Stage set for summit of global health innovators
September 30 2013 01:14 AM
Lord Darzi, flanked by other speakers, at the press conference.
Lord Darzi, flanked by other speakers, at the press conference.

By Noimot Olayiwola/Staff Reporter

A first of its kind ‘Global Innovation Diffusion Study’ was unveiled yesterday as the stage is set for the inaugural World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) to be held at the Qatar National Convention Centre on December 10-11.
Executive chair of WISH Prof Lord Darzi, who revealed the plan for the study at a press conference, explained that the study would assess eight countries comprising Qatar, Brazil, the UK, the US, Australia, Spain and South Africa, in terms of how their systems contribute toward transformative change - whether through innovation in technology, processes and business models.
“This initiative of assessing countries, will create an innovation index with which to measure their achievements in health sector through innovative means and we can describe it as a ‘triple rating’ of health in those countries in order to ensure they are doing well,” he said.
He explained further that the index aims to develop a method that assesses the uptake of  health innovation and focuses on how to share best practices in the most efficient manner.
“This year, WISH will assess eight countries in terms of how their systems enable the things that can actually be done to organisational and individual levels, regardless of country differences, to adopt innovation and contribute to system formation,” he pointed out.
According to him, WISH will become an annual summit that will continue to address most pressing global healthcare challenges.
“This summit was born after HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser’s announcement during last year’s Global Health Policy Summit in London’s Guildhall, which was organised by Qatar Foundation and Imperial College London’s Institute of Global Health Innovation,” Prof Darzi, who is also the institute’s chairman said.
He said that the summit, which is expected to bring together more than 500 global healthcare innovators, including heads of states, ministers, senior government officials, academics and thinkers, will discuss practical, sustainable and innovative solutions to global healthcare challenges.
“In addition to several high-profile keynote speakers including Havard School of Public Health director, London Mayor Boris Johnson, the agenda of the summit will be based around a set of policy discussion papers with each developed by a group of the world’s leading experts, that will be published at WISH,” he said.
Topics of the papers, which are currently being developed include obesity, road traffic injury, big data and healthcare, mental health, patient engagement, accountable care, end-of-life and antimicrobial resistance.
According to him, the summit is expected to conclude with the publication of eight different reports including evidence-based recommendations, which all participating countries are expected to follow and adopt later on.
Speaking about Qatar Foundation’s commitment towards hosting the summit, QF president  Saad al-Muhannadi  said through WISH, the foundation seeks to produce concrete, permanent solutions on healthcare advocacy, policy, research and delivery, which he said were all critical to having a positive impact on the global healthcare sector.
Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar’s dean Dr Javaid Sheikh shared the role of the institution in introducing innovations in Qatar.
“I’ll share with you two major innovations that we have introduced and these include basic science innovation based on the fact that the future of health is in personalised or precision medicine, that is the use of customised therapy for sick individuals or for a group of sick people,” he said.
The official said plans to start sequencing the genome of about 1,000 nationals as well as plans to have in place a programme, alongside, the Hamad Medical Corporation in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Present at the press conference were the UK’s chief medical officer Prof Dame Sally Davies and Imperial College’s Faculty of Medicine dean Prof Dermonth Kelleher.

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