Germany Puts 'Implant Files' In Perspective, As Industry Looks Toward 2019
Europe's biggest medtech industry and market, Germany, was in the crosshairs of the "Implant Files" and its ICIJ reporters, and predictably it caused a major stir. The episode has been a wake-up call for medtech, but industry hasn't let it develop into the crisis it briefly threatened to become, and is now looking beyond it and to the commercial challenges of 2019.
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Meaningful medtech advances that have the potential to revolutionize patient care cannot happen by eliminating risk entirely, but it’s a balance that European stakeholders are failing to achieve consistently. This is so in Germany too, says the BVMed industry association, with negative consequences for those at the sharp end of innovation – the SMEs and start-ups who originate a vast proportion of medtech advances.
Brexit, the "Implant Files" and the new EU regulations – however large they loom at present, they will in time be seen as mere tactical challenges for a global medtech industry working hard to ensure that it is ready for the massive health-care delivery and service-oriented changes to come. Preparing for the future and maximizing current market penetration – in the UK, the EU and beyond – were key themes at UK HealthTech 2018, held in Cardiff, Wales.
Investigative journalists, tort lawyers, the judicial system and public opinion all provide checks and balances on medical research, industrial innovation and commercial exploitation of health-care technologies. Whether those affected like it or not, these well-intentioned elements of society demand accountability of an industry that has a profound effect on all our lives. The "Implant Files" episode is a reminder for medtech stakeholders across the world that nothing can be taken for granted, says medtech industry and regulatory consultant Trevor Lewis in this guest column for Medtech Insight.