Health Technology

Position Paper | Year 2014
Health Technology (MEDTECH), a driver for innovative health care
Class of Technical Sciences

“Health technology” is one of the six essential building blocks the World Health Organization (WHO) considers to be of main importance for the realization of stable and sustainable global health systems. “Health Technology” covers the application of scientific knowledge, techniques and technologies in the domain of health care. In this report however, health technology is limited to “medical devices” such as medical imaging, implants, sensors etc.

The overall aim of medical devices is to provide better treatment options or a better quality of life for the patient, and eventually to save lives. However, the question is how the Belgian knowledge centres can contribute to this field and whether Belgian companies and start-ups can play a leading part in this sector. The analysis, listed in a white paper, illustrates the absolute necessity of integrated thinking and a permanent dialogue between government, industry and hospitals while putting the patient centre stage. For researchers in this field, it means that they should be familiar with the complex valorisation process of a medical device and understand the functioning of health economics, cost efficiency and the creation of added value with new medical high-tech. For the government, it means that the many existing information channels
and financial resources should be communicated through one unique platform: the MedTech platform Flanders and the consortium in consultation with the industry, the research community and the hospitals.

Start-up SMEs active in Medical Technology (MedTech) all need eight policy lines:

1. Internal networking and visibility
2. Sharing heavy equipment and infrastructure
3. Knowledge of quality assurance and systems
4. Human Resources
5. Creation of hospital ecosystems for data collection and standardized patient data streams
6. Integration of refunding systems to penetrate domestic markets
7. Access to seed capital specifically for MedTech
8. Marketing / Business Coaching

Available documents