Tanja Valentin

Tanja leads the Government Affairs & Public Policy team at Medtech Europe. In that role she is responsible for Medtech Europe’s collaboration with the Brussels stakeholder community and for the advocacy work towards EU institutions regarding medtech relevant legislation and policies. Tanja also leads the organisation’s initiative to promote the value of the industry in striving for better health and care of people.Tanja joined the trade association in 2008 and has more than 15 years of experience in EU legislation and stakeholder relations. Economist by training she previously worked for a non-profit organisation establishing its footprint in Brussels and as a principal advisor and head of office in the European Parliament. A German national, she is fluent in English and French.

As healthcare advocates, we know that dialogue between patients and the medical technology industry can deepen understanding between those who develop new healthcare solutions and those who use them. That is why our organisations, the European Patients’ Forum (EPF) and MedTech Europe, devised the Patient-Medtech Dialogue as a forum for regular interaction on topics of mutual interest in a transparent and open way. Our experience to date has been positive: The Patient-MedTech Dialogue is an initiative that began in 2011 with the aim of providing a platform for the exchange of perspectives between the patient and medtech communities. At our latest meetings, on 24 and 25 May, we co-hosted two half-day workshops, exploring two hot topics in healthcare: Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and community care in the context of improving access to medical technologies. We were delighted about the high interest and engagement of the patient organisations and MedTech companies that joined. In addition to the exchange between patients and industry representatives, the dialogue also engages with experts and other stakeholders. For example, these recent sessions benefited from the contributions of a European Commission official and senior representatives of HTAi, and Health First Europe. Health Technology Assessment The first workshop on HTA provided us with an opportunity to exchange perspectives on the European Commission’s legislative proposal on health technology assessment and on common rules for clinical assessment of health technologies undergoing HTA. There were also calls from various participants for greater transparency about how patient involvement in HTA processes translates into decision-making, and detailed discussion of the need for funding and training to ensure effective patient input. Care in the community The second workshop focused on community care – healthcare provided outside the hospital setting. We see technology helping to empower patients to manage their conditions and connect with specialists,...
I would like you to think about the evolution of healthcare in Europe and how it is organised. What are healthcare systems generally good at? Imagine a road accident. Frantic emergency phone calls. Flashing blue lights. Within 8 minutes emergency vehicles arrive. You hit the hospital accident and emergency ward. A crash team is ready. Doors are rushed through. Staff is scrambled, and lifesaving interventions happen. It’s an efficient and wondrous system we should all be proud of. Acute and chronic A road accident is an example of acute care. An intensive but (relatively) time-limited intervention. Over time, healthcare systems have got extremely good at delivering acute care, in many forms. But there is an emerging issue. Care for chronic conditions is far behind. Diabetes is one of the most pressing examples of a chronic condition. In a perfect world, a person living with diabetes would have complete and timely information about their condition. They would be able to effectively self-treat easily and, if needed, have support from doctors, nurses and nutritionists at any time, day or night. In a perfect world, the condition could be managed minute-by-minute, and the person would never need to see those blue flashing lights or the inside of a hospital. Perfection and reality We are far from that perfect world. Two challenges arise from our acute-care focused traditional model. Firstly, purchasing and resource allocation mainly happen in short-term cycles. Acute care tends to be resource-intensive but time-limited. Secondly, acute care tends to happen in highly siloed structures. Car crashes go to A&E. Heart problems go to cardiovascular. But what if healthcare systems faced a pressing condition that was long-term and could not be neatly siloed? This is exactly the issue with diabetes, a condition that often lasts decades and can cause complications in the...
Medtech in the limelight during June’s ‘MedTech Week’ This June, we took one week to debate with our partners across Europe the value of medical technologies to patients, healthcare systems and society at large. For the third year running, member companies and national associations came together to demonstrate the value of medtech in our day-to-day life. I highly praise the enthusiastic and meaningful level of engagement and interest from industry and stakeholders alike for this year’s edition of ‘MedTech Week’. ‘MedTech Week’ took place this year from 19 to 23 June as part of MedTech Europe’s initiative to illustrate the mission of our industry—saving and improving people’s lives every day. I was thrilled to see the high number of national medtech associations and companies joining efforts to make this edition a very successful one. This created an extraordinary opportunity for our stakeholders to get to know and understand our sector. For one week, ‘MedTech Week’ was the platform where a variety of professionals from different areas met online and offline to discuss making our healthcare systems fit for the future. Experts from academia, hospitals, NGOs and caregivers put forward their vision for tomorrow’s healthcare. I am very grateful to all contributors who shared their views, be it on diabetes [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ], value-based healthcare, smart procurement, antimicrobial resistance or access to healthcare. Their valuable support is a step forward in putting in the spotlight ways to improve outcomes relevant for patients and other healthcare players. Through various activities across Europe, our members generated a much-needed dialogue on how to address the acute health challenges lying ahead of us. I am convinced that a constant collaboration and willingness to explore innovative ways of delivering healthcare based on people’s needs...
