IAPO's 9th Global Patients Congress - An Introduction to our Plenary Sessions

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

We are delighted that so many patient advocates have registered to join us at our 9th Global Patients Congress. Registration is still OPEN for all!

The theme Innovative healthcare: co-planning, co-designing & co-delivery celebrates how patient engagement and co-creation continues to be institutionalised in health systems in many countries. With this in mind, it is with great pleasure that we would like to share with you a taste of our first inspiring plenary session taking place on Thursday 16th April that is guaranteed to excite and motivate you.

Personalised Healthcare and Universal Health Coverage

Personalised Health Care (PHC) is a much broader approach than personalised medicine and precision medicine. It is a ‘mesh up’ or mixing of innovative approaches like genomic medicine and genetics with the latest developments in digital healthcare solutions like digital diagnostics, advanced imaging, biomarkers, digital markers, artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced analytics.

PHC has the potential to ensure that we eliminate one-size fits all healthcare all together. Disruptive innovative technologies and the Intelligent Digital Mesh (Internet of Things),  allows us to tailor-make the right treatment for the right population, right patient, right diseases, at the right time and the right place (hospital, home or Web). Patient lives need no longer to revolve around the hospital buildings and healthcare services. The healthcare services will fit around the patients’ lives.

While PHC promises many benefits to Universal Health Coverage (UHC), there are also some challenges to overcome. Firstly, we need equally innovative approaches to develop health systems' capacity to manage PHC. We need new treatment guidelines and then train and educate the health workforce so they are equipped with the right tools, new knowledge, skills and attitudes. This may need a shift in the current health system cultural paradigm. 

PHC also raises a new anxiety. Will it create a ‘digital divide’ and will this impact health equity and inequalities intra and inter country?

For over 20 years, IAPO has advocated globally for the institutionalising of person-centred healthcare within national healthcare systems. Today we are very near to realising our vision as disruptive digital innovation has the ability to place the patient at the heart of every decision-making process as well as changing all the healthcare operational and administration service models and paradigms. Patients are drivers of change. 

During this session at GPC2020 we will look to answering the following questions: Can PHC realise our vision of having patient-centred universal health coverage 2030? Can disruptive innovative technologies and the Intelligent Digital Mesh (Internet of Things) allow the relevant populations and relevant patients with the relevant diseases to co-plan, co-design and co-deliver the right healthcare at the right time and the right place? 

PHC can be a tool for further patient-led innovation. PHC can be within reach of all patients in just two clicks. The Intelligent Digital Mesh (Internet of Things) can connect patient innovators, health devices and databases with healthcare services to support new game changing patient owned disruptive innovation in healthcare. 
Many are cautious and say that we may create a new digital health divide between low and high-income countries. Others, however, think that this concern is misplaced. The digital revolution, the 5th industrial revolution, is actually a great leveller as innovators in low and middle-income countries have just as good a chance to produce world beating affordable global digital health solutions as those in high-income countries. A good example is Kenyan innovators who produced M-Tiba (a health-wallet), Ushahidi (Public Health Emergency) and M-Pesa (Banking Health Grants) and these have found global use and markets. With a median age of below 30 years, many LMIC have plentiful resources of information technology savvy experts who can reshape their national healthcare. 


Join us at the 9th Global Patient Congress in Edinburgh, part of the Scottish Silicone Glen, with your Smart Phones and Devices. Let’s all hear what you have to say about PHC.