter often justifying the former, and the struggle to make innovative technologies available to everyone.

Michael Taylor discussed some of the major problems in the United States, which currently spends 18% of its GDP on healthcare. He highlighted the lack of primary care and transparency, and the variation in quality and cost of care as important issues to deal with in the near future.  In addition, misaligned incentives in physician reimbursement and hospital compensation – the tension between incentivizing volume versus quality - are problems that new reforms aim to address.

In concluding remarks, the three panelists concurred on the need to give patients empowering information, and move towards shared decision-making.  While Mr. Taylor highlighted the importance of understanding patients as consumers and finding ways to target information more effectively, Mr. Kosters discussed breaking down the barriers between stakeholders’ individual agendas.  Finally, Mr. Gorgolas cautioned against placing too much decision-making in the government’s hands in the case of the European model.

The common theme in the session from “Sick Care to Health Care” moderated by IESE Professor Núria Mas was collaboration as a means to strengthen prevention. Antoni Esteve, President of Esteve Chemical & Pharmaceutical Group highlighted collaboration as key to the knowledge creation necessary to advance innovation.  Lowering barriers to collaboration and creating a pipeline of R & D helps companies such as Esteve get closer to patients and find new solutions for their health problems.

Similarly, Dr. Sonia Gastambide of the Spanish Diabetes Society, has been spearheading collaborative approaches to combat diabetes through the Coalition for Diabetes. With14% of the Spanish population suffering from the disease, collaboration among specialists is beginning to improve outcomes, yet strides must be made to incorporate a broader range of stakeholders to strengthen prevention and the focus on patients.

Peter Ohnemus, President and CEO of dacadoo AG discussed the great potential of new technologies - Big Data, smartphones, bio sensory devices and social media – in improving prevention. By integrating these resources, dacadoo is spearheading a revolutionary way to empower patients to improve their health through improved lifestyles. In concluding remarks, the speakers reiterated the importance of aligning stakeholders and fostering collaboration to move towards improved healthcare.