NIHRIO Exhibition Stand at EuHIC 2018. Pictured [left to right]: Alex Mitchell (Engagement Officer), Verena Weissenbacher & Sonia Garcia Gonzalez-Moral (Horizon Scanning and Evidence Synthesis Specialists)
It’s not yet common place for a healthcare conference to put the patient voice first, but that’s exactly what EuHIC 2018 organisers were striving to do, and something they achieved with ease.
In May 2018, we travelled to Berlin to exhibit the NIHR Innovation Observatory at our first international conference. With the theme of ‘Putting Patients First’, this packed one day event was attended by patients, carers, healthcare professionals, researchers and industry representatives covering pharma, medical devices, biotech and digital health.
It was incredible to hear first-hand from patients about the innovative ways they have been involved in improving the healthcare journey, not just in the UK and Germany but across Europe. We heard inspirational stories of patients raising awareness of their conditions, and going on to influence the priorities of future research to ensure it focuses on the unmet need of patients. As the consumers and end users of healthcare, we need to be listening to what patients want and what patients need – the only way we can effectively do this is by meaningfully involving them in every step in the research cycle and healthcare journey.