Focus on medtech in Europe during ‘ MedTech Week’ 19-23 June. It is the third year now that we take a dedicated week in June to debate with our partners across Europe the value of medical technology for patients, healthcare systems and society at large. I am more than excited about the high level of engagement and interest that the ‘MedTech Week’ receives from industry and stakeholders who use, regulate, evaluate and purchase the products, services and solutions our sector provides. The ‘ MedTech Week’ takes place from 19 to 23 June and is part of a wider initiative to illustrate what medical technology is all about. In a joint effort, national medtech trade associations and companies across European member states and beyond come together and encourage stakeholders to get to know our sector and what it delivers. We are proud about the products and solutions that save and improve hundreds of thousands of lives of people day by day and we are committed to understand and embrace tomorrow’s healthcare needs with the same passion. Throughout the week, a wide range of activities will take place. These will be fun and engaging, but also informative and thought-provoking. Have a look at what is happening in your country here . You will find conferences and workshops with national and local policy-makers, radio and television debates, quizzes, social media buzz, career days, employees’ trainings, roadshows, photo exhibitions and much more. Companies are also opening the doors to their manufacturing sites for visitors to explore the thinking behind medical technologies. Follow the #MedTechWeek on your social media channels for live updates! Our industry understands the stringent need for healthcare systems to spend available budgets wiser. Modern diagnostic tests, medical devices and services can contribute significantly to improve outcomes for patients and to address...
Big news: I am excited to announce that MedTech Europe will be holding its first interactive exhibition on the European Parliament’s esplanade next month. ‘ MedTech Discoveries’ will run from 9 to 12 November, showcasing the world of medical technologies and its value to people. Join us to find out what medtech is all about. What does medtech do for patients? MedTech can help to save lives and supports people with a wide range of conditions to be independent and to manage their own lives. Medtech provides tests that allow rapid and efficient diagnosis of health conditions, as well as tests that ensure patients get the right treatment at the right time. MedTech also consists of a wide range of devices, from disposable items that we find in hospitals and medical centres, to imaging technologies, equipment that helps avoid infections, artificial tissues and organs, pacemakers, robotics and smartphone apps – to name but a few! Through the interactive display on the esplanade, we hope to give policy makers and our partners the opportunity to explore and learn more about medtech. Can medtech make healthcare systems more efficient? There is an inherent value in helping patients to lead their lives in the best way possible. On a very practical level, medtech provides cost-effective solutions that contribute to enhanced quality of life and reduced risk of adverse events. For example, testing equipment is not just faster, but it also allows laboratories to conduct several tests using a single sample. What does that mean for the patient? Shorter waiting times for results, reduced anxiety, and fewer sample extraction procedures – all contributing to less time spent in doctors’ offices for patients and more efficient use of resources. There are also devices today that allow people to receive their treatment and care at home...
On Thursday 19 March 2009 I joined a round table discussion of Brussels-based think tank ECIPE on the topic “2009 Cross-border Healthcare in Europe and beyond.” I was very impressed with the statements of Robert Madelin, Director General of DG SANCO, which were really sharp and to the point. From his point of view it will be very challenging to maintain the current level of healthcare when looking at the pressure of the financial crisis that EU member states have to face. One logical thing to do would be to explore economies of scale and try to manage this crisis jointly. Furthermore, Mr Madelin would like to see health industry to take on a more constructive and cooperative role. I understood from his words that we should try to think more outside the box, reach out and improve our engagement with other relevant stakeholders like patient and healthcare workers organisations, aiming for joint solutions to maintain the sustainability of healthcare systems. Additionally, Madelin asked whether we all truly believe in the concept of a “patient centered healthcare system”. I think it is a big opportunity for our medical device sector to take his comments seriously and to prove that we truly believe in this concept. More than ever, we are ready to contribute to long-term solutions! - Tanja Valentin, Senior Manager, Public Affairs