Health and technology companies Roche, Siemens Healthineers and Microsoft have joined with the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies (CIFS) on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly to announce the formation of the Movement Health Foundation, a new organisation dedicated to advancing global access to healthcare. 

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 populations. 

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. 

“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,” 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 address the needs identified by the Foundation.  

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, 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 will be guided by strategic advice from the chair of the Foundation, Harvard University professor of global health systems Rifat Atun, who is committed to accelerating universal health coverage to develop resilient health systems. 

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. 

Health successes in Latin American

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.” 

Tisha Boatman, senior vice president global access to care Siemens Healthineers and Movement Health Board Member, added. “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.”