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 chronic diseases have led to an increase in the demand for quality medical devices, diagnostic imaging equipment and innovative digital health solutions.
This necessary digital transformation is also a priority; it is one that we are driving in Spain and on which Fenin is working. We are the fourth country in the European Union with the best market conditions in the digital health sector.
Q Who will shape Spain’s health system in the 21st century?
We are convinced that the health transformation that we face in this century needs a collaborative approach and, in this environment, innovation must be the engine of growth that strengthens competitiveness.
These great innovations will be applied to sectors such as diagnostics, robotics, nanotechnology, regenerative medicine, 3D printing and information technologies. Other trends shaping the future of healthcare include greater focus on preventive, predictive, personalized, participatory and population medicine.
Q. How will Spain respond to the changes these innovations will bring?
Ensuring that Spain has the highest level of innovation is not the exclusive task of the government. Companies, universities and technology centres must also contribute through the ongoing search for quality and excellence in research.
Innovation is inherent in Fenin’s companies. This is the only way to develop solutions that contribute to the efficiency of our healthcare system and also allows us to continue making improvements to the quality of life of Spanish people.
In this sense, companies in our sector try to adapt to new conditions, so they are introducing technologies that reduce costs and are complemented by new business models.