2020: A Year Marked by the Pandemic

2020 was marked by the COVID-19 epidemic and its huge impact on the health of the population, in addition to its social, economic and experiential impact on society. This is why the Jordi Gol i Gurina Foundation for University Research in Primary Healthcare (IDIAPJGol) presented a service strategy to the Spanish National Health System. We turned to our fields of expertise to shed light on the situation and to look for answers. We did not do all this alone, but instead sought alliances and partnerships. An organization can make this kind of effort only if it has the enthusiasm and participation of all its researchers and partners behind it. 

Our expertise provides evidence on how to improve the health and well-being of society and is based on the principles of accessibility, fairness, and respect for the integrity of people, taking a biopsychosocial approach. Promoting health, prevention, and early diagnosis, handling acute and chronic diseases, person-centered care, and understanding of beliefs and behaviors related to health and disease are also essential issues for us.

This is demonstrated by our research areas in: Healthy Lifestyles and Aging; Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Conditions; Research in Innovation of Services; and Evidence of Real Data, forming 34 research groups throughout Catalonia. Through our organization's Regional Research Support Units (USRs), it is possible to contact our health researchers. In recent years, we have carried out 40 actions within the Spanish National Health System.

At an organizational level and through a participatory model, we have created the new IDIAP Strategic Plan for 2021-2025. The milestones of this plan take the form of 21 challenges involving goals and actions geared towards:

- The internationalization of our research

- Research and the Region

- The sustainability and competitiveness of our institution

- The professional development of researchers, technicians, and support staff

- Social commitment and the implementation of equitable focus areas

- The generation of transferable knowledge

- The modernization, innovation, and promotion of new technologies

Finally, in 2020, I would like to highlight some milestones:

- The continuation of the Go Europe project that led to a wide range of European initiatives, as well as the consolidation of the EIT-Health Alliance through the Catalan Institute of Health

- European regional leadership with Real Word Data Base, with participation of several European alliances and consortia, as well as the first artificial intelligence projects

- Participation in the new IMPACT platforms of the Carlos III Institute at an epidemiological and technological level. New participation in the Innovation Platform in Medical and Healthcare Technologies (ITEMAS) within the Mediterranean Arm of the Agency for Health Infrastructure and Medical Equipment (AISEM) Alliance, and the increased participation in the SCREEN Platform for the formulation of independent clinical trials

- Transformation of the Central Research Unit into an Interdisciplinary Research Unit, strengthening its support role to the different USRs

- Consolidation of the IDIAP Ethics Committee (CEIC) as a benchmark committee of the Catalan Department of Health 

- The co-creation of research projects with patient associations It is also worth highlighting our work with the Association of Patients with so-called long COVID-19.

All this and much more has been made possible thanks to the active work of the facility and our institution's 1500 researchers. Their participatory involvement in defining the organization and IDIAP's future challenges are essential.

Josep Basora, Executive Manager

Anar a l'inici