As our team took part in Arab Health in Dubai, they were keeping their ears and eyes open for new trends in the industry. The special interest was to see whether issues of sustainability are beginning to be addressed in the field of Healthcare. The team took part in conferences that lectured on the topic and discussed the issue with other experts from the industry.
Quality Management Conference
Our Business Development Director Päivi Leppänen is very interested in the matters of responsibility and therefore participated in the Quality Management Conference with a special topic about Sustainability in Healthcare. The session was run by Dr. Christopher Lewis, the Chief Executive Officer at Wise Owl, who recommended people working in Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs to take the lead in driving sustainability in their organisations. “Sustainability should be regulated!”. Mr. Lewis also explains how QA/RA already has the capabilities to create the measuring framework for sustainability regulation.
This is the roadmap Dr. Christopher Lewis presented on how to achieve Sustainability in the Healthcare sector.
- Clarify the vision
- Create commitment in the organisation
- Choose technologies supporting sustainability (They are being developed as we speak)
- Make a gap analysis about where you are and where you want to be
- Create a concrete plan on how to achieve your vision
Dr. Christopher Lewis holding the Quality Management Conference
As the session begins, Dr. Lewis begins with the fact that climate change is happening and that preserving the climate should be kept in balance with patient safety. Participative and transformational leadership is necessary when it comes to sustainability and the only way to create change is if companies embed sustainability into organizational culture.
During the session many committees are mentioned that are working for example on calculating carbon footprints. At Innokas Medical we started our journey with EcoVadis sustainability assessment and reached the bronze level, being amongst the top 50% companies in their ranking. We now have a clear plan what to improve.
We all know sustainability is a complex combination of factors. Dr. Lewis uses a hospital as an example environment and lists things to take into consideration.
- Leadership (prioritise environmental health)
- Chemicals (substitute harmful ones with safer alternatives)
- Waste (reduce and safely dispose of waste)
- Energy (efficiency and renewable energy sources)
- Water (reduce consumption)
- Transportation (staff and patients improved strategies)
- Food (sustainably grown healthy food)
- Pharmaceuticals (safely manage & dispose)
- Buildings (support green hospital design and construction)
- Purchasing (more sustainable products and materials)
Notable trends in the industry
Additionally, we noticed something interesting with the exhibitioners! Recycled medical device providers were present in bigger numbers than before, which indicates positive change in medical device lifecycle.
“Used devices are typically reasonably priced given their age and purpose. Even when those devices might be missing some features and response sensitivity that a new device would have, they are perfectly functional for many purposes”, our Head of Sales and Marketing Jouni Riuttanen comments on the trend. This topic interests Innokas Medical on the basis that we provide repair, refurbishing and maintenance for our client’s medical devices and the matter of longevity is important to us.
Also, many companies claim they have 100% sustainable products and most of them already transparently describe what kind of actions they have taken towards preservation of climate and when it comes to diversity and other areas of corporate social responsibility. Furthermore, many solutions have been designed to reduce water consumption or by using recyclable chemicals.
All in all, Sustainability was very highly visible as a coming trend in MedTech, which we find positive. “It’s inspiring to see that finally we are taking these issues more seriously and talk more about responsibility. We can make change together!” Päivi summarises her feelings. “We had many important conversations that would not have happened without participating the fair”, Jouni adds.
Innokas Medical is committed to finding more responsible models for medical device development and manufacturing. Because of this, we are also participating in the Circular Design programme by Design Finland, which you can read more about in another blog entry. Our research into more sustainable development methods continues.
Beautiful Dubai skyline