20 April 2010

First day at the CMEF Show in Shenzhen

Wild Taxi Ride: I survived the taxi ride to the exposition center this morning. With almost 20 million people moving around this metropolis, at least 10 of them decided they needed the space we were in more than we did. Fortunately the driver had no problem defending the route and we arrived without loss of blood.
It is estimated that China will become the second largest medical equipment market in the world, surpassing Japan. By the end of 2010, the Chinese medical equipment industry will account for 5% of the global market share and this number is expected to rise to 25% by 2050. The encouraging atmosphere at CMEF reflects the rapid growth and development of the Chinese medical industry and the confidence in this market.

The CMEF exposition is sited in 8 large pavilions, with only a modest attempt at coherent organization. Attendance is above early predictions with many booths crowded and isles packed. We could see many animated business discussions, with optimism clearly in the air.

As I walked through the area with many ultrasound OEMs, I lost track of the number of Chinese makers we had never heard of before. The big players are here. Siemens, GE, Philips, Toshiba, Mindray, Teknova and Landwind who all have many models on display. For example, Mindray has at least 7 different ultrasound systems on display. All the large makers are hosting live scans.

New names include Xuzhou, Zoncare, Yoshine, Emperor, and Haiying. Terason machines are being represented by about five new Chinese distributors. Missing names include Carewell, WellD, and Sino-Hero.

23 February 2010

Arab Healthcare Enjoys Another Successful Year

Release Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010
The Arab Health Exhibition & Congress, Dubai, UAE, was once again the focus for the world’s healthcare sector in January. Now in its 35th year, the show achieved an estimated 20 per cent increase in visitor numbers. Highlighting the increasingly important role played by the Middle East healthcare industry, healthcare authorities, medical device manufacturers, medical supply distributors and healthcare professionals from across the region and the globe convened in Dubai for Arab Health 2010. Held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 25 – 28 January, the organiser, IIR Middle East, was delighted with the success of the 2010 show.
Demand for healthcare is growing driven by aging populations and life-style related diseases such as diabetes, particularly in the UAE and Gulf Region. Governments are being forced to tackle this issue head on which ultimately means a lot more investment in the healthcare infrastructure in these countries. In spite of significant project delays in other non-healthcare industry sectors, the pipeline of healthcare projects in the region remains remarkably robust, particularly for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This has been reflected in the growth in the exhibitor, visitor and delegate numbers for this year’s Arab Health.
For many visitors, this was their first experience at Arab Health. For others, they return to the event year-on-year to network with distributors and manufacturers from across the globe. Research into the healthcare market in the Middle East indicates positive growth and we can expect further expansion on all levels.
Dubai-based research firm Proleads figures show government investment in healthcare-related projects in Saudi Arabia is currently running at more than US$5 billion, compared with around US$1 billion of private sector investment. Another report by Alpen Capital also forecasts the GCC may need in excess of 25,000 additional beds by 2020 to address growing demand for in-patient treatments. The largest share of demand is accounted for by Saudi Arabia followed by the UAE.
Exhibitors at Arab Health 2010 were in agreement that the healthcare industry in the region was set to grow even further. Pleased with the turnout, many exhibitors and show sponsors were keen to re-book and expand their presence for next year. Many exhibiting companies use Arab Health as a platform to conduct business and conclude successful business deals. Although most of the deals were kept under wraps during the event, Siemens Healthcare was at liberty to announce the biggest single order contract in Middle East, signed during Arab Health 2010.
Siemens Healthcare announced a contract win of US$69 million to supply diagnostic imaging equipment to all Ministry of Health hospitals across Iraq. The recently signed contract will provide the Iraqi Ministry of Health with unrivalled diagnostic imaging equipment, fully serviced over a period of 5 years.
Maurice Faber, Vice President Siemens Healthcare Sector Middle East said, “We are very proud to announce this agreement as it means we are playing an active role in the helping to rebuild healthcare services in Iraq. One major result of this contract will be improved healthcare for all Iraqi people, and advanced breast cancer screening facilities for women in Iraq.”

28 January 2010

Last Day at Arab Health Expo

This was the last day of the conference. I just got back to the hotel after dinner with several new friends from Iran and Bangladesh. Mr. J.A. Mosa is a Civil Engineer with Adnan Saffarini, Engineering Consultants based in Dubai. Mr. Q. Hasan is the Managing Director of Bangladesh Health Products, based in Dhaka. We had a wide-ranging discussion covering topics related to the economic situation in this region. The short story is that yes, most construction has slowed and many projects are on hold, not unlike the slow down we have seen in the United States. On the other hand, the general opinion is looking at the longer-term growth and upside opportunities. There is no doubt that at least in the healthcare sector, the investments will continue.

Many contacts are looking forward to meeting again at the
CMEF Conference in Shenzhen in April. See you there!

