Health-RI partner in first Dutch Health Deal

Dutch Ministers Schippers (Health) and Kamp (Economic Affairs) and many other parties signed a ‘Health Deal’ on June 8, 2016. This Health Deal aims to bridge the innovation gap that exists in personalised medicine and health, focusing on decision support systems in oncology as a use case.

Currently, a structured and controlled embedding of newly developed medical treatments and technologies in the Dutch care system is lacking. In order to contribute to optimal availability of medical information, an ecosystem for Decision Support Systems (DSS) in oncology will be developed via this Health Deal. A high quality personalised medicine & health research infrastructure is crucial to achieve this. For that reason the Dutch Health-Research Infrastructure initiative (Health-RI) is committed to the Health Deal and was one of the signatories. The systematic approach of this Health Deal will also be applicable to the introduction of other innovations, such as genomics and imaging.

The Health-RI initiative of BBMRI-NL, DTL/ELIXIR-NL and EATRIS-NL is supported by the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), Health~Holland, NKI and many other stakeholders, and aims to realise one national infrastructure for personalised medicine & health research. Via Health-RI pseudonymised medical data, samples, imaging and research technology will be available for researchers in the most effective way. In doing so, optimal transparency, privacy, data stewardship and patient security must be guaranteed at all times. Patient organisations will be closely involved.

Innovation gap
Gerrit Meijer, Scientific Director of BBMRI-NL and national director of EATRIS-NL: “The Health Deal focuses on the innovation gap: How can we validate innovations, such as the decision support system of this first Health Deal, so that these can be embedded in established science or practice and therefore will be reimbursed? For this validation we need a well-oiled machine. So far, for each innovation a new wheel is being invented. Most of the time this ‘wheel’ proves to be unsuccessful. As a consequence, many innovations only reach the ‘proof of concept’ phase and are not been implemented into clinical practice.”

Traît d’union
Gerrit Meijer, Head of Pathology in the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), fulfills the role of the ‘traît d’union’. He makes the connection between the development within the Health Deal to other national and European initiatives. Gerrit highlights an example of his connecting role: “In the Health Deal the necessary well-oiled machine is called the ‘ecosystem’. It is precisely this ecosystem that we are already building on for several years. We are building on Health-RI, the national infrastructure for personalised medicine & health research, with many organisations like BBMRI-NL, DTL/ELIXIR-NL, EATRIS, TraIT, Data4LifeSciences. It is fantastic that innovations and ecosystem now come together via the Health Deal .”

Flagship infrastructure
Ruben Kok, Director of DTL: “Health-RI will connect local resources within the Dutch network to international knowledge into a national flagship infrastructure programme that contributes to personalised medicine & health. In it, optimal citizen participation is one of the focal points. Health-RI will also reduce costs for all participating organisations, while enhancing quality and reproducibility of research and care. The Decision Support Systems in oncology, being the objective of the first Dutch Health Deal, will be one of the first disease areas that benefit from Health-RI.”

The Dutch government aims to accelerate the broad implementation of effective innovations in care and cure. Health Deals will be agreed upon between government and (private) partners in order to further these innovations. Results from this first Health Deal are innovations in decision support systems and might also be applied to other healthcare innovations in order to enhance personalised medicine & health.

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