Innovation, Sustainability and the Future of Healthcare

The days of healthcare as we know it may be limited. Recent advances in biomedical research are paving the way to precision medicine, shifting the historical medical paradigm from the search for a universal solution to the development of personalized treatments. The availability of large volumes of digitized clinical data, combined with the arrival of powerful artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, may have even deeper implications. From diagnosis to clinical decision-making, from empowering the patient to redefining the role of the physician, big data is becoming one of the cornerstones of medical research and practice. At the same time, the world is seeing dramatic changes in demographics, life expectancy and the prevalence of certain diseases. Together, these three elements (precision medicine, big data and a rapidly changing society) are profoundly transforming the healthcare landscape.

The challenge is great, and the opportunities many; and yet the details of the actual implementation are far from clear. Some questions that form the foundation of this research program are:

- Taking all of the advances in medical sciences into account, what picture can be formed about the future of healthcare? What are the main areas of advancement and how will these changes affect how healthcare is conceived and delivered?
- With regard to the needs of our future societies, which emerging medical technologies can have the biggest impact, and how should they be fostered?
- How should the healthcare innovation ecosystem (hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, academic institutes) change to maximize efficiency in healthcare service delivery?
- Considering future economic and political scenarios, how could these new technologies be leveraged in order to improve the sustainability of the public healthcare system, both in Europe and beyond?
- How can the financial and regulatory frameworks not just keep up with the pace of innovation, but actually add value?

The Project

The Center for the Governance of Change is fully committed to producing scientifically rigourous research, conducted with integrity, full transparency, and outside of any commercial interests. None of the funding bodies have, or wish to have, any power over the results of the research, outputs, and final conclusions of the programme.

The project will have three fundamental areas of study:

  1. The Future of Medicine: The future of bio and medical sciences with a study of current and future developments in this field, in particular new drugs, treatments and medical equipment. The Program will strive to paint a comprehensive picture of advances in these fields, their benefits and implications for human health, longevity and others.
  2. The Provision of Healthcare Services: Current challenges to and future developments of the provision of healthcare in countries around the world with a particular emphasis on Europe and Spain. Important questions to be tackled here will be how to achieve sustainability in the provision of public healthcare, how to regulate that provision in an equitable manner and others.
  3. The Evolving Nature of “The Patient”: The ageing of populations, the changing nature of pathologies and shifting concepts of work and health insurance will also be studied as these will be key determinants of how healthcare is provided and consumed.


Mireia Crispin

University of Cambridge

Javier Lezaun

University of Oxford

Arantxa Unda


Javier Ellena

Talento Farmacéutico

Malte Gerhold

Care Quality Commission

In partnership with: