• iFridays

Innovation at the service of healthcare

After months of forced suspension due to the healthcare emergency, iFridays are back. We’ve had to reinvent ourselves, adapt to current guidelines, and find new formulas in order to continue bringing you the latest trends in innovation from around the world. And we’ve succeeded. It’s a different event, with a new format, in a digital setting, but with the same energy and passion as always.

At October’s iFriday we discussed innovation in the healthcare field, where we learned how innovation and new technologies can help transform the healthcare industry. We chatted with Lucía Regadera, Respiratory Medical Lead at AstraZeneca, and Maite Sanz, Senior Medical Science Advisor of Colorectal Surgery for EMEA at Medtronic.


Innovation: the healthcare industry’s greatest ally


We live in a constantly changing world, where the adoption and incorporation of new technologies is revolutionizing the way companies in all fields handle operations, management, and production. Not immune to these changes, in the past few years, the healthcare sector has strengthened its commitment to investing in research, development, and innovation in healthcare technology.   

Large corporations in the sector, like AstraZeneca and Medtronic, are committed to innovation as a means of advancing the creation of new treatments and products for hospitals and healthcare systems, thus transforming medical care and improving the lives of millions of people around the world. There is no question that innovation and technology are the healthcare industry’s greatest allies, developing major advances in the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of patients.

“Healthcare technology is with us throughout our lives, from gestation until old age.  Incubators, prostheses, eyeglasses, all these things are part of healthcare technology,” says Maite Sanz, Senior Medical Science Advisor of Colorectal Surgery for EMEA at Medtronic. “Innovation and new technologies provide us with improvements in diagnoses, connectivity with patients, quality of life, prognoses, and management,” she points out. But in addition to advances in the development of new technological products, healthcare organizations are also making progress in the discovery, launch, and marketing of drugs in different therapeutic areas, such as oncological, maternal, cardiovascular, and respiratory health. 

However, the availability of these new drugs is contingent upon a very long, complex, and costly development process with a low probability of success. 
According to Lucía Regadera, Respiratory Medical Lead at AstraZeneca, “The process is organized into an initial preclinical phase, the objective of which is to collect as much data as possible to ensure administration is safe for humans, followed by a second clinical phase, where the drug is administered for the first time to patients, a third phase, where all the data is collected and sent to the regulatory agencies to determine if the drug can be marketed, and a fourth, post-marketing phase, where the drugs are monitored.” 


COVID-19: Now what?


The emergence of COVID-19 is transforming the world as we know it, changing the rules of the game, and forever altering our lives. Large companies around the world, like Medtronic and AstraZeneca, are working hard to implement solutions that facilitate the day-to-day routines of healthcare professionals, patients, and society in general.   

In this respect, the two speakers at our last iFriday event emphasized the major advances underway with regard to the treatment of COVID-19 and stressed the importance of innovation and technology as fundamental factors in the fight against the virus.  

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