Healthcare companies need to be in the mind set of outcomes rather than just products as solutions if they are to play a role in changing healthcare systems for the better, leading healthcare technology experts have said.

“We have to go beyond delivering value,” said Olivier Croly, vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare IT Europe, speaking at Life Science Talks, the first of a series of international events held in Paris, France, hosted by executive search and talent management firm GenSearch. 

While it was difficult for many companies because they were not set up to deliver outcomes, Croly said it was imperative to “find enablers of outcomes”. “We need to think differently. There is an opportunity here to work together and drive better outcomes. Even if we could drive 1% efficiency in healthcare that means big dollars saved.”

Miguel Bernabeu, global head of market access, pricing and HEOR at Alcon Laboratories, the ophthalmology division of Novartis, agreed saying that healthcare systems were “desperate to find a different approach” and that it was up to healthcare companies to understand healthcare needs and offer an outcomes model based on this. “The world is changing and we have two options: We can stick to what we have done all the time or adapt and embrace change.” 

But, he added, data needs to be generated so we can see which approach is the most effective. In addition, companies will need to invest in people and technology so the move to focusing on outcomes could be expensive, he said. “We need the commitment from top management for this to happen”. 

A focus on collaboration and joint working is one way of looking at outcomes, and Silvia Ondategui-Parra, partner Mediterranean life sciences and healthcare leader and global pricing and reimbursement and market access leader at EY, noted that the consultancy had started to see a number of new and innovative business models established, particularly collaborations, to address outcomes with reimbursement models also aligning to this.

One example given at the meeting was on home healthcare, with a particular focus on disease management of chronic diseases such as COPD. Yvoine McCort, head of home healthcare international development at Air Liquide Healthcare, noted that home-based COPD management could significantly reduce hospitalisation. The company identifies and categorises patients based on risk, to determine the level of home intervention. “We have to demonstrate value to all stakeholders,” she said.

Rick Greville, director of ABPI Cymru Wales, explained how the ABPI has put a framework in place in order to build public-private partnerships in a context that allows trust. This was also a key point for Emmanuel Gomez, the head of the disease management programs at the CNAM, the French compulsory national health insurance for employees. The CNAM has decided to lead its own disease management programs in diabetes and COPD, “which has given interesting results in terms of re-hospitalisation and savings”, said Sebastien Stoitzner, managing director at GenSearch. He added: “It is clear that both the healthcare industry and the public healthcare sector are working on a lot of initiatives to take better care of the patient and make the healthcare systems sustainable. The journey will be long and hard but there was a lot of optimism and good will around this table.”