The societal and economic impacts of this trend are enormous, jeopardizing the affordability and accessibility of healthcare to all EU‐citizens.
To try and combat this the EU will distribute SEK 87 bill Euros to research in health care as a part of Horizon 2020, the new EU framework programme for research and innovation.
Inger Ekman, Professor at the Department of Health and Care Sciences and Centre Director of the University of Gothenburg Centre for Person-centred Care (GPCC), has been given funding from the European Commission to lead the WE-CARE project, which aims to create a strategic plan and a roadmap for how research and innovation within healthcare can help reduce healthcare costs.
– It is a question of highlighting research areas which have the potential to drastically reduce health care costs whilst quality of care is maintained or even improved, says Inger Ekman.
WE-CARE is co-ordinated in Gothenburg, and gathers together several European research institutes, businesses and non-profit organisations. Imperial College in London, VU University in Amsterdam, The Technical University of Berlin, The European Patient Forum, Imec (formerly Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre) and computer giant IBM all take part in the project.
– Being able to take a leading role in this project means a lot to GPCC and The University of Gothenburg. Through sustained and successful work done here we can now affect how the EU prioritizes future research areas in health care, says Pam Fredman, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gothenburg.
Initially WE-CARE will arrange a series of workshops which will look at the possibilities of sweeping changes from different points of view. Sample areas are:
• The Patient as a partner
• Technical possibilities for decreasing health care costs
• How payment systems can be designed to reward quality and lower health care costs
The project will be concluded with an international conference in Gothenburg 14-15 April 2015, where decision makers, researchers and business representatives will present, discuss and conclude the work in a road map for future EU health care research.
Inger Ekman, University of Gothenburg Centre for Person-centred Care (GPCC)