Self-management I guess I’m an expert on patient issues by experience. I’ve had a chronic condition for nearly 60 years and would consider myself a self-managing patient rather than a passive recipient of care, actively trying to control my condition. I consider all the options available in the NHS and worldwide, not only the usual treatment route but also how complementary medicine can help my condition as well as taking different approaches to...

MedTech Views is a platform for dialogue about medical technologies. Read more

Self-management I guess I’m an expert on patient issues by experience. I’ve had a chronic condition for nearly 60 years and would consider myself a self-managing patient rather than a passive recipient of care, actively trying to control my condition. I consider all the options available in the NHS and worldwide, not only the usual treatment route but also how complementary medicine can help my condition as well as taking different approaches to my diet and exercise. I feel more empowered, happier and healthier when I’m in control of my health and I’m managing my condition. Some patients are looking for that magic bullet, going to their doctor to get medicine, get treated and trying to get on with their life. But for me and other patients with multiple chronic diseases, actively monitoring my health is crucial. My MedTech I have a few devices to hand when I need them. I am at home right now and wearing an alarm alert device around my neck. This is just a precaution should there be a problem and my wife is not around to help. I have a stairlift fitted in my home to help me get upstairs and I use a powered wheelchair which is essential for my condition. I travel regularly as a patient advocate, particularly to Brussels and in this case I use a standard wheelchair. I go occasionally to the doctor or the hospital for a blood test or an x-ray and to get my blood pressure checked, all of which are part of medtech. Rheumatology There have been a lot of biological treatments in the rheumatology field and for those who are treated early, they can be revolutionary. These treatments are extremely expensive however, and won’t make much difference to me at this stage of my condition...
Technological marvels in medical technology are arriving, and they will transform the entire healthcare chain It is not always easy to see a change occurring when it is happening right in front of you, so even those with long years of experience in healthcare might not recognise that the sector is currently undergoing a transformation like never before. The main driver for this change is Medtech innovation. Bold advances in a broad range of technologies like medical devices, in vitro diagnostics and imaging solutions can now solve health challenges that were previously considered insurmountable. The solutions and processes emerging today are ingenious in the way they can cure, fix and save us. But medtech is doing more than that. It is radically changing the way healthcare is delivered, the way professionals treat us, and the way we experience healthcare. Bench-to-bedside from cradle to grave While there have been many medical revolutions over the years, the current Medtech burst is different for a number reasons. It is partly related to the wider trend of technological advances and opportunities aimed at consumer-centric user-friendliness. The new generation of medtech innovation has an even greater focus on accessible benefits to doctors and nurses in combination with creating better and faster access to healthcare for patients around the globe. When combined with more widespread and faster Internet access, it opens up tremendous possibilities for the healthcare industry. This all is built on the foundation of the bench-to-bedside-to-bench development model, the process by which the results of research done in the laboratory is triggered by clearly articulated medical needs and are directly used to develop new treatments, in close collaboration with doctors, nurses and patients. In the past, medtech would focus on diagnostics and curative care (knee replacements, pacemakers), but today the focus is more on...
Europe is known for its excellent startup ecosystem. Moreover, the medtech industry in Europe is made up of 95% SMEs. If we want the innovation successes of past and present to continue well into the future, it is critical that the bigger medtech players, and the financial and investment ecosystem keep taking the pulse of European medtech startups.
What you can learn from Coloplast’s perspective-driven approach to innovation. Coloplast, a long established leader in ostomy and continence care, was losing its competitive edge. Despite an endless stream of new products with ever more new features in the pipeline, they kept missing their sales targets. Coloplast found that its traditional market research was only leading them further astray: the research reported that there were thousands of possible problems to solve in ostomy care—some related to the issue of leakage—but it couldn’t offer any insight into which ones mattered the most to users and why. Management knew that they needed to have a clear answer to the company’s most fundamental question: what problems are we trying to solve?
When the European Parliament finalised their amendments for the Proposal for a Regulation on in vitro diagnostic medical devices in October 2013, they set the scene for a process that has continued through several Council Presidencies. The continued discussions are a reflection of the complexity of the file and the need for careful consideration of the technical aspects of the text, which should lead to the creation of a positive environment for innovation, safety and patient access across Europe.
The European Forum for Good Clinical Practice (EFGCP) and MedTech Europe, have created a common Working Party aimed at addressing ethical and quality issues when setting clinical standards for the rapidly developing medical technology sector. Indeed, the upcoming regulation on medical devices and in-vitro diagnostics will change the landscape for their development in Europe. Many elements of these regulations have not yet been finalised by the parties involved. An agreement between the parties requires in-depth multi-stakeholder discussions to ensure that the new regulatory framework will facilitate the rapid clinical development of efficient and safe medical devices and in-vitro diagnostics. Historically, the clinical debate has focused on pharmaceuticals. It is important that we engage in a conversation about lessons learned. Systematic concepts might be applied to the medical technology sector as well and conditions that are different in the medical device/in-vitro diagnostic area may need researched solutions. That is why the EFGCP-MedTech partnership is involving a full range of stakeholders including patient representatives, academics, healthcare providers, ethicists, competent authorities, industry and policymakers in a dialogue to collect views and work out implementation suggestions on good clinical practices. Only with a vibrant dialogue can we figure out which direction is right for medical technology and above all for the patient. There is also a need for better control of the regulatory system to ensure that outcomes for patients are safe and effective. The interest in tailoring the technology to the needs of the patients, and ensuring quality and ethical principles as well as harmonized standards in clinical trial performance, are shared by both the medtech industry and EFGCP. For the patients, ethical standards should ensure the protection of research subjects’ life, health, dignity, integrity, right to self-determination, privacy and the confidentiality of personal information and active involvement by patients in the research...