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Catalan Minister of Health Manel Balcells i Díaz kicked off the session to present the Subcommittee’s Operating Plan to 150 professionals from the sector who gathered at Palau Robert in Barcelona. The minister clearly expressed the Government’s desire to help get innovations that resolve health needs to the people, while also improving the competitiveness, efficacy and territorial equity of the healthcare system.

Manel Balcells added that innovation and its applications in healthcare “must target the goals set by the system, so that research can address those needs, and today we are putting into practice how we will do this through a groundbreaking plan.”

During the event, Coordinator of the Subcommittee on Innovation Adoption in Healthcare and Biocat CEO Robert Fabregat, CatSalut Director of Healthcare Services Ignasi Carrasco, AQuAS Director Sandra Garcia and Strategic Chair of the Ministry Innovation Commission Ramon Maspons announced the five priority actions that will be developed and rolled out progressively to improve how innovation reaches the healthcare system:

  1. Institutional governance and leadership. Empowering departments, having the institutions involved take on tasks and responsibilities, and regularly assessing progress to determine whether goals are being met. 
  2. Needs and priorities of the healthcare system. Implementing a clear, transparent mechanism to understand the needs of the healthcare system at any given time, collaboratively with the sector, to organize, prioritize and align innovation introduced through this pathway and to clarify and specify the value to the healthcare system in order to consider every dimension of the innovations that impact healthcare results.
  3. Distributed, coordinated assessment capacity. Creating a system for assessing the innovations in order to jointly establish a decentralized network that ensures equitable access throughout the healthcare system. 
  4. Identification of the innovation ecosystem. Creating a common nexus for all the initiatives and programs available in the BioRegion so that innovation developers can have a unified gateway to programs that address their interests and needs, and also developing a joint registry for any innovations seeking access to the healthcare system.
  5. Innovation guidance and assessment unit. Creating a guidance unit at Biocat, coordinated with AQuAS, to act as a gateway to the healthcare system for innovation, incorporating assessment taking into account the innovation life cycle. 

Robert Fabregat noted that the actions have been laid out based on a consensus among all the stakeholders involved, public and private, and that this fast track for innovative solutions to the healthcare system should get these new technologies, therapies and processes to healthcare centers, and therefore patients, faster. “Special focus will be placed on speeding up development and adoption of the most strategic innovations, those that are a priority for the system, that transform it and make it more resilient, that have the potential to improve the population’s health and wellbeing and that promote the country’s development and social and economic progress,” explained the coordinator of the Subcommittee on Innovation Adoption in Healthcare.
Over the coming months, the first actions and measures will be firmed up and rolled out, including a pilot program to test the actions implemented on a few cases. “Leading an initiative of this type is a great challenge for Biocat and all the stakeholders involved, but above all it is a great responsibility we have as an ecosystem working to build a healthier, more advanced, more equitable society with more opportunities,” highlighted Robert Fabregat. 

Biocat was commissioned by the Catalan Ministry of Health to set up and coordinate the Subcommittee on Innovation Adoption in Healthcare, a transversal, multidisciplinary team that is bringing together the main stakeholders in the ecosystem from all phases of innovation for the first time. It is part of the Ministry of Health Commission on Innovation and Transformation of the Healthcare System, established in October 2022.

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