innovation

Digital technologies provide an opportunity to move musculoskeletal care to the heart of value-based healthcare. MedTech Views spoke to Satschin Bansal of Zimmer Biomet about some of the innovations that will change the field. Will digital health deliver the Holy Grail of better results for patients and better value for health systems? The technologies we have today, and those I see emerging from start-ups, are more than capable of changing musculoskeletal care. These digital tools contribute to the promise of value-based healthcare – improving patient outcomes while allowing greater cost-effectiveness. Digital health has to deliver both of these elements if it is to be adopted widely. What kinds of technologies are you thinking of? Think of rehabilitation after a knee or hip replacement. The six weeks after surgery are crucial to the patients’ quality of life after they recover. A major challenge, particularly in older patient populations, is patient compliance with physiotherapy. One of the solutions is to use wearable devices with sensors that give biofeedback to patients on whether they are bending their knee correctly or whether their mobility has improved. It can become like a “game”, making them more likely to stick to exercising. How else could technology improve rehabilitation without adding costs? The major costs of rehab are performing physiotherapy at a clinic and then later at home. The strong increase in using mobile technology also among elderly patients means physiotherapy can be delivered remotely. The physio could, for example, programme exercises for the patient to do in their own time – and then review the data afterwards. This helps each physiotherapist work more effectively with a larger number of patients – which is crucial as our population ages. In addition, further reducing length of stay in hospitals after joint replacement allows patients to return to their...
Nadim Yared is President and Chief Executive Officer of CVRx and Chairman of the AdvaMed’s Board of Directors, our sister organisation in the United States. He is a speaker at the MedTech Forum 2018 and his sessions include: CEO #NOFILTER and The MedTech Europe Code as a Business Enabler, both on Thursday 25th of January. For more information go to the MTF website and follow #MTF2018 on Twitter. *************************************** The toss of a dice. An incoming tornado. The decline of investment in medtech. Each of these events could be considered a butterfly effect – the notion that small causes can have broad effects. The medical device industry is undergoing tremendous tectonic shifts, where advances in technology are crossing new boundaries in the medical device space and widening horizons for patients. Internally, our industry has been evolving in response to these advancements. R&D teams have become more digital, more connected, more in-tune with the trends of Silicon Valley. Internet companies are empowering patients with information that enables them to control their destiny more than ever before. Patient advocacy groups are getting stronger and more influential. With this in mind, you might assume that our industry is growing healthy and that our innovation ecosystem is vibrant. Well, maybe. The number of U.S. patents in our field is at an all-time high. However, the translation of that innovation into products that are actually accessible to patients is bottlenecked. And the canaries in the mine here are the small medtech companies. I have seen the number of new medical device companies being formed fall over the past decade. In fact, ten years ago there were four times as many new companies as there were last year. While the total funds allocated by venture firms have been reduced by half, the average investment required by...
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...
The range of treatment options for patients with vision problems has expanded dramatically over the past two decades. This has helped to improve outcomes for patients while delivering shorter recovery times. But with so many possibilities available for vision correction, cataract removal and glaucoma surgery, how can patients make informed decisions that give them the best chance of getting the result they expect? While some turn to the internet or rely on the experiences of friends and family, the role of experienced ophthalmologists in demystifying treatment options is now greater than ever, according to Professor Carlos Palomino Bautista, Head of Ophthalmology Services, at the University Hospital of Quirón in Madrid. He says his long career in ophthalmology can be divided into two periods – the era before patients had the internet, and the period thereafter. Each has its own pros and cons. “Patients are increasingly aware of what is possible. We have a lot of patients that come to a consultation with information found online,” he says. “They often have a particular lens or procedure in mind but sometimes, after examining them and discussing the specifics of their case, I help them to change their mind.” Every patient is different. Not only can age, vision and the physical characteristics of the eye vary considerably from one patient to the next, their needs differ depending on the kind of job they do and how they spend their spare time. For example, ophthalmic surgeons can now implant corrective lenses in the eye during cataract surgery. But deciding which one requires a detailed conversation between patient and surgeon. “For a patient with long-sightedness, who has glaucoma or macular degeneration, there is a specific lens that I would choose,” says Prof Palomino who is also Professor of Ophthalmology at the European University of Madrid...
Jurriaan van Rijswijk (Msc): Founder and chairman ‘Games for Health Europe’ Eindhoven, October, 5th 2017 ‘Games for Health Europe’ wants to stimulate a paradigm shift in healthcare. Consider happiness as a positive condition for good health instead of the other way around. In healthcare, patients can be faced with considerable adversity; healthcare professionals sometimes work in challenging conditions and have to cope with difficult decisions. Global healthcare cost is rising steadily; shortage of healthcare professionals tends to turn into a disaster. Drastic transformation is needed. In terms of Richard Layard's happiness economics, patients’ wellbeing has to prevail over sickness. Unhappiness has a negative impact on individuals and society. It is obvious, unhappy people are more demanding, therefore, healthcare becomes more costly and time consuming. Maximising happiness is of real value. As we move to embrace Michal Porter’s value-based healthcare, we must strive to increase contentment among patients and other healthcare players, in order to achieve a sustainable and affordable healthcare system. Serious gaming can help. Playing is an evolutionary successful strategy for learning, behavioural change, and so for transformation. And above all, play is in human's DNA. We don't learn how to cycle by reading a book! That’s why we design serious games and improve the lives of patients by solving today’s healthcare challenges in innovative ways. Take medication adherence, for example. If patients do not take their prescribed medications every day, it can have serious consequences for them and lead to higher costs for the healthcare system. EntertainR helps chronic patients to remind them for their daily medication intake. Elderly like to play games, like crossword puzzles. Isn't it fun to participate in the world's largest crossword puzzle? In order to join this game, simply scan the medication package, and you are in. Meanwhile you are reminded to take...
People with a rare eye disease known as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) suffer a gradual loss of vision; some become completely blind. Now, an innovative new approach to treatment has given dozens of people the chance to see again. With the help of a retinal implant, special glasses and intensive training, people who were blind have a new way of viewing the world which could one day benefit people with other degenerative eye diseases. We spoke to Professor Marie-Noelle Delyfer, University Hospital of Bordeaux, who has already performed eight such operations. What is retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and what is the prognosis for patients? RP is actually around 300 distinct genetic disorders that lead to the loss of photoreceptors on the retina. Some affected individuals have a reduction in their visual field while others become blind. With such a rare disease, it is difficult to describe a typical patient. Some lose their sight early in life or in early adulthood but there are others who become blind only in their 70s or 80s. Until 20 years ago, there were no treatments at all and the disease was not well understood. The first genetic cause of the disease was identified in 1984 – before that it was thought of as an inflammatory disease. What treatments are available? Some pharmaceutical therapies help to maintain photoreceptors but this only slows the progression of the disease – it’s not a cure. In the longer-term, there is some research on gene therapy targeting the mutations responsible for RP. How can technology help? I have used a new technology, from SecondSight, with eight carefully selected patients living with end-stage RP. These patients have an electrode array implanted in their retina. They wear glasses that are fitted with a camera that ‘sees’ their surrounding environment. This signal is sent...