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Posted on 08.05.2013
Being a patient myself, I am keenly aware of the importance of having access to innovative technologies to support my lifestyle and foster improved health and well-being. And, as a former policymaker in both the UK and the EU, I also understand the enormous responsibility of the healthcare system in determining which of the newest medical technologies are the safest and most effective for patients in each health constituency.
It is difficult to remedy these demands – those of patients, health systems and policymakers.
We are currently facing a crisis in medicine, one that I believe has much larger repercussions than climate change and would endanger each and every one of our lives.
What’s happening is that we are seeing the emergence of these “super” diseases that mutate to be resistant to medical treatments and are difficult to diagnose, one of the main ones being cancer. In the next few years several cancers are predicted to increase their death tolls by 200% because of the lack of new medical innovation. These diseases are mutating at rates that are far faster than our current rate of medical innovation, and in the natural world it is survival of the fittest.
Posted on 13.03.2013
As the 2013 World Salt Awareness Week calls for “Less Salt, Please”, it may be time for Europeans to seriously consider the implications of their seasoning habits on their health, notably their heart health. Heart failure (HF) is characterised by the inability of the heart to respond to the blood flow demands of the body, a condition that is becoming increasingly common, with more than 20 million directly affected worldwide.
This year’s World Cancer Day campaign focuses on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Dispel damaging myths and misconceptions about cancer, under the tagline “Cancer – Did you know?” World Cancer Day is a chance to raise our collective voices in the name of improving general knowledge on cancer and dismissing misconceptions about the disease.
Posted on 29.11.2012
Advances in in vitro HIV/AIDS diagnostics, combined with the development of highly effective antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, have significantly reduced the transmission of HIV from mother to baby and greatly improved health outcomes for mothers living with HIV. Simple and inexpensive tests screen for HIV within minutes, and point of care CD4 testing enables doctors to closely monitor a patient’s immune system to prescribe an effective combination of ARVs to keep mothers healthy during and after their pregnancy and their babies HIV-free. As a result, new pediatric HIV infections have nearly halved in the last eight years and the number of deaths each year attributed to AIDS-related causes dropped 24% since the peak in 2005, to approximately 1.7 million in 2011.
Posted on 12.04.2012
January 2012 was a fruitful month for EU guidance on medical devices and produced among other MEDDEVs the MEDDEV 2.1/6 Qualification and Classification of stand alone software. This MEDDEV contains the latest thinking on how stand alone software, i.e. software that does not necessarily run on a medical device (but may have medical device functionality), qualifies as medical device under the three medical devices directives. If you are interested in a lot more background about the MEDDEV than I can provide in this blogpost (and especially nice flowcharts, which make life more simple for everyone), you can find it here.
Many Germans suffer from chronic wounds (mainly leg, pressure or diabetic foot ulcers) and their numbers grow by 650,000 annually. Wounds of all sorts have a major impact on patient function and quality of life, and may be life-threatening. In addition, providing wound care is a significant cost to the healthcare system. These types of wounds alone are an estimated annual financial burden for healthcare payers of €5 billion.
Posted on 06.09.2011
Europe is an important and continuously growing market for medical technology products. Driven by budgetary pressure on the payer and provider levels as well as by strong competitive dynamics, the commercial climate for established medical technology companies is, however, deteriorating. The recent industry survey MedTech Barometer 2011 conducted by us (and with ‘us’, I mean global strategy and marketing consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners) confirms the presence of increasing commercial challenges but still provides an overall positive short-term business outlook. Yet the longer-term outlook is less positive and suggests that in order to remain successful in the European market place, established players will have to adapt their way of doing business in the future.