Medical technologies can bring people back to life
Bratislava, June 19, 2017 – Innovative medical technologies save lives and improve the health of millions of patients around the world. They can significantly improve diagnostics; enable physicians to operate more accurately, less painfully and more gently to the patient, shortening the time required for hospitalization and subsequent recovery. In the long run, they can therefore ease the budgetary needs within the entire healthcare and social system.
The MedTechWeek – European week of medical technologies, which takes place this year on the 19th – 23rd of June 2017, brings an important contribution to the value of medical technology in the field of healthcare.
One of the most revolutionary changes considered by experts in healthcare is mechanical thrombectomy in the treatment of stroke. Other beneficial technological innovations include, for example, aids for patients with heart disease or special medical material for wound healing.
First bioabsorbable magnesium-reinforced vascular reinforcement
The quality of life of patients with coronary arterial disease that nourish the heart muscle can be greatly improved with the first clinically proven technological innovation in the market, magnesium reinforcement. It provides a structural support to the vessel, which is important during the first 6 months after implantation, it serves as prevention against restenosis, and at the same time after healing of the vessel, while allowing the normalization of vascular functions – to move and expand, it is totally absorbed. The resorption time for a complete release of magnesium into the tissue is 12 months. Patients may once again have a healthy and a fully functioning vessel without a permanent metal implant as soon as a year after a surgery
Camera capsule instead of an unpleasant tube
Unpleasant gastrointestinal and colonoscopy examinations by tube insertion, which patients are often afraid of, have a gentler alternative already available in Slovakia. The patient swallows a disposable capsule in the size of a gelatin teddy bear candy in which the camera is located. The camera sends pictures to a recording device that the patient wears. Finally, the entire record is downloaded and evaluated by special software and a physician. This modern and gentle diagnostic method can be used in adults and pediatric patients if they are able to swallow the capsule with the camera. The capsule will come out of the body naturally.
Mechanical thrombectomy gives stroke patients an extra hour for treatment
Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the world, mainly caused by blood clotting and stopping the supply of oxygenated blood to a certain part of the brain. For years, physicians have been successfully using the method of dissolving blood clots – IV thrombolysis. However, this method can only be used in patients who get into the hospital within 4,5 hours of the start of the stroke and, moreover, it is effective especially in smaller vessels. The speed at which the patient gets to the hospital is therefore crucial. The breakthrough moment for patients is the beginning of the use of mechanical thrombectomy. A miniature device is inserted through the patient’s inguinal region into the clogged vessel, whereby the clot is removed from the body. Mechanical thrombectomy gives physicians an extra hour for treatment as oppose to IV thrombolysis.
Special silicone dressing for moist wound healing
The special dressing gently and safely covers the wounds and promotes faster healing of acute and chronic wounds. The new 3-part, non-contact silicone dressing technology with extraordinary absorption reduces the risk of infection. It minimizes contamination from fingers or gloves that touch the bandage or the wound itself. The wounds are not square, which also respects the adapted shape of the dressing for each type of wound and for each patient. The dressing is made of a soft and flexible material that repels water and its velvet surface does not obstruct contact with clothing or bed linen.
New European legislation
The specific nature of medical technologies is also respected by the new regulatory guidelines of the European Parliament on medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices to ensure better protection of public health and patient safety.
The standardization of the environment of EU Member States through more strict market regulation within the three-year implementation period is justified also in terms of business ethics and equal access to innovative, state-of-the-art medical technologies for all patients in all EU member countries.
„We believe that, after introducing more stringent market regulation into Slovak legislation, the current dominant position of the price will also be weakened as the most important criterion for assessing medical technology and, last but not least, will prevent inflow of fake products/imitations into EU from outside of the EU countries,“ said the Executive Director of SK+MED, Patrícia Kubicová.
A significant industry in numbers
More than 500,000 medical technologies are currently available. The European medical technology industry employs over 650,000 people, making production of this medical segment an important element in the gross domestic product of individual European countries. In 2015, the European Patent Office (EPO) in the field of medical technology registered more than 12,400 patent applications, which is 7.8% of the total number of applications – much more than in other sectors in Europe. Up to 40% of these patent applications were filed from European countries (EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland). While over the past decade the number of EPO applications in medical technology has doubled, pharmaceutical and biotechnological patent applications have been relatively stagnant.
„Most of the latest medical technologies and therapies are available in Slovakia, so far. Technological development moves ever so rapidly, but as long as the economic conditions of our healthcare remain as currently are, new technologies will become void“, stated the Executive Director of SK+MED, Patrícia Kubicová.
Slovak Association of Suppliers of Medical Devices (SK+MED) is an association that currently represents interests of 30 suppliers of medical devices active in Slovakia. It is a full member of MedTech Europe, an international healthcare organization with a registered office in Brussels that covers national associations of suppliers and producers of medical devices and technology from Europe.