The Irish Medtech Association, the Ibec group that represents the sector, said that the latest figures from Eurostat on 'Amenbale and preventable deaths statistics' showed that the medtech sector in Ireland plays a vital role in saving and improving patients lives and can help avoid further deaths with better use of medical experts as part of a more effective health service.
Speaking after a Patient-Industry Dialogue held in Dublin to launch Medtech Week (19 - 23 June), Sinead Keogh, Director of the Irish Medtech Association stated: "The latest figures from Eurostat for 2014 show that more than 33% of death from certain diseases in people below the age of 75 could have been avoided with better use of medical technology and medical knowledge as a part of effective health care. There were 126.2 avoidable deaths per 100,000 inhabitants across the EU according to the latest data. Figures for Ireland showed there were 112.4 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants. This is better than the EU average, and compares favourably to our closest neighbour, the UK, which reported 116.1 deaths per 100 000 inhabitants for the same period. Our ability to attract some of the world's leading clinicians and medical experts, as well as our dynamic medtech industry, plays a vital role in saving patients lives. Ireland is also a global medtech hub, with more than 500,000 product types on the market to diagnose, monitor and treat patients, meaning that people in Ireland are perhaps more aware of the role medtech plays in saving lives."
This 33% of avoidable deaths accounts for 562,000 out of 1,7 million deaths in the EU, with the leading causes being:
- Heart attacks (177,971)
- Strokes (90,662)
- Cancer* (116,577)
Dr Keogh continued: "But it's clear that we need to continue to increase awareness and understanding of the role medtech plays in improving and saving patients lives by engaging in initiatives like European MedTech Week, as well as support the ambition of Minister for Health Simon Harris to drive improvements in the health system by planning for long-term solutions.
"There is great substance behind the medical sector in Ireland. As well as a strong base of medical professionals and a dynamic medtech industry, 10 of the world's top 10 ICT companies and 9 of the world's top 10 biopharma companies have a base here, meaning that we are well positioned to make the most of opportunities in connected health which is already helping people get more personalised care. Ireland should be an early-adopter of innovative technologies and support the future growth of our clinical research infrastructure. We also need to do more to empower patients. Helping patients understand their role and access the right information to manage their condition will help avoid these deaths in Ireland and across Europe. That's why we're hosting a number of patient-focused events in the areas of design and connected health during European MedTech Week."
Eurostat's report on 'Amenable and preventable death statistics' is available here.
*combined figure for colorectal and breast cancer.
European MedTech Week events hosted by the Irish Medtech Association
- Monday, 19 June, Ibec Dublin; European MedTech Week Patient-Industry Dialogue
- Tuesday, 20 June, Galway; Medtech Brew with BioInnovate – Design with the patient in mind
- Thursday, 22 June, Ibec, Dublin; Connected Health Masterclass - Ibec IoMT Skillnet, in association with Technology Ireland and BioPharmaChem Ireland
Find out more about European MedTech Week Campaign by visiting www.medtechweek.eu