Day Four Press Release

Hrh Princess Haya Urges Medical Community
To Invest In Prevention

Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, today urged the medical community to invest in prevention in a keynote speech at Leaders in Healthcare, the flagship gathering at the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress.

“If we want to see sustainable development in the health sector, we as members of the medical community must also be personally involved and take responsibility for the choices we make,” said Princess Haya. “Unless we have long-term vision, unless we invest in prevention, we will soon be overwhelmed by the level of diabetes, heart disease and other non-communicable diseases.”

The focus of this year’s Leaders in Healthcare was sustainable and green healthcare that would not only be environmentally friendly and cost-effective but also contribute to the overall quality of patient care and a higher quality of life for all people. Princess Haya, who delivered the keynote address, highlighted the need for sustainable healthcare systems, stressing that hospitals are one of the largest consumers of energy in the world today.

“They use twice as much energy per square foot as office buildings and generate millions and millions of tons of waste per year,” She said. “If the earth's ecosystem is to continue to support us, we need to preserve public health and provide health care in ways that will sustain our environment.”

Topics of discussion also included principles of sustainable healthcare, preventive approaches to healthcare, operational efficiency and increased profitability as well as the meaning of ‘going green’ and why it’s good for business.

In an initiative supported by Princess Haya, IIR Middle East and GTech arranged the collection and shipment of unused medical supplies and equipment that 2700 exhibitors donated from their stands to the Haitians that were left devastated after January 12th’s earthquake

Medical Relief Effort for Haiti

GTech Medical Services LLC, with the support of IIR Middle East Life Sciences, organizers of Arab Health, is coordinating and organizing the collection and shipment of medical supplies and equipment for Haiti Relief efforts during the Arab Health Exhibition & Congress, 25 – 28 January 2010. All supplies and equipment will be provided to Love a Child, a non-profit humanitarian organization dedicated to helping the children of Haiti, located in Fond Parisien, 30 miles outside of Port-au-Prince, as well as other relief organizations on the ground in Haiti.

“Arab Health is a huge medical exhibition, with over 2,700 exhibitors, most of whom have shipped in medical equipment and supplies for display at the show that either gets given away, thrown out or shipped back at great expense after the show,” said Ralph (Scooter) Childs, Managing Partner, GTech Medical Services LLC. “These items are desperately needed in Haiti right now. GTech, working with IIR Middle East, the organizer of Arab Health, is collecting any usable equipment, consumables or other healthcare items that companies would like to donate from their stands after the show closes. Arab Health is the perfect venue for organizing medical supplies for Haiti Relief and involving the world healthcare community. We are also donating equipment and supplies as well as coordinating this effort.”

With all the world’s major medical suppliers present at Arab Health 2010, there is an opportunity for exhibiting companies to participate in the relief effort through donations, logistical support and sponsorship of the Haiti medical relief effort. Medical supplies on display at the event will include imaging and diagnostic equipment, surgical and pediatric medical supplies, and general medical supplies, all of which are urgently required in earthquake-devastated Haiti.

Working alongside GTech Medical Services LLC and IIR Middle East Life Sciences, Airlink, one of the official freight forwarding companies at the event has agreed to transport the medical supplies and equipment to Europe where they will coordinate the onwards transportation to Port-au-Prince with international relief agencies. As one of the region’s largest travel, transport and logistics organizations, Airlink is pleased to be able to provide assistance during this humanitarian crisis.

“We think this is a fantastic initiative from GTech Medical Services LLC, and we, as organizers of the event are very happy to support it. We will do all we can to encourage our exhibiting companies to make donations,” said Simon Page, IIR Middle East Life Sciences Group Director. “We have already had support from our freight forwarding company Airlink who will co-ordinate shipping of the donations to Europe, and from Thomas Bennett, our design company who will produce the signage needed for the donations free of charge.”

27 January 2010

Arab Health – Wednesday Impressions by Dan

Handheld Units

In day three of the Arab Health Expo, I concentrated on the small handheld ultrasound units. The Siemens P10 was on display with little attention. This product is about 2 years in the market now.

The GE Vscan was showcased on display prominently in the center of the ultrasound product line. New to the market, it's simple user interface and crisp display is announced as an “ultraportable, easy-to-use visualization tool”. The target is primary care clinicians, cardiologists, and critical care clinicians. The 510k clearances allows commercial sales in the USA, Europe and India on February 15, 2010, and in the Middle East by March 1, 2010.

Portable units from Landwind, WellD, and Kai Xin are also available to the international markets.

New Zealand Healthcare
I attended a Press Conference hosted by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the New Zealand government's economic development agency. Additional content at www.nzte.govt.nz and www.marketnewzealand.com.

