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European MedTech Week showcases Ireland's global hub

The Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), the Ibec group that represents the medical technology sector, today published the results of a survey conducted by RED C ahead of the second European MedTech Week, 13-17 June. While there are over 500,000 medtech products on the market and the global medtech industry is expected to reach €475 billion in 2018, more can be done to educate people about the ways medtech affects their lives. In Ireland, 53% of people have an awareness of medtech according to RED C despite Ireland being one of the top 5 global medtech hubs.

MedTech Week brings companies and associations across Europe together to raise awareness about medtech. Minister for Health Simon Harris TD will be the keynote speaker at the IMDA's main event for the week which will explore 'Industry-clinical collaboration for better patient outcomes', which is being run in partnership with RCSI, Tuesday 14 June at 17:20-20:45 (see PDF attached for full agenda). Ireland has a proud history of medtech innovations which RCSI archivist Meadhbh Murphy will discuss at the event along with RCSI's role in 1916. Notable Irish medtech firsts include:

  • Subcutaneous injection delivered with a drip needle by RCSI Fellow Dr Francis Rynd, in 1844
  • Modern bi-aural stethoscope developed by Trinity Graduate Arthur Leared in 1851
  • Functional endoscope developed by Sir Francis Cruise in 1865 and can still be seen in RCSI
  • Portable defibrillator developed by Dr James Francis 'Frank' Pantridge in partnership with NASA, in 1965
  • Screening test for the early detection of pre-eclampsia developed by Prof Louise Kenny, Director of the SFI-funded INFANT Centre, with Metabolomic Diagnostics in 2014
IMDA Director Sinead Keogh said: "Health is a personal issue, but the Irish medtech industry has a strong record for driving new innovations that put patient care first. The sector's ambition has led exports to quadruple in the past decade to €12.6 billion and 2,000 jobs were added last year. So we're glad to see in the RED C survey that medtech is seen as a growing industry by 57% of people with 54% saying they'd be happy to see their friends and family working in the industry. More than 1 in 4 (28%) claimed that they know someone working in the industry which reflects the fact that there are 29,000 people working in the sector across 400 companies. European MedTech Week is a great opportunity to help demystify the medtech sector and encourage people to feel empowered by this technology that saves and improves lives."
    Minister for Health Simon Harris noted the importance of the medtech industry to the economy as a whole saying: "the medical technology sector in Ireland is of prime importance, both within healthcare settings and in the wider economy. It is a key player in achieving Ireland's healthcare goals.” The Minister noted that this is the 2nd year that European MedTech Week will be celebrated across the EU and he wished the initiative every success.

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