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Warsaw Health Innovation Hub - the strength of partnership between Medical Research Agency and Business as an answer to challenges of the health care system

During this year's Economic Forum in Karpacz an editorial debate was held by Wprost entitled "Warsaw Health Innovation Hub - the power of partnership between Medical Research Agency and Business as an answer to the challenges of the health care system". During the event, representatives of the public sector, business and patients talked about the potential and challenges of WHIH.

- This is a precedent-setting moment in terms of creating a platform of trust in public-private partnerships. I think we are creating something that hasn't been done before in Poland. This is a platform where public and private partners together define goals, jointly investing in the development of innovation in Poland, so that the Polish health care system is better and better optimized. I believe that together we will define priorities converging with those of the health care system. I would like to meet you here next year, holding a few successes in my hands and show you that these "quick wins" we are going to achieve are not just words and discussions, but concrete solutions that are implemented in the health care system - began Radosław Sierpiński, MD, President of the Medical Research Agency.

Warsaw Health Innovation Hub is a project created by the Medical Research Agency and business partners. WHIH currently includes five global companies, with another five soon to join. WHIH partners can be those companies that take part in building the Polish innovative economy through contributions - paying taxes in Poland, employing Poles in the pharmaceutical, biotechnological or medical device sector. WHIH is an open initiative and we believe that every week more partners will join it.

- Public-private partnerships are important because we complement each other in terms of certain expertise. It is also an example of breaking certain stereotypes. We can have common goals and we can create specific solutions for the patient. What we have in common is that each of our organizations puts the patient at the center. There are several directions that are important both from the perspective of patient needs and the moment we are in. The pandemic has shown that the potential in digital health solutions is much greater than we thought. This is the direction we would like to continue. Apart from that, the key areas and diseases, which are a challenge today, such as lung cancer, are those in which we still have a lot to do - said Wiktor Janicki, President of the Management Board of AstraZeneca Pharma Poland.

- The WHIH will undertake activities aimed at improving the quality of treatment of Polish patients by increasing awareness and access to new diagnostic technologies and new therapies. At Roche we want to improve the quality of life of Polish patients and we are aware that the Polish healthcare system faces many challenges, but also many opportunities related to new technology. Together with the National Cancer Institute, we participated in the establishment of the Early Phase Clinical Trials Center, which gave patients access to modern treatment and researchers access to new technologies. We managed to build an IT Services Centre, where we employ over 500 IT specialists: bioinformaticians, data science specialists. This is, among others, our contribution, which we want to give to WHIH - explained Maciej Maksymilian Latos, CFO of Roche Polska.

Aniela Hejnowska - From our perspective, all WHIH priorities are important and we want to support them all because our competence is data analysis and synthesis. Often, both of these components are important in a project regardless of what the project is about, and it is crucial to make the right decisions. However, one of the areas is particularly important to me - it is the area of using real-world data to make the right decisions in the area of health. - summarized the Director General of IQVIA.

EIT Health creates the largest public-private partnership in Europe. This is an initiative of the European Commission. We have supported over a hundred projects that have ended with the implementation of a product or service. We work in the acceleration area and we want to bring our knowledge to WHIH. The projects that we will implement concern system solutions, i. e. they will not concern a specific product. We want to measure these projects in a specific way, i. e. see how many patients will be covered by a given solution, if we can shorten the waiting time for diagnostics or treatment, or to what extent the data will be used to make decisions by clinical teams - explains Mikołaj Gurdała, Regional Manager for Poland, EIT Health InnoStars.

The role of WHIH from the point of view of both patients and researchers, i. e. potential beneficiaries of WHIH, was also discussed by Prof. Adam Maciejczyk, MD, PhD, director of the Lower Silesian Oncology Center in Wrocław. "We have more and more conscious patients who expect these innovations. Hospitals have many good specialists who have different ideas and we are always looking for the means to create a platform for cooperation. The best examples are all the improvements in medical records or the integration of medical systems. I think we have potential, and if someone helps us finance it, it will definitely work for patients - he concluded.

All participants of the debate agreed that WHIH is an important and necessary initiative that is currently being created. They also highlighted the potential, as well as the expectations and challenges he will face. We hope that next year it will be possible to show the first effects of cooperation between the public sector and business and real solutions implemented into the system.

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