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David Watson, vice president of ECRI Institute's European office since 1998, is responsible for the implementation, development, and operational management of ECRI Institute activities within the European Union (EU). His responsibilities include operational management of numerous activities such as risk and quality assessment, patient safety, strategic planning, and technology management projects within large hospital groups, ministries of health, and purchasing organizations within the EU.

Watson joined ECRI Institute in 1996, initially serving as director of European operations. In addition, he was project director for a national study with the UK National Audit Office that reviewed the management of health technologies and the patient safety initiative within the National Health Service (NHS). These studies were reviewed by the UK Parliament's Public Accounts Committee in January 2000 and 2006.

Watson has acted on several occasions as a scientific advisor to the World Health Organization and served as a consultant to the Council of Europe's Expert Working Group on patient safety.

Watson has a 20-year background in clinical measurements research within numerous clinical specialties. He held a board-level directorship within an integrated acute and community care NHS Trust in the United Kingdom. He worked as a district scientific advisor for a health authority holding operational responsibility for the performance and strategic development of clinical diagnostic procedures. While holding this post, he was also responsible for the development and implementation of capital healthcare projects.

Also while working in the NHS, Watson advised the UK Department of Health on national strategic planning for medical technology. He also worked with the Department of Health during the early implementation of patient safety initiatives within the NHS. He piloted the development of root cause analysis investigative techniques within mental healthcare settings and has also participated in a significant number of patient safety investigations.

Watson received his PhD from Imperial College London and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a chartered biologist, and member of the Institute of Directors.