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2021-05-07 às 14h22

Intervenção do Secretário de Estado da Saúde no encontro da Reunião da Rede de Inovação Europeia (INNO) - inglês

It is my pleasure today to welcome you to the INNO network meeting organised by INFARMED, under the Portuguese Presidency.

I’m sure we all hoped to meet in different circumstances, but we are still living quite challenging times. And, truth be told, although in a virtual format, we are now proficient in making meetings as productive as physical ones. Proof of how innovation can be applied to our daily lives until it becomes the norm.

Talking about innovation, if there is one area that can pride itself of centuries of continual discovery and innovative actions is Health. Just think of how life-changing and absolutely pioneer in their time were Anaesthesia, Penicillin, Organ transplants, or Stem cell therapy, just to mention a few examples.

Also, in recent years, we have seen things that I’m sure that, just a few years ago, were unthinkable, such as artificial-intelligence algorithms that can arguably read chest X-rays as well as (or better) than radiologists, inexpensive genomic sequencing that can guide personalized cancer treatments, and vast improvements in population health management through big data and analytics.

Now… allow me to make an observation. That Innovation in health doesn’t need to be all about really cool gadgets that use augmented reality, artificial intelligence, IoT, 5G…
It is all of that, of course. However, sometimes some of the biggest disruptions in health (or at least the ones that have a greater impact over the largest number of people) are about giving access – a sustainable, equitable and universal access – to medicines and medical devices, in a timely way. And to pursue a European agenda based on this access is, precisely, one of the aims of the Portuguese Presidency in the area of health.

Innovation in the health sector can be quite different than in other areas. We are talking about very long investment times, requiring very large amounts, when compared to other activities. As such, as almost everything in life, is about choices. As time and funds are not endless, everything needs to be considered, to make sure that our innovation efforts are being used to their most.»

Leia a intervenção na íntegra em anexo.