Medtechweek

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 are the main day-to-day challenges that the patients you represent face? More than 10 million people in Europe have cancer and there are many day-to-day challenges, primarily related to the way the disease of the patient is managed and how patients cope with the issues related to the disease. What medical technologies are relevant for cancer patients? Cancer patients and therefore ECPC are very well aware surgery and radiotherapy are cornerstones to treating cancer patients and the advancements made in recent years have been crucial in improving survival. The continuous evolution of these technologies is of primary importance for cancer patients, not only to increase outcome, but also to decrease toxicity levels, cut rehabilitation time and overall improve patients’ quality-of-life. What has been most helpful in allowing you to carry on with your everyday life? mHealth plays an important role in providing new solutions to old problems. In particular, patient-reported outcomes have been greatly improved through advances in mHealth, making communications between patients and healthcare professionals easier and faster. The patient-friendly approach to many of these technologies can greatly enhances the cancer patient journey. We appreciate the EU’s and other stakeholders’ increasing focus on eHealth, but we need concrete advances on the implementation side and sustained investments. We do not see mhealth and eHealth as revolutions, but as evolutions: better and faster ways to solve old problems and provide better outcomes for patients. Do you think the patients you represent have enough access to optimal care and that your members know enough about what is available to support you? Absolutely not! Access to essential cancer treatments varies considerably from country-to-country and region-to-region but in general access to optimal care is a major issue. For example, more than 65% of cancer patients in Romania who should have access to some...
What is your day-to-day work like? I work at the Hospital San Joan de Déu in Barcelona. I’m a paediatric nurse specialising in supporting young patients – up to the age of 18 years old - with Type 1 diabetes. I am particularly focused on providing knowledge and support for diabetes management, as well as psychological and emotional support to patients and their families. How do you help improve or save people's lives through your work? My position primarily involves motivating my patients and inspiring them to take control of their health. It’s an interesting but challenging role; as my patients are both very young children and teenagers I need to be sensitive to their emotional well-being when helping them and their parents manage their condition. Having a condition like Type 1 diabetes can be a lot for a young person to handle; I support them and their family from the time they are diagnosed, advising them on how to maintain a healthy diet, particularly ensuring their intake of carbohydrates is controlled, and their glucose and insulin levels regularly monitored. I also help to equip them with coping skills, keep them motivated and active, and empower them with the knowledge they need to get on with their life and back to school, friends and hobbies. That’s all part and parcel of the work I do, every day. What do you think are the top challenges facing your profession? Helping patients to integrate into daily life despite their condition is vital but not easy. I am dedicated to helping improve their quality-of-life but it’s is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. I’m dealing with children and adolescents from all walks and backgrounds and this is a challenge. The position I hold is quite specialised, combining clinical expertise as a diabetes paediatric nurse with...
What is your day-to-day work like? How do you help improve or save people's lives through your work? My work is divided into four main parts: firstly, research (both clinical and applied) to document the effectiveness of medical technologies and identify how we can improve the outcomes for different groups of patients through certain devices. Secondly, I have direct consultations with patients through my work at the clinic. At the Centre we run one of the biggest Auditory Implant programs in the world having the largest globally group of patients under our care. I take on some of the most difficult cases and I aim to improve fitting of auditory implants on patients in order to achieve the best outcomes for them. Thirdly, education: I teach clinical engineering and hearing science at the university. Finally, naturally, my work also entails a lot of paperwork. What do you think are the top three challenges facing the healthcare system and your profession in particular? I think that the following three challenges are equally important to the healthcare system and to my profession: costs, lack of awareness and lack of education. The cost of new technologies is a constant struggle to the system. This is true for the different groups of patients, including completely and partially deaf people as well. Over 360 million people suffer from hearing disabilities worldwide, many of whom are from low income countries. They often do not get to benefit from the latest technologies. There is also a lack of awareness about new technologies among different healthcare professionals. We will need to equip more specialties with the knowledge about these technologies and spread this knowledge further in other clinical jobs. The technologies we have are powerful, but they are also complex. We will need to educate healthcare professionals on...
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?...