19 Jul The growing role of MedTech in healthcare
More than six million people are waiting for routine orthopaedic operations in the UK. This is the highest figure in the 74-year history of the NHS, demonstrating the scale of the backlog as public healthcare systems battle to alleviate the additional burden of the coronavirus pandemic.
The recovery starts now
While new policies are being trialled (including paying patients to travel to less pressurised parts of the country for operations there is a growing realisation of the important role medical technology (MedTech) will play in the future of patient care and post-surgical recovery.
Given the significance of the topic, it is no surprise to see media publications from across the medical world focusing on it in recent weeks.
Following the release of the data, Orthopaedic Product News led with an article showcasing how the delay in routine operations negatively impacts the long-term health and wellbeing of patients across the NHS. It also highlights the importance of maintaining an innovation-first mindset post-Covid to ensure proven technologies can be introduced into care pathways quickly and effectively – without negatively disrupting existing systems that are already in place.
A global challenge
The situation in the UK is not exclusive; similar situations face healthcare systems across Europe, the US and in parts of the Middle East. Research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) suggests that waiting times for elective surgeries have increased across all the economies surveyed, with hip and knee replacements up 113 and 189 days respectively on average.
In the latest issue of Health Europa Quarterly – a pan-European publication that explores the latest trends and cutting-edge developments in healthcare research, policy, and innovation – our CEO, Bernard Ross, outlines the critical role of the MedTech industry in alleviating this burden and the proven benefits of utilising technology to support enhanced recovery from surgery.
The Dubai Gazette talks of a ‘balancing act’ between increasing demand for orthopaedic surgery from an ageing population and rising healthcare costs, highlighting how the geko™ device can reduce post-operative oedema and support healthcare institutions to reduce the number of post-surgical readmissions – enabling finite resources to be reinvested elsewhere.
Investing in innovation
Ultimately, the pandemic forced healthcare services to find new solutions to assist medical professionals working with limited resources and time. Innovation that would have otherwise taken years to implement into care pathways has now been proven to enhance healthcare delivery and is being adopted more widely into treatment plans.
While there will be challenges along the way, what is clear is that to empower healthcare systems around the world to effectively address the surgical backlog they are facing, the speed of MedTech adoption must not slow.