Norbert Sparrow

Norbert Sparrow is the editor of European Medical Device Manufacturer. Born in Germany and raised in Toronto and Los Angeles, he earned his master’s degree in journalism in Strasbourg, France. He wrote for a variety of newspapers and magazines during the 12 years that he lived in Paris and Strasbourg. Norbert returned to Los Angeles in 1986, and joined Canon Communications (now UBM Canon) in 1995 as editor of European Medical Device Manufacturer.

The winner is
When UBM Canon decided to launch the MEDTEC EMDT Innovation Awards, the PIP implant affair was not front-page news. The organisers merely thought that the contributions made by Europe’s medical technology industry in ameliorating the human condition deserved recognition. But in the aftermath of the wall-to-wall coverage of the French breast implant scandal, it’s more important than ever to celebrate and trumpet the achievements of this remarkable industry.
Access
Medical device manufacturers routinely design products that, even a few short years ago, were the stuff of science fiction. And let’s not even mention the amazing research underway today that will animate tomorrow’s medical products, from Tricorder-like devices performing on-the-spot diagnostics to 3-D printers producing replacement body parts. But there’s a problem: money. To succeed in today’s marketplace, medical device original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) must take into account funding and reimbursement pathways, the critical role that health technology assessment (HTA) can play, and other factors that may have little to nothing to do with how well or how safely a device performs its intended task.