Transformation of the Healthcare System Through Innovation: Highlights from the 2017 Asia Pacific Me

Themed “Transforming Healthcare Through Innovation”, this year’s annual Asia Pacific MedTech Forum recognised the pressing need for innovative solutions to solve the challenges facing the healthcare industry.

The event brought together regional and global senior medical device executives, regulators, policy makers, healthcare providers, payers and investors to explore how to bring about a transformation of the healthcare ecosystem.

As the appointed communications agency for the event, Spurwing had the privilege of attending both days of the event. Organised by the Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association, the event was full of interesting discussion and insight on the future of medical technologies, and in this article, we share some of our key takeaways.

Accelerating Innovation

Opening the third annual Asia Pacific MedTech Forum was Joe Almeida, Chairman, President and CEO, Baxter International Inc, who shared the firm’s rich history of innovation and provided insights on how the industry can innovate to enhance and save the lives of patients.

Mr Almeida noted that innovation is a cultural journey and organisations would need to instil a culture change to accelerate innovation. Partnership was also seen as a driver of innovation and Joe advised the audience that medtech companies should learn from pharma companies on co-developing technology.

Future of surgical robotics

With five billion people in the world who do not have access to surgical care and around 143 million surgeries that need to be performed annually, we will need disruptive new technologies to improve access to life-saving care. Scott Huennekens, CEO of Verb Surgical shed light on the technologies that they are working on.

Through the development of the firm’s comprehensive surgical solutions platform, Verb Surgical aims to incorporate leading-edge robotic and medical device technology for operating room professionals. The ultimate goal of the next generation of surgical innovation, also known as digital surgery, is to ‘democratise surgery’. He hopes Verb Surgical will lead Surgery 4.0, marking a new chapter of robotics surgery.

Japan’s healthcare challenge

Dr Yasuhiro Suzuki, Japan’s Vice Minister for Health opened day 2 of the forum with a case study on Japan’s healthcare landscape.

Japan has bold ambitions for their healthcare sector. With plans to make the country the most favourable environment for R&D in therapeutic development, Japan is a strong believer in innovation. Dr Suzuki, who is also Japan’s Chief Medical and Global Health Officer, told the forum that his country is planning to reach this goal by building a ‘super highway’ to sustainable innovation, and shortening the clinical trial and commercialisation timelines to bring products to market faster.

Realisation leads to responsibility

Ending the forum on an inspirational note, Runa Khan, Founder and Executive Director of Friendship, delivered a powerful address of how her organisation brings vital healthcare to remote communities in Bangladesh.

Ms Khan stressed the importance of innovation in improving access. Through innovation, Friendship has made healthcare mobile, using hospital ships, mobile clinics and community medics to reach the poor migratory communities in rural Bangladesh, delivering care to patients who need it the most. To date, Friendship has touched 48 million lives in Bangladesh, changing them for the better.

Spurwing is proud to have supported an event which brought together many high-level industry leaders who are committed to improving lives through innovation. We are excited to see where innovation will have brought us by the next MedTech Forum.

View tweets from the two-day forum for further insight and quotes from speakers here.

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