Medtechweek

How do we prepare Europe for future technologies? Technologies such as AI, robotics and precision medicine are a mix of challenge and opportunity. But how can we prepare for this new era of tech in the healthcare sector? Modern technologies have immense potential to improve health through promotion, prevention and protection; this represents not only innovation within a specific area, but a general change of the entire healthcare service workflow. To succeed, we need to lay a broad foundation – from investments and infrastructure to patients’ benefits and acceptance. For Europe to truly embrace digital health, technologies need to be made: available, affordable and acceptable. Europe has the opportunity to provide end-to-end conditions to shape the future of health technologies, improving the life of citizens. Success will not come from a sole player. To build trustworthy health databases we need to cross borders and open markets. We need to learn from each other. Front-runner countries must show the way for others. And most importantly, citizens need to trust the system with their data. The EU cannot reach these results, unless all member states are on board. The specifics of national and regional systems require stakeholders on all levels to work together towards the common goal of advancing infrastructure and engaging citizens. Therefore, the European Health Parliament will propose in 2018 that a Connected European Health Area is established to remove structural barriers and act as a vision for infrastructure, and that digital health is included in all relevant policy initiatives to accelerate a meaningful adoption of AI & robotics in healthcare.. Our full report “Breaking down barriers to digital health” will be available in April. Elin Mignérus The European Health Parliament brings a new angle to the work on health policy. By gathering young professionals from across Europe with experiences...
This blog is part of the Early Diagnosis campaign #BeFirst Early diagnosis and care can prevent illness from developing and slow disease progression. Lab tests, genetic tests, tests for chronic diseases and modern lab diagnostics can help facilitate earlier intervention and improves outcomes for patients and are increasingly valuable in informing treatment choice. Read the other blogs here: A smarter way to fight colorectal cancer , Why should we prevent cervical cancer? Because we can , Diagnosing severe hearing loss and deafness , Can screening decrease lung cancer mortality rates? , Kidney Disease: catch it early to save lives and money and For kidney disease patients, treatment education and choice are key to better outcomes . ************************************* Advances in diagnostic technologies give patients same-day test results for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea. This helps ease patient anxiety, can reduce the risk of infecting others and facilitates appropriate use of antibiotics – helping the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Let’s be honest – nobody relishes the prospect of visiting a Sexual Health clinic. Those who make the trip often have symptoms and are worried that they may have an infection. In many cases, they face an anxious wait for results to come back from the lab. When I started working in the public health system in the UK, parts of the patient experience of Sexual Health services were far from ideal. Health professionals would take samples which were collected daily and taken to a lab. Results were sent back to the clinic around one week later and then there was further delay in notifying the patient of their results. For patients, it was a worrying wait. One of the most pioneering clinics was at Dean Street Express (DSE) in London’s Soho district. There, the team developed a...
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...
What is your day-to-day work like? I work in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Charles University Faculty of Medicine, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic, specializing in cataract surgery, refractive surgery, the treatment of retinal diseases and laser corneal surgery, amongst others. In fact, I carry out over 2000 cataract surgeries a year. I also deal with some of the most complex cases in the Czech Republic. I’m also focused on spreading my knowledge and educating the next generation of doctors specializing in eye conditions and care and I’ve been working internationally too, working with the American Academy of Ophthalmology for example, as well as co-operating with innovative companies to share experiences and advance research and knowledge. How do you help improve or save people's lives through your work? Eyesight is a precious gift. I may not save people’s lives physically by my work but I certainly help to improve and even transform people’s lives. I will never refuse any patient, whatever age, background or complexity, and will do my utmost to restore their sight. What challenges face the healthcare system? The major challenge facing healthcare is the enlarging gap between the advances in medicine and the costs involved. This is only set to increase as the demographics change. Indeed, age-related conditions are harder to solve. Healthcare systems will face huge problems trying to cope with older patients with neurodegenerative diseases for example, or Alzheimer’s. There needs to also be a major focus on addressing the treatment inequalities facing patients. Treatment should not be limited to only a few but to all and the latest in technology should ideally be available. What role do you see for medical technologies to address these challenges? Diagnostic tests can help to address these challenges, allowing people to be diagnosed early and accurately and therefore...
What is your day-to-day work like? How do you help improve or save people's lives through your work? I am in charge of a home dialysis program in Helsinki. In my department, we take care of the education and training of patients to prepare them for therapy. In Finland, we have been active in this field from the early 80s. There are about 500 dialysis patients in our hospital district, 35% of whom are treated at home. We believe that home therapy is best for the patients. It does not only provide the best quality of life and outcomes, but it also allows for the treatment to be more personalised. It is in fact a win-win-win: for patients to be able to recover at home and get the best treatment, for healthcare professionals to be able to deliver the best care with limited staff and for society in terms of costs to the economy and healthcare. From early on, patients are able to choose the treatment best suited to them, thanks to the information available to them. It is important to not only provide this information to the patients, but also to their family. What do you think are the top three challenges facing the healthcare system and your profession in particular? One of the biggest challenges is the ageing population and the growing number of patients with end-stage renal failure. In the meantime, resources such as money or healthcare staff are lacking in order to balance the demands on the system. Finally, we should be up to date about technological and medical developments in our respective fields. The world is changing and we need to be able to adapt to these changes and understand the new demands. What role do you see for medical technologies to address these challenges?...
1. What is your day-to-day work like? How do you help improve or save people's lives through your work? I’m an orthopaedic surgeon working at Reinier de Graaf hospital in Delft; I’ve been working here since 2005. A large teaching hospital, I specialise in hip surgery, hip arthroplasty and hip revision. I also work in traumatology. I perform around 300 hip replacements a year. The majority of my patients are elderly although I still perform surgeries on the relatively young, patients who suffer from severe arthritis at a young or have congenital deformities in the hip. My job is very rewarding. Patients come in to the hospital with significant hip pain and have a limited range of motion or sometimes are even completely immobile. Hip replacement surgery transforms their health and quality-of-life and to see this transformation is really satisfying. 2. What do you think are the key challenges facing the healthcare system and your profession in particular? For healthcare, it’s without doubt the growing healthcare costs. Fortunately in the Netherlands, we somehow have been able to reduce costs and the healthcare budget has more or less stabilised, bucking the trend compared to other EU Member States. Tremendous efforts and cost-cutting measures have been put in place in order to reduce the budget; however, such cost reduction has made it difficult to innovate and bring new techniques to improve patient treatment, care and outcomes. As an orthopaedic surgeon, one of the major challenges is to enhance our patient focus and improve healthcare to be more patient-centred in its approach. We’ve come a long way but there’s still a lot to do. More connectedness in healthcare such as high-quality apps are a great way of being more patient-focused but we can improve further. As an orthopaedic surgeon, one of the major...