On the sidelines of the 76th World Health Assembly, Harvard University's Professor of Global Health Systems, Rifat Atun, the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies (CIFS), Microsoft, Roche, and Siemens Healthineers came together to announce the formation of the Movement Health Foundation. While many countries around the world are facing enormous pressures on their healthcare systems, populations keep growing, people are living longer, chronic diseases are on the rise, and infectious diseases remain a threat, the Foundation aims to foster collaboration across sectors to ultimately provide access to quality health care for all people, now and in the future.
Working on the ground with governments, entrepreneurs, healthcare providers and patients, the Movement Health Foundation will harness the expertise, skills and resources of its founding partners to equip healthcare systems for the demands of the future and help them adopt the digital innovation needed to create the change that best serves the world's healthcare needs. Through a five-step approach of challenge identification, local networking, focused policy change work, incubation of solutions and pilots, and scaling, the Foundation aims to create long-term impact while fostering collaboration, best practice sharing, and entrepreneurship.
On their end, CIFS will leverage the power of data to locate innovation challenges and bottlenecks, along with opportunities for cross-border collaboration that will help countries overcome their most pressing health issues; Siemens Healthineers will explore ways to apply innovative patient-centric solutions in areas such as AI-driven diagnostics; Microsoft will bring expertise in technology and digital transformation; and Roche will leverage its deep understanding of medical biology and long-term approach to maximising innovation to help make universal access to quality healthcare a reality; all of them guided by strategic advice from the Chair of the Foundation, Professor Atun, who is committed to accelerating universal health coverage to develop resilient health systems.
“Critical for the sustainability of health systems will be their ability to harness the power of digital and AI technology to accelerate a more equitable global delivery of healthcare across patients, practitioners and systems. We are proud to be one of the founding partners of Movement Health and see the Foundation as a catalyst for this transformation to bring value for patients and society,” said Tom McGuinness, Corporate Vice President, Global Healthcare and Life Sciences at Microsoft, the company that will harness the potency of technology to identify and drive breakthrough solutions to said address the needs identified by the Foundation.
“The challenge of tackling the world’s greatest health issues cannot be solved by one organisation or company alone, but by harnessing the insights and capabilities of leading institutions and cross-industry partners,” said Professor Atun, who chairs the Foundation's Board of Trustees, about the origin of this community. "Through an inclusive partnership approach, Movement Health Foundation can make a real difference on a global scale," he concluded. Professor Atun has been part of the foundation since it was first launched in Latin America as a learning initiative in 2019, with the goal of building more responsive, resilient, and equitable health systems in this region by combining digital innovation and policy shifts to help achieve the bold target set by the United Nations to reduce premature mortality from major illnesses by one-third by 2030.
Movement Health has seen notable successes in countries such as Chile, where a 30% reduction in time to effective treatment for lung cancer patients has been achieved and Peru, where a dramatic improvement in key performance indicators, particularly for early childhood development and health workforce productivity were achieved without the need for increased budget spending. It has recently expanded to become a global program reaching Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, and now, as an official foundation comprising leading companies and individuals from various sectors, it will accelerate its work by partnering to effectively help transform health systems around the world.
Rolf Hönger, Vice President of the Foundation's Board, Area Head of LatAm at Roche Pharma, and has been part of Movement Health since its inception, said: "When we launched Movement Health in Latin America, we did not foresee that a pandemic would put our healthcare systems under even greater pressure, but we did know one thing: we needed to strengthen them for the future of humanity. The events of the past three years have not only reaffirmed our commitment to a future of accessible, high-quality healthcare for all, but they have also made Movement Health Foundation stronger.”
“As leaders in the healthcare industry and co-founding partners of the Movement Health Foundation, we are all driven by the opportunity to make focused impact on underserved populations by combining the power of our unique capabilities and our commitment to building more sustainable healthcare systems around the world” said Tisha Boatman, Senior Vice President Global Access to Care Siemens Healthineers and Movement Health Board Member. “We share the belief that health is a fundamental human right and that everyone should have the opportunity to benefit from the innovations in healthcare, for example improved diagnostics to catch diseases early.”
“Health is the most important pillar for equality, equity, for reducing poverty and for developing sustainable societies. Systemic change of healthcare is a main component of the Foundation’s purpose. We want to build future proofed and intergrated health systems globally. By collaborating across countries and continents, we aim to solve the largest challenges of health: improving equal access to quality health care and reducing the avoidable disease burden” said Bogi Eliasen, CIFS Health Director and member of the Board of the Foundation, who agrees that “equal access to quality healthcare is essential for everyone to live their best, healthiest lives, and must be a priority for any sustainable health system”. Movement Health Foundation is committed to being a catalyst for change and a leader of action on a mission to prepare and transform health systems, with the rights, expectations, and hopes of future generations front of mind.