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Moderated a session on how early diagnosis can save money as well as improve health

03-Oct-2011


GE Innovation Series breakfast "Act early - how diagnostic technology can support Active and Healthy Ageing", Wednesday 21 September, Brussels

This session was one of a series being put together by GE Healthcare with Edelman/The Centre around the theme of the EU's new 'Innovation Union' partnership for active and healthy ageing.  We had an introduction from Jean-Michel Malbrancq, the president and CEO of GE Healthcare Europe, and a striking presentation about the costs and benefits - more benefits than costs! - of prevention by Karen Taylor, who is now an independent consultant but who used to be director of value for money studies of the UK's National Audit Office.  Karen highlighted studies showing that although early diagnosis requires more effort and resources up front, it is much better value for money in the long run - for rheumatoid arthritis, for example, savings could be three times the up-front costs.  Andrzej Rys (Director of health systems and products of the European Commission, and my former boss!) gave us an update on the Innovation Union partnership, and highlighted the potential for solutions in this area to benefit not just Europe but also to offer growth in markets around the world, such as China.  Marian Harkin MEP gave us a political perspective from the European Parliament, showing how health and ageing become relevant for all areas of activity, and emphasising the need to show the value-for-money of healthy ageing in order to engage the wider political debate.  I then chaired a wide-ranging discussion amongst participants.  The series will continue later in the autumn with breakfast sessions on new technologies and innovative financing schemes can help support healthy ageing.  And the breakfast was good, too, so worth getting up for!


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