The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated more than ever the critical links between research and policy to address health system challenges. Going forward, how should researchers and policymakers work together to address chronic health system challenges?
We recently published “A Research and Policy Agenda for the Post-Pandemic World” in the July 2021 issue of Future Healthcare Journal. This article presents a vision for collaboration across these two domains to learn from the gains made and challenges faced during the pandemic. We include a set of recommendations for both researchers and policymakers to apply these lessons toward longstanding health system challenges.
The Covid-19 pandemic response has brought together academic, public, private and health sector actors to develop new technologies and practices to enable predictive, preventive, personalised and participatory (P4) health in real time. Myriad cases of collaborative innovation across these sectors have emerged throughout the pandemic response – despite certain observed technical, social and institutional barriers – that serve as examples to address post-pandemic health system challenges. In this paper, we propose a joint research and policy agenda to generate the knowledge and practices to identify and extend these acute gains toward chronic health system challenges in the post-pandemic era. We identify three key themes for post- pandemic research and policy: the dialectic between novel and traditional techniques, the tension between centralised and local decision-making, and cooperation across academic disciplines, sectors and borders. Going forward, attention to these three themes by researchers and policymakers will help align our health, policy, academic and technological systems to provide better health for all.
© Royal College of Physicians, 2021. The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Future Health J 2021; Vol 8, No 2: e198–203.