11 Dec 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: World leaders and policy makers have gathered in Doha, Qatar, to discuss innovative solutions to the most pressing global health challenges at the inaugural World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH).
Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Mozabint Nasser, chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, WISH brought together close to 1,000 global health innovators and policy makers including heads of state, ministers, senior government officials, academics and influential business leaders from 67 countries.
The summit will showcase a practical range of recent innovations from around the world including technological advances, new business models and design-based solutions covering health matters as diverse as obesity, mental health, accountable care, big data and healthcare, antimicrobial resistance, end of life care, patient engagement and road traffic injuries. There will also be a special panel on Health and Ethics.
Innovations will be on display in state-of-the-art innovation 'pods' alongside the individuals who turned these novel ideas into practical solutions.
Delegates at the summit will hear from distinguished keynote speakers including Mr Simon Stevens, president, Global Health Division, United Health Group; Mr Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, chairperson of Myanmar's National League for Democracy; Mr Boris Johnson, Mayor of London; and Mr John Dineen, president and CEO of GE Healthcare.
The Mayor of London, Mr Boris Johnson said, "There are many health issues that are of global significance, but every country around the world also faces its own set of challenges. Bringing together key international leaders is a great opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from excellent and innovative work elsewhere."
The Right Honourable Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, executive chair of WISH, said, "Healthcare is facing some of its greatest ever challenges and if we are to succeed in tackling them, all nations must find new and innovative ways to treat and prevent illness. We want to inspire people to take up the best ideas and implement them in countries all over the world, closing the gap between what we know and what we do. And by bringing together people with the power to make a real difference, our ambition is to help improve the health of people everywhere."
The second day of the summit will include the launch of the Global Innovation Diffusion report, a ground-breaking initiative that investigates and compares how eight countries' healthcare systems foster, implement and share medical innovation. The innovative research looks at how Qatar, India, Brazil, the UK, US, Australia, Spain and South Africa diffuse the best new ideas to improve healthcare for their populations.
WISH supports the aims and ambitions of the Qatar Foundation and reinforces Qatar's role as an emerging center for medical innovation. Qatar has been at the forefront of healthcare reform in the region with its introduction of a visionary national health strategy. As part of its mission, Qatar Foundation has launched a number of initiatives in healthcare from scientific research in medicine to maternal health and clinical care.
Engineer Saad Al Muhannadi, president of the Qatar Foundation, said, "Qatar Foundation embodies Qatar's National Vision 2030 and supports initiatives that create a healthy and strong society. Fostering healthcare innovation in Qatar and abroad is an integral part of our drive at Qatar Foundation and it gives me great pleasure to welcome our distinguished guests from diverse corners to WISH and Qatar."