Analysis and perspectives on innovation, medical specialization and the future of healthcare


Padova, March 23, 2024 - The World Health Forum Veneto reaches its climax with a series of high-level meetings and events conceived to analyze the present and delve into the future of the evolution of medical sciences and technologies that can improve our lives. A high-profile event held in Padova open to all: citizens, operators, patients, and experts, promoted by Motore Sanità, Regione del Veneto, Comune di Padova, Camera di Commercio di Padova, Fondazione Cariparo, Università degli Studi di Padova, Veneto Innovazione, VIMM-Veneto Institute of Molecular Medicine, Teatro Stabile del Veneto, Venicepromex, and Agenda Digitale del Veneto 2025.

Alessandra Gelera, Public Affairs, Health Economics & Market Access Country Head at Boston Scientific, opened the roundtable on the fourth and final day, "Needs, proposals, solutions of the medical device industry engaged in healthcare for a new industrial policy of the country Italy and biosimilar and equivalent drugs as a tool for sustainability of innovation," moderated by Claudio Zanon - Scientific Directorate of Motore Sanità and Luca Giuseppe Dalle Carbonare - Department of Engineering for Innovation Medicine. 

The Italian medical device market: potentials, challenges, and growth strategies

"The medical device market in Italy," explains Gelera, "generates approximately 17.3 billion euros considering both exports (5.7 billion euros) and the domestic market, and is populated by 4,449 companies, 94% of which are small, medium, and micro-enterprises, which employ a highly qualified workforce of 118,837 employees. Also significant are the data on investments in research and innovation (approximately 1.4 billion euros in absolute value in 2021, 6% of the total investments in research and innovation in Italy), driven by the presence of an industrial fabric composed of 120 start-ups and 177 innovative SMEs. As evidenced by the attention paid by the main European and non-European investment funds to the medical device sector, it represents one of the areas with the greatest growth potential globally, a real strategic asset for the country, but to appreciate and benefit from its driving force, a cultural shift is necessary first and foremost, which then translates into economic-financial policies, from the concept of expenditure to that of investment, where the guiding star is the generation of value. The main challenge that medical device governance will have to address is therefore overcoming the current funding condition to ensure fair access to innovative treatments and to boost system growth by overcoming the logic of ceilings as a cornerstone for decisions".

Technological investments for health: improving outcomes and preventing complications of chronic diseases

Massimiliano Bindi, CEO Abbott Italia, emphasized the importance of investing in new technologies to improve health outcomes and prevent complications associated with chronic diseases, saying: "Telemedicine and the ability to support people with chronic diseases are already reality, especially in some areas such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Investments in new technologies will improve health outcomes and help prevent complications."

Public-private synergies for innovation and medical specialization: the case of the University of Verona and CONFIMI Industria Sanità

"Today and increasingly in the immediate future, medical technical specialization and research in health-applied technologies will go hand in hand," emphasizes Massimo Pulin, National President CONFIMI Industria Sanità. "For this reason, Confimi Industria Sanità has identified the University of Verona as the ideal partner for training, preparation, and experimentation in designing a permanent laboratory of orthopedic techniques. An extremely specialized hub that will be both a flagship for the territory and the Region and a reference point for the medical sector. We must not forget how public-private synergies can be winning and cutting-edge in meeting the needs of the patient citizen who, with an increased life expectancy, will increasingly encounter a multiplicity of care, treatment, and - it is right to say - support needs".

me+ Service: personalized support for ostomates

Laura Meli, Communication Manager Convatec Italia S.r.l., presented the me+™ Service during her intervention: an innovative telephone service that provides tailored support to ostomates, from the hospital to rehabilitation. "It is the first Service to support ostomates, born in Italy in 1992 with over 30 years of experience," explains Meli. "Eighteen expert and competent consultants, trained to address regional peculiarities, handle about 500 calls per day to respond to specific needs. Each ostomate can count on the support of a dedicated me+ consultant who follows, supports, and directs them in the daily management of their stoma. The me+ Service responds to the toll-free number 800.930.930".

The role of medical devices and biosimilar drugs in healthcare sector innovation

"The roundtable focused on the role of medical devices and biosimilar drugs as means to support innovation in the healthcare sector," concluded Luca Giuseppe Dalle Carbonare, from the Department of Engineering for Innovative Medicine. "The speakers involved represented a combination of experience, leadership, and expertise in the healthcare sector, contributing to a rich and informative discussion on industrial policy and innovation in the field of health. I believe that in this context the University has a fundamental role, as it can act as an engine for innovation through basic and applied research, the training of qualified professionals, and the transfer of knowledge from academia to industry. Moreover, collaboration between universities, industry, and government can promote an innovation-friendly ecosystem, stimulating the creation of start-ups and spin-offs capable of translating scientific research into concrete products and services for the improvement of healthcare and the national economy".

The World Health Forum Veneto is born with a specific purpose: to analyze the present and delve into the future of medical sciences and technologies that can improve life.

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