The medical technology sector, employing over 850,000 people across 35,000 companies, stands as a beacon of dynamism and innovation in Europe. With a positive trade balance of €5.2 billion in medical technologies, it is a success story that underscores the sector's pivotal role in the continent's economic landscape.
On 16 November 2023, at the MedTech Europe Policy Pulse Conference, Oliver Bisazza, CEO of MedTech Europe, explained that the European Union has paved the way for the transformation of healthcare during the current mandate, and added that now it is standing at a crucial crossroads: “The upcoming EU elections of next year are a very important opportunity to show that Europe can take a leading role and takes the health and wellbeing of its patients very seriously. What we are calling for is for the next institutional cycle to be leveraged as a unique opportunity to set the course for better health.”
In this context, the organisation launched its ‘Manifesto for 2024 - 2029’, "Empowering Patients, Inspiring Innovation”, underscoring the European medical technology industry’s dedication to improving healthcare across Europe.
“The upcoming EU elections of next year are a very important opportunity to
show that Europe can take a leading role and takes the health and wellbeing of its citizens very seriously” - Oliver Bisazza, CEO of MedTech Europe.
The manifesto sets out on an ambitious journey with four core priorities for the European Institutions. First and foremost, it champions a patient-centric approach, ensuring top-tier care and unhindered access to medical services for all patients in Europe. Next up, a bold embrace of digital solutions aims to reshape healthcare systems, promising improved patient care, streamlined processes, and seamless connectivity among healthcare providers. The third priority focuses on bolstering resilience in European healthcare, in order to prepare systems to navigate challenges effectively. Lastly, sustainability takes the spotlight, emphasizing environmental performance improvements in medical technologies, all while maintaining the highest standards of health, safety, and environmental responsibility.
Right after the introduction of the Manifesto, outgoing MedTech Europe Board’s chairman, Rob ten Hoedt discussed the significant developments in medical technologies over the past decade and predicted spectacular advancements in the next 20 years, driven by digitalization and artificial intelligence. Notably, new approaches to treatment promise not only better care but also remote monitoring and early detection, optimizing the productivity of medical professionals.
Thematic panels during the conference delved into crucial topics. Industry experts and representatives from the European Parliament and European Commission shared the stage to discuss about the most recent trends in digital and innovation. The digital health panel explored the role of digital tools, emphasizing the need for digital infrastructure, data security, and the transformative potential of the European Health Data Space. The innovation panel focused on creating an environment conducive to innovation within the EU, discussing challenges faced by SMEs, sustainability, and the evolving role of data.
Interviews and fireside chats between Oliver Bisazza and Flora Giorgio, Head of Unit for Medical Devices in the European Commission, provided valuable insights into navigating regulatory landscapes, fostering collaboration, and addressing industry milestones. The conference showcased a commitment to addressing challenges and fostering a collaborative, innovative future for the European medical technology sector.
Concluding the conference, the announcement of the second season of the BBC Connecting the Dots series on 28 November 2023, offered a glimpse into the evolving landscape of medical technology, promising continued insights into the sector's future.
Read the MedTech Europe Manifesto "Empowering Patients, Inspiring Innovation” here.