healthcare professionals

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...
The recent winter Olympics have offered a thrill of competition along with a wonderful opportunity to connect for a short time with the world beyond our borders through this remarkable athletic event. The Olympics motto, “ Citius, Altius, Fortius” – swifter, higher, stronger – resonates with us as we think about the pace of technological progress in the medical sector, and the Olympic ideals of friendship, solidarity and fair play remind us that we need to work together to achieve the highest standards of business ethics as our companies pursue success in the rapidly evolving medtech field. The Legal & Compliance teams at AdvaMed and MedTech Europe are particularly proud of how innovative companies with global perspectives and worldwide markets have come together to collaborate to promote business ethics, corporate compliance and patient centricity on the global stage. The MedTech industry has had a stringent code of ethics for a number of years now-- because patients everywhere deserve confidence in the integrity of medical decision making. One high-priority area for these codes has been setting a framework for interactions with health care professionals (HCPs) both through the Code of Ethics of AdvaMed and the one of MedTech Europe . These interactions are a key component of medical technology research and development, and they are critical to ensure that HCPs have the latest information about safe and effective use of these technologies, ultimately for the benefit of patients. Over the last two years, MedTech industry organizations across the world have been focusing on ways to enhance their policies for interaction with HCPs. In particular, there is an international commitment to phase out the practice of “direct sponsorship” of HCPs at training and educational events. Under these new guidelines, instead of a MedTech company selecting individual HCPs whom they will support to...
As CzechMed celebrates its 20 th anniversary on 22 March 2018, Miroslav Palát , President of the association discusses the past, present and future Czechia was a different place in 1998 when CzechMed was established to represent the medical devices sector. Since then, the economy has grown by an average of 2.5% per year – with the healthcare sector growing at twice that rate – and the country has joined the European Union. As an industry veteran and President of CzechMed, Miroslav Palát has witnessed a period of great change. What difference has EU accession made for the industry? It has enabled free movement of goods which has been of particular benefit to the exporting industry. We have a number of significant medical devices producers for whom the Czech market alone would have been too small to justify establishing a strong presence. Access to the European market is essential. Joining the Single Market also brought us EU rules which, looking back at the Medical Devices Directive, created an easier environment for import and export of products. In the 20-year history of CzechMed, what have been the biggest trends influencing your work? The biggest trends include ease of market entry but, on the other hand, an increasingly difficult environment in terms of obtaining reimbursement. Regulators have become more sophisticated over the course of the past 20 years: one needs to provide a growing volume of documentation in order to secure reimbursement, even for relatively well-established products. Another major trend is the influx of non-European imports which have, one way or another, obtained a CE mark. There are growing volumes of super-cheap products from the far East on the market. Finally, in negotiating and obtaining funding and reimbursement for new technologies, we consistently see very little room to argue on the basis...
Chronic kidney disease is a major concern for healthcare providers worldwide. Tests that allow efficient and accurate diagnosis are vital. We all know someone living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) – even if they have not yet been diagnosed: it is estimated that 10 percent of the global population is affected by CKD 1 . Between 1990 and 2010, kidney disease became one of the fastest-growing causes of death in the world, second only to HIV/AIDS. 1 Reviewing the data on CKD diagnosis, we were struck by how timely detection can impact patient outcomes. Catching kidney disease in the early stages is a challenge, since there are typically no overt signs or symptoms. However, if CKD is detected early and managed appropriately, the deterioration in kidney function can be slowed and the risk of associated cardiovascular complications reduced. 2 For patients, this can make all the difference, but we know too that there is a real impact for health systems where demand is rising and resources may be scarce. CKD also represents more than €1 trillion in healthcare costs over the next decade. 3 Key indicators of kidney function So, what are the tell-tale signs of kidney problems? The presence of increased amounts of protein (albumin) in urine, or microalbuminuria, is a key indicator of kidney function and is routinely used to monitor the health of patients with diabetes mellitus. There are a number of tests available for urine creatinine estimation, the majority of which involve chemical or enzymatic reactions. When it comes to routine screening in a point-of-care setting, we believe the best available option is urine ACR. Like CKD, the prevalence of diabetes is increasing worldwide, with 422 million cases as of 2014. 4 A simultaneous creatinine measurement permits normalization of albumin concentration and requires only a single...
Over the past 20 years, much has been written about hospital–industry partnerships (also known as Public–Private Partnerships or PPPs). Though they have as many champions as detractors, and there are lessons to be learned, in today’s increasingly strained healthcare systems, their potential is undeniable. Despite the importance and value of these partnerships, through our own newly-launched CareAdvantage approach and other value-based offerings, the challenge of making this relatively new mechanism work well in an already complex sector is considerable. This intricacy is what led us to partner with Hospital Healthcare Europe (HHE) on the delivery of an independent report for 2018, “Perspectives on Hospital and Industry Partnerships: The Aim of Improving Outcomes, Increasing Patient Satisfaction and Reducing Costs.” We hoped that, by providing us with direct insights from healthcare leaders and stakeholders across EMEA, the report would allow us to better understand the concerns and opportunities that are shaping today’s awareness of these partnerships. I’m pleased to say that it has done just that. Much of the study’s findings deserve close consideration but I would like to highlight three of the most well-reported insights that, to me, have resonated most clearly. A shift in perceptions Firstly, hospital–industry partnerships are increasingly seen as “a welcome addition to hospital stakeholders and healthcare system decision makers’ armamentarium. ” There is still some wariness and hesitation in working with third parties – the private sector must be able to convince healthcare providers that patient outcomes are as important tous as they are to them – but “fresh eyes that challenge current systems…are needed.” Although they are not yet fully embraced across the sector, this shift towards viewing hospital–industry partnerships as a welcome step forward is very promising. Complementary capabilities Another valuable indication from the report is that there is now a true understanding that...
In its 40-year history, Fenin, the Spanish medtech federation, has seen enormous changes in Spain’s healthcare landscape. In the second part of a two-part interview, Margarita Alfonsel, General Secretary of Fenin, shares her thoughts on the future. Read part one, reflecting on Fenin’s 40-year history Q. How is Fenin working to shape the future of Spanish healthcare? Fenin has been researching and working for technological development for forty years with the aim of incorporating innovation into the Spanish healthcare system in an agile and equitable manner. We are working to value health technology, representing the interests of the sector in the appropriate forums, promoting free competition and preserving market unity. Q. What are the current priorities of the organization? One of the most important priorities for our Federation is to work towards correcting the obsolescence of hospital equipment. For this reason, we have collaborated with the Spanish Ministry of Health on a Renewal Plan to solve this problem. In addition, the new Code of Ethics of the Health Technology Sector in Spain is another of our most immediate challenges. Since its approval at Medtech Europe in 2015, Fenin immediately began to work on its implementation, becoming the first national association in its transposition. We are also working to facilitate the adaptation of the members companies to the new regulation on Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostics with the great support of Medtech Europe. Finally, one of Fenin aim’s is to work with the public administration on health technology investment to establish new management models to introduce value-based innovations for health professionals and patients. Q. What major future trends do you foresee in the coming years? Currently, the Spanish medical technology industry is going through a period of change. The ageing of the Spanish population and the increasingly high prevalence of...