The 3rd Value of innovation strategic conference will focus on the patient. Experts and patients will talk about how healthcare innovations have contributed to better patient care, prolonged life expectancy and consequentially to a more productive society. We will try to define what we can expect from the future. 

Andrej's first encounter with one of the chronic inflammatory rheumatoid diseases happened in his childhood. The doctors prescribed strict rest, he spent a lot of time in a hospital and endured several surgical procedures. Long periods of inactivity left irreversible consequences he has to live with to this day. It took 15 long years for Andrej to be diagnosed properly and to receive the right treatment. Several decades later treatment of rheumatoid diseases has progressed immensely due to healthcare innovations so the numbers of hospitalizations and surgical procedures have dropped significantly. And the same goes for a number of other diseases as well. Decades of investing in new innovative healthcare technologies have made it possible for us to successfully treat and prevent a number of diseases better than any other time in history and some epidemics which have in the past decimated entire nations are now just a distant memory.

Healthier people, prosperous society

A number of research has shown that we place our own health right at the top of the most important values. And people's health is directly and indirectly reflected on how (economically) successful society is. A healthy society is a productive society and can be more successful in all areas. Life expectancy has grown for 9 years in the past 60 years and at the same time we as individuals are more productive for a longer time and all of this contributes to a higher economic productivity of society as a whole. This better quality of life, which is reflected in living to an older age and staying active for longer, is, to no small degree, a direct consequence of big scientific achievements and medical discoveries in the past century. 

Would you invest 1 euro today to save 2 euros tomorrow? 

Value of innovation is clearly shown in practice. Significantly prolonged life expectancy, chronic patients (more than 200.000 of them in Slovenia alone) spending their work time and free time in a quality manner, planning for parenthood and high newborn survival, patients with rare diseases getting through their days normally, HIV patients' life expectancy being the same as everyone else's, prolonged life expectancy of cancer patients, lower mortality among cardiovascular patients... All of these are just some of the accurately measurable and measured parameters speaking in favour of innovation in healthcare. Even if the primary intention of medical innovation is to help a patient, this is not their only positive effect. Healthcare innovation benefits far surpass their costs because they don't only influence the patient's live but the lives of the patient's family and friends and also their employers because they reduce the amount of sick-leave the patients have to take. They also contribute to lower health- and social insurance costs due to less frequent illness related absences from work, due to a lighter workload for healthcare workers and due to people retiring at an older age. 

Innovations for the patients' benefit 

Living longer and being more productive are both important components of economic growth and development. Long-term economic growth rates are determined by the degree of technological development, which is created by private as well as public investments into research and development. In healthcare R&D are very intensive but we must not forget that the primary objective is to help the patients. Innovation must be encouraged foremost for better care of the patients and that will benefit the society as a whole in the long run. 

You can find out how future innovations in healthcare will help patients at Value of innovation strategic conference “Patient: yesterday, today and tomorrow”, which will take place on October 15 in Hotel Slon in Ljubljana. This event organized by Forum of International Research and Development Pharmaceutical Companies, EIG (Forum) and Finance newspaper's Business Academy. Participation is free.