Covid 19

Experts expose COVID uncertainty and value what they learned in the first wave

Health and medicine experts expose the uncertainties in the situation and evolution of COVID-19 in Spain and value everything learned in the first wave of the coronavirus that is serving to combat the current second wave

Family photo of those attending the innovation conference / Facilitated by the IDIS Foundation

This was explained at the Innovation Seminar “The health that comes: Challenges and trends in the COVID-19 era”, organized by the IDIS Foundation, in collaboration with Farmaindustria and FENIN, last Thursday, in which the report was also presented “The future of the health sector.”

The day had initial speeches by the president of the IDIS Foundation, Juan Abarca ; the general secretary of the Spanish Federation of Health Technology Companies (FENIN), Margarita Alfonsel ; and the CEO of Farmaindustria, Humberto Arnés .

The debate was attended by doctors Ricardo Cubedo , Assistant of the Medical Oncology Service of the Puerta de Hierro University Hospital in Madrid; Ángel Gil de Miguel , Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the Rey Juan Carlos University; Santiago Moreno , Head of the Infectious Diseases Service of the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital; and the general director of the IDIS Foundation, Marta Villanueva .

Villanueva was the one who presented the report, which makes a diagnosis of the future of health from different angles, such as the disruption of health, the user experience, liquid hospitals, the E-Doctor, digital management, hyper-personalization and preventive technology.

marta villanueva
Marta Villanueva, general director of IDIS / Photo provided by IDIS

“Behind all this is the data and the algorithm that is made with the data, and the ethics of the algorithm, for a more precise, personalized, better and easier healthcare”, emphasized Marta Villanueva.

The debate with the doctors focused on COVID-19

Doctor Cubero highlighted: “You have to be critical, I am not proud of the control of the pandemic, the results are not good. There is much to analyze and improve to see why our results are not as good as in other countries ”.

Dr. Gil pointed out that in a worldwide comparison “we are not so bad, but our health system has shown shortcomings to respond to a situation like the one we have experienced. Here is the limitation ”.

Dr. Moreno stated: “We cannot pass for being optimistic. The number of infected people is tremendously high and we have not been able to prevent transmission. At the beginning of October we thought that the cases would be few, and we have the expectation of what will happen with the seasonal viral infections ”.

“We can see if the lessons learned help us to effectively control the continuity of the second wave of the virus,” added the doctor from the Ramón y Cajal hospital, one of the health workers who had to overcome COVID-19.

Doctor Cubero emphasized: “We have learned a lot in these months about what to do with sick patients and in hospitals, but we have not learned something well to avoid contagion; and I’m afraid that communication with the population has left a lot to be desired and it worries me a lot ”.

Dr. Santiago Moreno during his speech at the V Anniversary of EFEsalud / EFE / Juanjo Martín

For Santiago Moreno, “we hoped that there would be no second wave and it has happened because the virus does not go away. The sanitary and the non-sanitary have done wrong things. There was no control of the de-escalation even in the summer ”.

Dr. Gil asked the politicians for a pact for health “without ideological conditions; this is the moment, if there is not with the pandemic, when will there be ”, he questioned.

The speakers launched an appeal to the responsibility of the population in complying with the rules, and to the media in transmitting messages with clarity and scientific evidence.

They also asked the population to get vaccinated against the flu this year, more than ever, to mitigate the effects of this disease and reduce the cases of doubts that may arise regarding whether what you have is the flu or covid.


In the initial interventions, Juan Abarca stressed that “the most important lesson is that we have to innovate in the health system and work together, in a structural and stable way, for the benefit of patients’ health.”

Juan Abarca
Dr. Juan Abarca, president of the Institute for the Development and Integration of Health (IDIS Foundation) / Photo courtesy of IDIS

“We are all very concerned with the second wave; in Spain things are not being done as well as they should be from the management, ”added the president of the IDIS Foundation .

From Fenin, Margarita Alfonsel raised three keys to the future of health and against the pandemic: coordination with the creation of a State Public Health Agency; knowledge with a forum of experts who provide capacity and experience; and co-responsibility of all health agents, including citizens.

Humberto Arnés summarized the two most important lessons learned from his point of view: the need to have a public and private research fabric to provide solutions to health problems; and a powerful business fabric that “does not make us depend on third countries”, as has happened in COVID-19 with Asian countries.

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