Category: Health policy

Practitioner and patient-targeted interventions to address excessive antibiotic use

By Dr Olga KostopoulouReader in Medical Decision Making and Professor Brendan DelaneyChair in Medical Informatics and Decision Making at Imperial College London 

Combatting antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is high on policy agendas internationally. One of the key means advocated is judicious antibiotic prescribing. Over 80% of all NHS antibiotic prescriptions are issued in primary care, where despite numerous campaigns, mandates and financial incentives, rates have fallen only slightly in the past year. Acute respiratory infections and associated complications, such as pneumonia, are the commonest justification for primary care antibiotic use, despite strong evidence of small to modest symptomatic benefits.

What is the role of social media in health policy?

By Sabine Vuik, Policy Fellow and Head of Analytics, Centre for Health Policy, Institute of Global Health Innovation

Big data and advanced data mining methods are becoming a crucial element of everyday life, business and research. The new insights that these methods can provide have allowed many different industries to find new opportunities, products and markets.

The new EPSRC Centre for Mathematics of Precision Healthcare which will launch on Wednesday 23rd November, aims to bring these methods into healthcare.

Precision Healthcare uses big data and mathematics to provide unprecedented insights into individual and population health.  The Centre will link up mathematical, computational and medical departments from Imperial, to bridge traditional silos and drive innovation in this area.

Director for the BDAU interviews the founder of the Open Data Science Conference in London

By Joshua Symons, Policy Fellow, Big Data & Analytical Unit, Centre for Health Policy  

On the 8th and 9th October, I had the opportunity to attend the Open Data Science Conference in London. In addition to the United Kingdom, the ODSC also occurs on both the East and West Coast of the US, as well as Tokyo. The 2-day conference had an array of speakers presenting problems and solutions they have worked on as data scientists. It was an opportunity to meet some of the leaders in the field of data science such as Gael Varoquaux. Gael is a core contributor to the popular Python machine learning resource scikit-learn and he spoke about the new and existing features of this package which help ensure rapid development in data science.

World First: UN Decide to Fight Antimicrobial Resistance

By guest bloggers Sarah Greaves, Katherine MacInnes and Alex Stockham, IN-PART

For the first time in history, antimicrobial resistance was addressed recently by the United Nations (UN). In New York at the 71st General Assembly of the UN, all 193 member states signed up to combat this ever growing problem.

To fight what is said to be one of the biggest threats to 21st Century society, world leaders committed to a global, coordinated and multi-sector plan of action to not only increase the regulation of antimicrobial drug use but also to increase awareness of antimicrobial resistance and promote the development of alternative antimicrobial drugs.

Learning from Chinese health reforms

By Alexander Carter, Health Economist, Centre for Health Policy, IGHI

Earlier this month I was fortunate enough to be invited to the ‘2016 Summit on China Hospital Development’, which also provided an opportunity to visit and learn first-hand about the health reforms there. My destination was Hangzhou – considered China’s most beautiful city – which is also where the recent G20 summit was held. Indeed, it is an enchanting place that seems to draw its energy from the Western lake and the surrounding mountains that cocoon the 9 million strong population in a relatively serene, yet commercially vibrant environment – exemplified by Alibaba, the e-commerce giant, which is based there. 

Ara Darzi on the importance of patient data sharing

We asked our Director, Professor the Lord Ara Darzi, to explain the importance of patient data sharing, a topic we’ll be discussing during our annual Sowerby eHealth Symposium taking place 14th September at the Royal College of Physicians.

Confirmed topics and speakers include:

Pushing the boundaries of sharing patient data in the real world

  • Mustafa Suleyman, Co-founder, Google DeepMind

How to make data sharing policy work

  • Katie Farrington, Director of Digital and Data, Department of Health
  • Dr. Brian Fisher, Director of PAERs Ltd
  • Sharmila Nebhrajani, Director of External Affairs at MRC Human Tissue Authority
  • Fran Husson, Patient Representative

Developing a citizen science platform for data sharing: Understanding ‘real life’ patient benefits in Dementia

  • Hilary Doxford, Vice-Chair of the European Working Group of People with Dementia, Dementia Research Champion

Predictive modelling, Artificial Intelligence, Population Health, Genomics and Wearables: Applications of data sharing

  • Chris Laing, Consultant Nephrologist at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
  • Paul Elliot, Chair in Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine Imperial College London
  • Irina Bolychevsky, Open data consultant and Director of Shevski Ltd
  • Jen Hyatt, Founder, Big White Wall

 Registration begins at 8:30AM, with talks from 9AM-1PM.

Part 4: The future of Universal Health Coverage and how we can achieve it globally

To mark Universal Health Coverage Day on 12th December, we interviewed former CEO of the NHS and Adjunct Professor at IGHI, Sir David Nicholson.

Universal health coverage (UHC) improves how health care is financed and delivered – so it is more accessible, more equitable and more effective.

In the final video of our series below, Sir David talks about how the key to obtaining and maintaining UHC across the world is to get the support required from leadership and politicians in order to make it happen.

He provides examples of countries that are already working towards UHC and addresses how IGHI are contributing towards the UHC system in order to make quality and safe healthcare a reality for all. 

Part 3: Universal Health Coverage in the UK

In the third of our video series with Sir David Nicholson, former CEO of the NHS and Adjunct Professor here at IGHI, Sir David talks about how the delivery of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) took route in the UK.

The current UHC model has been serving us well for over 60 years.  However, there is still room for improvement and there are challenges ahead which we must face in order to sustain UHC in the UK.

To mark Universal Health Coverage Day (12.12.15), Sir David Nicholson provides a few suggestions on how we can achieve and maintain a safer, robust and resilient model for UHC, which will allow us to sustain the current model of care for generations to come.

Part 2: The economic and political case for Universal Health Coverage

By Dr. Matthew Harris, Senior Policy Fellow in Public Health, Institute of Global Health Innovation

I never really stopped to think why there was a need for a Universal Health Coverage Day.  Who could argue against the need for healthcare?  Who could argue against the common sense policy of equal access to health care, for equal need – irrespective of ability to pay?  However, despite many advances around the world in providing universal health care for whole populations, there are still many places where people suffer catastrophic financial burden as a result of relatively simple healthcare needs.

There have been many successes, but there is still a long way to go.