MedTech Week Magazine 2018 At a glance

Highlights from the 3rd Edition of the Award-Winning MedTech Week Magazine

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I take this opportunity to sincerely thank all our members for their enormous efforts in making the role of medical technologies more widely known during MedTech Week 2018 last June.

Now in it's fourth year, MedTech Week brings out the best in the companies and national associations that represent our industry. Together, they have served up dozens of examples in unwavering ingenuity to illustrate the value of medtech.

Serge Bernasconi
Chief Executive, MedTech Europe







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perspectives 2018 Dialysis at Home

‘Dialysis at home: savings lives, preserving autonomy’

Dialysis can be essential to the wellbeing of people living with kidney failure.

perspectives 2018 Protect our Health

‘Committed to protect our health from Roberto Bertollini, HFE honorary president’

perspectives 2018 Value Based Healthcare
Value of medtech, Expert

‘Thinking smarter & working harder to deliver Value-Based Healthcare – Together’

Michelle Brennan, Chair of the Board of MedTech Europe and Company Group Chair, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA)

perspectives 2018 AI
Digital Health, Expert

‘Artificial intelligence: The next revolution in healthcare?’

At the turn of the century, healthcare companies were at the zenith of an ‘innovate-manufacture-sell’ business model.

perspectives 2018 Musculoskeletal Healthcare
Digital Health, Expert

‘How digital technologies will reshape musculoskeletal healthcare’

Digital technologies provide an opportunity to move musculoskeletal care to the heart of value-based healthcare. MedTech Views spoke to Satschin Bansal of Zimmer Biomet about some of the innovations that will change the field.

perspectives 2018 Colorectal Cancer

‘Colorectal cancer: don’t delay diagnosis’

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world and the second most common in Europe. The disease can be fatal but early diagnosis and intervention are improving outcomes for patients.

perspectives 2018 Diagnosing Stis
Diagnostics, Expert

‘Diagnosing STIs: faster tests for chlamydia and gonorrhoea can help reduce the spread of disease’

Advances in diagnostic technologies give patients same-day test results for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

perspectives 2018 Asthma

‘Asthma is a struggle – imagine carrying a 50kg stone around all day’

For people living with severe asthma, daily tasks can be a real challenge.

perspectives 2018 Digital Health
Digital Health, Expert

‘Digital health is here – time to take the lead’

How do we prepare Europe for future technologies?

perspectives 2018 Deafness

‘Diagnosing Deafness’

Timely cochlear implant surgery can significantly help deaf children’s speech, language, cognitive and socio-emotional behaviour.

‘Colorectal cancer: don’t delay diagnosis’

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world and the second most common in Europe. The disease can be fatal but early diagnosis and intervention are improving outcomes for patients.


This blog is part of the Early Diagnosis campaign #BeFirst


Early diagnosis and care can prevent illness from developing and slow disease progression. Lab tests, genetic tests, tests for chronic diseases and modern lab diagnostics can help facilitate earlier intervention and improves outcomes for patients and are increasingly valuable in informing treatment choice. 

Almost one in ten cancers are classified as colorectal. Incidence is higher in developed countries and is rising as the population ages. Around 470,000 Europeans are diagnosed with the disease each year. In my country, Portugal, the disease kills close to 4,000 people annually.

However, in working with patients affected by the disease, I have learned that awareness of colorectal cancer – or bowel cancer – is low compared to other cancers.

This may be due to embarrassment of discussing colorectal health. However, the impact of delaying diagnosis is significant.

More than 90% of patient diagnosed with cancer in the wall of the colon (TNM sages I and II) will survive for more than five years. For those diagnosed later, in stages III and IV, the outcomes are much less encouraging. Around 50% of patients with stage III colon cancer will survive for more than five years. Only 10-20% of stage IV patients survive beyond five years.

As someone who has had difficult conversations with patients diagnosed with late-stage cancer, I can attest to the importance of early intervention. That is why I was happy to take part in a colorectal screening initiative in Portugal. This project has shown how testing stool samples for blood can help to raise awareness of the disease and, crucially, identify cancers early. Leaflets, a website, a Facebook page and SMS reminders were part of a multimedia approach to engaging with patients and encourage screening.

The Portuguese Colorectal Society found that the campaign made patients more alert to symptoms of the disease and more proactive about seeking medical attention. More than 5,000 text messages have been sent to patients, in addition to 5,000 emails sent. Visits to the website and Facebook page have exceeded expectations. On the website, the typical visitor spends more than four minutes reading material. This shows that they are engaged with the content and are keen to learn more about the disease.

To me, this is an essential and valuable part of my job. Early screening contributes to a decrease in the number of ostomised patients and deaths resulting from advanced stage detection. Furthermore, it identifies lesions earlier and thus allows a more effective treatment. This means that, as a society, we get better value for cancer medicines we use because they are more likely to be effective when used in the earliest stages of cancer.

I believe that this example shows that, with the support of doctor and nurses, health systems can begin a more open dialogue about colorectal cancer. There may be a reluctance to discuss cancer but we have a positive message to share with the public: get tested early and improve your outcome.

As a nurse, I am proud to have taken part in this campaign. Let’s hope we can continue to embrace screening initiatives which are proven to be effective – for patients, for health professionals and for the wider health system.

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