The country’s size and dispersed population have led to innovative uses of technology, and a flexible and highly responsive approach to meeting healthcare requirements. Added to this is a single tier of governance enabling better coordination and faster implementation and a publicly funded health service allowing national strategies to be developed and implemented across the whole system.
New Zealand has leveraged these advantages locally and globally. Integrated health strategies have been implemented across the country, including the National Health Index (NHI), which was initiated more than 20 years ago and enables the transfer of clinical information between agencies and data to be linked for monitoring, research and reporting purposes.

The success of the NHI has led to the development of the Health Practitioner Index and nationwide health data networks connecting hospitals, laboratories, radiology services and general practitioners, allowing the secure sharing of relevant medical information in a timely fashion.

New Zealand’s health sector is well versed in technology to drive efficiencies and deliver better health outcomes. The country has a high adoption rate of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems, with nearly all of New Zealand’s general practitioners using computerized systems for clinical as well as administrative purposes and 100 percent of laboratories communicating via secure health data networks every day.

• A 2007 Commonwealth Fund survey shows New Zealand is ranked first in patient-centered care.
• A 2006 report into the health systems of developed countries shows New Zealand general practitioners have the second highest rate of electronic medical record use in the world.
• Practice management software estimated to be used by 95 percent of New Zealand general practices for patient administration, such as waiting room management, billing and referral orders and results.
• Over 98 percent of New Zealand general practitioners are using software for clinical purposes such as generating prescriptions and recording details of patient health encounters.
• 99 percent of New Zealand pharmacies are computerized.

The health system in New Zealand is based on the fundamental philosophy that healthcare should be delivered to those who need it, when they need it. With a strong focus on primary care, the health sector is internationally recognized as a provider of high quality, trusted services that are delivered in a cost-effective manner.

Overall responsibility for New Zealand’s health and disability system lies with the Ministry of Health who are the principle advisors to the government. They fund and monitor regional and national services, and provide regulatory functions.

In order to continue to deliver high quality healthcare, the Ministry has identified priority areas including ongoing improvements in preventive and primary care, chronic disease management and associated social determinants, indigenous health, and the specific needs of children, young people and senior citizens.

The Ministry has a clear focus on collaboration at local, regional and national levels to deliver innovative solutions and a cohesive and efficient system.

New Zealand’s health system is funded via a mix of capitation and fee-for- service, and includes public, private and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) which work together to provide and fund healthcare.
Burj Tower

I also took time to make my way to the Burj Khalifa Tower (formally known as the Burj Dubai Tower), unquestionably the World's tallest manmade structure. If you have an interest in visiting the observation level, be aware that 100 Dirham tickets are usually sold out two to three days in advance. On the other hand, a 400 Dirham contribution will allow priority access to the front of the line. The single flight elevator holds about a dozen people and makes the 160 stories ride in about 30 seconds.

Current records of the Tower:

  • Tallest skyscraper to top of spire: 828 m (2,717 ft)
  • Tallest structure ever built: 828 m (2,717 ft)
  • Building with most floors: 160 floors
  • World's highest elevator installation, situated inside a rod at the very top of the building
  • World's fastest elevators at speed of 64 km/h (40 mph) or 18 m/s (59 ft/s)
  • Highest vertical concrete pumping (for any construction): 606 m (1,988 ft)
  • The first world's tallest structure in history to include residential space
  • Highest outdoor observation deck in the world (124th floor) at 442 m (1,450 ft)
  • World's highest mosque (located on the 158th floor)
  • World's highest installation of an aluminum and glass fa├žade, at a height of 512 m (1,680 ft)
  • World's highest swimming pool (76th floor)
Here is a view from the observation deck, to the west:

Day Three Press Release

Spotlight on Sustainable Healthcare 

The spotlight turns on sustainable healthcare systems today (28 January 2010) at Leaders in Healthcare, the flagship gathering at the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress taking place in Dubai.

Leading minds from the region and beyond will participate, beginning with a special keynote address from Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

“This year we are featuring sustainable healthcare that is not only environmentally friendly and cost-effective but also contributes to the overall quality of patient care and quality of life for all people,” said Pam Page, director of the Leaders in Healthcare conference.

Among other high-level speakers taking part in Leaders in Healthcare are: Brian De Francesca, Executive Vice President, TBS Group and Senior Partner, Capitol Health, USA; Heinrich Von Wulfen, CEO, EMEA and CRM, Siemens Healthcare Sector, Erlangen, Germany; G. Steven Burrill, Chief Executive, Burrill & Co., USA; Dr Walid Fitahi, CEO, International Medical Centre, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Professor Elias Mossialos, Centre Director, London School of Economics Health, UK; Dr Mark Parrish, Director of Health Solutions Group Asia Pacific and Middle East, Microsoft, Australia.

Underlining the importance of the conference, von Wulfen said: “The way we deliver healthcare is massively challenged. Significant demographic and lifestyle changes are underway in established, emerging and developing societies. These megatrends pose tough economic, ecological and health questions.”