Innovation in health

CCBC partners with Global Health Accreditation Alliance

By Sérgio Siscaro

The Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CCBC) announced on November 9th its partnership with the health accreditation association IQG. This partnership will bring together both Brazilian and Canadian  health innovation ecosystems, through events and meetings in which recent technologies will be presented and partnerships established between companies and institutions from both countries.

The first practical step of this initiative is a mission to Canada, planned for 2022; another is to conduct networking initiatives  duringthe months of March, September and November of next year.

During the event, the CEO of IQG, Rubens Covello, spoke about the partnership and its new corporate name – which is now Qmentum Global Alliance. “The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has made the relationships between the public and private [health] systems more professionally tied. But there is still a lot to do. This was one of the things that made me bring Accreditation Canada to Brazil: the management of access to public health”, he said.

He said creating a global alliance to implement unified patient-focused healthcare standards is the mission of this partnership. “Canada’s accreditation model was designed in 1955. It is very mature. Its characteristics include performance and outcome indicators, it works on the issue of governance, in addition to the involvement of top management in the process. This methodology seeks to optimize the use of human resources – in the pandemic we had several problems related to people management – ​​financial and technological, in the search for greater efficiency and effectiveness in service.”

Favorable ecosystem

Canada’s experience in applying innovative solutions to healthcare was presented by Anita Baidwan, Vice-consul and Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in São Paulo, and by Izabela Duarte, Trade Commissioner at the Commercial Office of the Government of Canada in Recife. “Innovation has been the great common denominator for the quality of services provided, through the incorporation of new disruptive technologies in the sector”, said Baidwan.

Duarte explained to the participants the range of sectors and activities that work to improve health care in Canada. They include the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry; the medtech segment; digital health; natural health products; and healthcare services. In each of these areas, high investments in research and development ensure innovation: in 2018, for example, the pharmaceutical sector would have spent CAN$ 186 billion on R&D, while the medtech segment invested CAN$ 49 billion in the same year.

Innovation in the healthcare sector in Canada is based, according to Duarte, on four pillars: the existence of a qualified talent base, with a large proportion of higher education graduates in the population; great scientific activity, which gives the country a tenth of the most cited publications in specialized publications among the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); presence of technology clusters, which benefit from the strategic position of the Canadian market in relation to other countries; and the country’s economic stability. “It is noteworthy that the different provinces also develop specific vocations”, he added.

Next, the director for Economic Affairs at the Quebec Office in São Paulo, Thais Aun, focused on the expertise developed in the province – and the government’s role in encouraging the sector’s development. “It is the province that invests the most in R&D, in terms of its Gross Domestic Product (PIB) share. And it is the world leader in segments such as artificial intelligence and deep learning”, she said, noting that the ecosystem of the so-called life sciences is reinforced by the existence of research activities in local higher education institutions.

The province of Quebec has developed a strategic plan to drive the sector’s development between 2017 and 2027, which aims to position the province “among the five most important clusters in North America in the life sciences sector”. When established, the plan provided for the allocation of CAN$ 205 million in its first five years, and an additional budget allocation of CAN$ 151 million.