Propelling Health Care into the Twenties

Denis Horgan, Bettina Borisch, Etienne Richer, Chiara Bernini, Dipak Kalra, Mark Lawler, Gennaro Ciliberto, Hendrik Van Poppel, Angelo Paradiso, Peter Riegman, Stefano Triberti, Andres Metspalu, Arturo Chiti, Elizabeth Macintyre, Stefania Boccia, Fabien Calvo, Desmond Schatz, Jasmina Koeva-Balabanova, Bengt Jonsson

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The scope and potential of personalised health care are underappreciated and underrealised, often because of resistance to change. The consequence is that many inadequacies of health care in Europe persist unnecessarily, and many opportunities for improvement are neglected. This article identifies the principal challenges, outlines possible approaches to resolving them, and highlights the benefits that could result from greater adoption of personalised health care. It locates the discussion in the context of European policy, focusing particularly on the most recent and authoritative reviews of health care in the EU Member States, and on the newly acquired spirit of readiness and pragmatism among European officials to embrace change and innovative technologies in a new decade. It highlights the attention now being given by policymakers to incentives, innovation, and investment as levers to improve European citizens' prospects in a rapidly evolving world, and how these distinct and disruptive themes contribute to a renaissance in thinking about delivering optimal health care in Europe. It explores the chances offered to patients by specific initiatives in health domains such as cancer and antimicrobial resistance, and by innovative science, novel therapies, earlier diagnosis tools, and deeper understanding of health promotion and prevention. And it reflects on how health care providers could benefit from a shift towards better primary care and towards deploying health data more effectively, including the use of artificial intelligence, coupled with a move to a smoother organisational/regulatory structure and realigned professional responsibilities. The conclusion is that preparing Europe's health care systems for the inevitable strains of the coming years is both possible and necessary. A more courageous approach to embracing personalised health care could guarantee the sustainability of Europe's health care systems before rising demands and exponential costs overwhelm them - an exercise in future-proofing, in ensuring that they are equipped to withstand whatever lies ahead. A focus on the potential and implementation of personalised care would permit more efficient use of resources and deliver better quality health-preserving care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number508300
Number of pages53
JournalBiomedicine hub
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2020


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