SYNTHEMA has participated to the Can.Heal high-level stakeholder Conference on the 26th April 2023. One of the key topics discussed was the Open Innovation ecosystem for healthcare in Europe. With a focus on ‘Access and Diagnostics for All’ and Public Health Genomics, the conference aimed to facilitate innovative medical interventions tailored to the specific needs of individual patients.

The discussions at the conference were directly related to the SYNTHEMA project, which seeks to establish a cross-border hub for developing and validating AI techniques for anonymization and synthetic data generation in Rare Health Diseases (RHDs). The project holds great promise for advancing healthcare practices and improving patient outcomes.

The European Beating Cancer Plan has identified two flagship initiatives, namely ‘Access and Diagnostics for All’ and Public Health Genomics, which were central to the conference’s agenda. The goal is to build an Open Innovation ecosystem in Europe that enables the delivery of innovative medical interventions, catering to the unique requirements of each patient. This approach aims to enhance treatment efficacy, prevent adverse reactions, and foster a more efficient and cost-effective healthcare system.

The success of these initiatives depends on the involvement of stakeholders, particularly patients, as well as the Cancer Mission Boards’ focus. These initiatives hold significant potential for improving the health of countless patients and enhancing the efficiency and transparency of healthcare systems. However, integrating these initiatives into clinical practice and daily care faces numerous barriers and challenges, hindering timely access to targeted healthcare.

The constantly evolving fields of health technology, health information, and genomics have revolutionized patient care in many ways. To align with the EU principle of universal and equal access to high-quality healthcare, ‘Access and Diagnostics for All’ and Public Health Genomics must be made accessible to a much larger population than currently possible. Long-term innovation strategies are essential to ensure the translation of new therapies from laboratories to patients.

Recent initiatives in countries like the UK and the US have highlighted the importance of delivering the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. Such frameworks are vital to achieving equal and universal access to high-quality healthcare. Incorporating patient perspectives into the regulatory process can help address their unmet medical needs.

Moreover, in times of budgetary constraints, facilitating better-targeted and more cost-efficient treatment for a potential 500 million patients across 28 EU Member States aligns with the Europe 2020 strategy and the objectives of the Juncker Commission. The Von der Leyen Commission has prioritized tackling cancer within its health policy agenda.

The Can.Heal Conference in Rome served as a platform to assess the current state of ‘Access and Diagnostics for All’ and identify the challenges that need to be overcome. By highlighting opportunities to accelerate progress, the conference sets the stage for further action. Incentives at the national and EU levels, along with collaboration between Member States, are vital to making early access and public health genomics a reality for patients throughout Europe.

The conference represented an amazing opportunity for SYNTHEMA to connect with key stakeholders, including public health decision-makers, representatives from the Commission, Members of the European Parliament, patient organizations, and European umbrella organizations representing interest groups and associations actively engaged in the field. The project was a true highlight as it was the only one focusing on AI paired with the diagnosis and treatment of rare hematological diseases.

Stay tuned to keep updated with our project advancements!

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