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Living with HIV in 2016: It’s not over

By Professor Sarah J Fidler, Professor of HIV and Communicable Diseases at Imperial College London

There are over 37 million people living with HIV globally and in the UK this is now over 100,000 people.

There has been the most dramatic improvement in the treatment and care now available for people living with HIV; a result of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART). This represents a huge success in terms of life expectancy as well as reducing the risk of passing virus infection from an HIV-positive person to their partners or children. In fact, if people start on ART when they first test HIV-positive and remain on treatment so that the level of virus in their blood tests remains below the limit of detection; “undetectable” they can expect to live a normal healthy life and not risk passing the virus on to their partners or children.

Global Diffusion of Healthcare Innovation: Making the connections

The diffusion or spread of innovations over time through a specific population or social system is important to unlock the potential benefits of an innovation. There has been much study of how to encourage the uptake of innovations so that they become part of everyday practice and benefit many, rather than a few. In this research, we explore this from the demand side. This report, ‘Global Diffusion of Healthcare Innovation: Making the connections’, which is to be discussed this morning at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) looks at how frontline health workers (FHWs) and leaders find solutions to their everyday challenges, and which sources are the most influential.

Investing in health: The economic case

Developing country governments and aid agencies face difficult decisions on how best to allocate their finite resources. Investments in many different sectors – including education, water and sanitation, transportation, and health – can all reap social and economic benefits. This report, ‘Investing in health: The economic case’, which is to be discussed at today’s World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) focuses specifically on the health sector. It presents compelling evidence of the value of scaling-up health investments. The economic case for increasing these investments in health has never been stronger.

Having made progress in reducing maternal and child mortality, and deaths from infectious diseases, it is essential that policymakers do not become complacent.

Healthy Populations: Designing strategies to improve population health

The health of a population is influenced by a wide range of factors, most of which lie outside the healthcare system. This includes social, economic and environmental factors, as well as individuals’ behaviours.

Tackling the major health challenges facing populations across the globe – including the rise of chronic diseases and widening inequities in health requires co-ordinated action between different parts of society. Yet approaches to improving population health are typically fragmented and imbalanced towards healthcare services.

Innovative approaches to prevention: Tacking the global burden of cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes 17.5 million deaths each year. Most of these deaths are from heart attacks and strokes, and many are premature. Although outstanding progress has been made in CVD awareness, prevention and treatment, three out of every 10 deaths this year will still be result of CVD.

A global epidemic, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, affecting all regions regardless of income. Low-and middle-income countries make the largest contribution to the burden of CVD, particularly in terms of deaths in people aged 30 to 70 years, and those figures are still rising. However, CVD deaths and disability are not inevitable and up to a quarter could be avoided with more effective strategies for primary and secondary prevention.

An international perspective on information for patient safety: What can we learn about measuring safe care?

The fact that patient safety is an important issue in healthcare is not up for debate. We can all agree that it is unacceptable that almost one in 10 patients are harmed while receiving care in the hospital. However, it is also worrying that we rely on estimates of safety levels because of the lack of comprehensive information.

Through a combination of a review of the literature and a qualitative survey of eight organisations, this report compares how health systems measure patient safety. The report of the Leading Health Systems Network (LHSN) 2016 reviews which information sources are used and to what end.

Genomics in the Gulf region and Islamic ethics

In much the same way that genomic technologies are changing the landscape of biomedical research, the ethical issues these technologies generate are setting today’s agenda of ethics research. The distinct ethical issues concerning the management of incidental findings represent a serious challenge that has occupied the minds of

Western bioethicists for a while, but has yet to capture due attention from specialists in the Muslim world.

Incidental findings are generally defined as results that arise although they were not part of the original purpose of the research project or clinical test. Ethical management of these findings is not a simple matter, because while they can be lifesaving, they can also lead to harmful consequences for the individual and community at large, and at other times lack any clear significance.

Applying behavioral insights: simple ways to improve health outcomes

Much of the global burden of disease arises from unhealthy behaviors, which people struggle to change even if they have the awareness, intention and ability to do so.

The new report ‘Applying behavioral insights: simple ways to improve health outcomes’ will be discussed at today’s World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH).

The Behavioral Insights Forum will present groundbreaking, evidence-based research showing how citizens’ health can be improved through a better understanding and application of the latest research. Led by a UK government-owned social purpose company, The Behavioral Insights Team, this research studies the factors that influence human behavior thereby producing evidence that can prove vital to improving the health of populations.

Implementing accountable care to achieve better health at a lower cost

Most countries have well-established mechanisms to pay for medical treatments. However, many innovations – telemedicine, use of community health workers and lower-cost versions of treatments – are inadequately reimbursed, if reimbursed at all.

Payment systems are often slow to support new care models, and understandably so: additional payments for innovations create fiscal concerns; innovations may not be cost-effective unless integrated appropriately with other services; and existing institutions may lack experience or clear authority to support new services. Accountable care can help to overcome such barriers.

Precision Medicine: A global action plan for impact

Since the turn of the century, global achievements in scientific research have enabled us to realise a new era of healthcare delivery and treatment. Diseases are becoming better understood, even at their most detailed level, which has allowed scientists to develop new drugs, therapies and preventative techniques to combat problems in very specific ways. A new form of healthcare delivery, one that is determined by a patient’s genetic and personal characteristics, has become possible.