The report, sponsored by the Bristol Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance, is based on surveys and in-depth interviews from December 2019-January 2020 with more than 250 senior executives from healthcare policy and payer organizations (public and private), patient advocacy groups and the healthcare workforce across five major European countries – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – to better understand variations in European policy.
The report also suggests a few primary areas that surveyed policymakers and healthcare providers agree need deeper investment in order to help provide better care for patients, with an emphasized need for government funding and support for education and awareness initiatives given 71% of respondents do not think that many people understand the impact of stroke. 1
Additional considerations for stroke prevention include implementing clinical guidelines and utilizing digital tools. Of note, only 39% of all respondents believe the latest clinical guidelines for managing people at risk of stroke are being “mostly” or “entirely” implemented. 1 Lack of funding from national authorities and a lack of understanding of key stroke risk factors are the largest barriers to implementation, according to respondents.1
Digital investment is trending with respondents as well – with the uptake of digital tools like apps and smart watches to detect and monitor stroke risk factors rise, many respondents feel more digital investment and support from the government is important for future stroke prevention. Seventy-one percent of survey respondents agreed, saying mobile and/or digital health apps provide them with useful data to help support stroke prevention, although 48% say they do not always have time to look at the data from them to support decision-making. 1
Although the surveys and in-depth interviews took place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the considerations in the report around policy and investment efforts for preventing stroke have become even more relevant during the pandemic. Navigating this new healthcare environment is vital to the continued care and management of stroke in patients, both now and moving forward. With these findings, it is our hope that by addressing key areas of investment, we can help to potentially further reduce rates of stroke in Europe.