Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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Innovating for healthcare

In Europe today our healthcare systems face a lot of challenges. Our population is getting older as life expectancy increases – potentially meaning a lot more elderly and infirm people who have to be cared for. In Europe we're rightly proud of our healthcare systems: but if we're going to keep them going we'll have to do things differently.

Yesterday I had the pleasure to receive a report on just what we need to do: "Redesigning health in Europe for 2020". President Ilves of Estonia and his task force have ably set out the opportunities for healthcare in a digital age – like how to put patients in control of their personal data; like the need to get all our systems connected and talking to each other; how to revolutionise health through transparency and accountability; and how to include everyone in this revolution, including those without Internet access. I'm grateful to them all for their hard work. I'm convinced there's lots of technological solutions that could help us here. Already ideas like telecare are proving their worth. But we have to open our minds to innovation in healthcare. And if we're looking for innovative ideas and new ways of thinking – then I'm convinced we can find the solution in Europe's smaller and medium-sized companies. Smaller companies are great at thinking differently to challenge received wisdom; great at coming up with new ideas and innovations; and great at dynamically responding to new challenges. I should know – I've been involved with them since I was a kid. And yesterday I was reminded of just how much innovation and impact those smaller companies can make, when I awarded the best ideas for active and healthy ageing. This competition, organised by TICBioMed and the European Commission, was a good opportunity to recognise the contribution of smaller companies - and give their wonderful work the spotlight it deserves, for the general public but also potential customers, partners and investors. And the winners really did have some inspiring ideas – for every link in the healthcare chain. From making personal healthcare appealing by connecting up medical devices to your smartphone – to helping ward staff coordinate and communicate – to providing integrated solutions for critical care, cutting treatment costs by up to 30%. I hope this award will become an annual event – moving beyond active and healthy ageing and into other areas of e-Health. Because the potential for innovation is huge – and we need to recognise and reward it.


  • Commissioner  Kroes : At the G-8 , NATO and EU meetings this month, and since big vital economies like China and India are slowing down around 3 %,  could it be possible to find a way to implement these new health care solutions that you mention on a global scale ?   Start with broadband everywhere  ( Wi-Fi n MIMO , LTE Advanced, WiMax2, etc.) to cut costs and improve health and education, with telecare, full connectivity , smart phones , privacy , open apps and browsers , solar and fuel-cell chargers, transparency and huge opportunities for small companies ?  Your choices and suggestions are key to increase growth, trade , commerce and new Jobs ;  why not bring them to the global table ?  We need a new economic architecture , the current system is not enough growth and jobs, we need a massive push in clean manufacturing and EXPORTS to keep all Nations going,   China and India must continue to grow  in order to feed their own people and avoid social unrest and the EU and USA need more exports, a balanced formula is the key, and  the first step at these 3 big Meetings is to work together, united, focused  and don't let warmongers and speculators win the day. Commissioner, we need these solutions that you mention on a global scale, thanks.
  • They show more of a qualitative picture than a quantitative one. The idea is: the economy is slowing down big time. And if you factor in that inflation is probably a LOT more than what is stated, GDP growth could be as low as 4-5% at this time. With the population in China, that is indeed a recession. China's GDP growth for the year is predetermined in closed door meetings.
  • It is great to hear that using innovative ideas for healthcare. I was suffering from long time sickness now recovering. For complete cure I joined<a href=""> global community communications alliance </a>. It is a nonprofit  organization & they provide health care along with mental fitness.
  • integrated and interactive digital knowledge can be lot helpful in eliminating very many ills /discrepancies in the way of total available medical knowledge deployment through mind and memory applications alone. May it be someone located beyond eu. Regards DR S C GARG (INDIAN PATENT HOLDER) : FOR MEDICAL INTERACTIVE SUPPORT SYSTEM GLOBAL DISEASES.
  • This is a great approach, the healthcare system  here in Europe is needed to be updated long time ago and for now is a must. Know we have more diseases than ever so new plans is needed for this new challenges, i hope to see good news about this project soon.

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