Guide to understand what is Med Tech:
“Application of organized knowledge and skills in the form of devices, medicines, vaccines, procedures and systems developed to solve a health problem and improve quality of lives”.
Medical technology, or “medtech”, encompasses a wide range of healthcare products and is used to treat diseases and medical conditions affecting humans. Such technologies are intended to improve the quality of healthcare delivered through earlier diagnosis, less invasive treatment options and reduction in hospital stays and rehabilitation times. Recent advances in medical technology have also focused on cost reduction. Medical technology may broadly include medical devices, information technology, biotech, and healthcare services
This includes pharmaceuticals, devices, procedures, and organizational systems used in the healthcare industry, as well as computer-supported information systems. These technologies involve standardized physical objects, as well as traditional and designed social means and methods to treat or care for patients.
Med Tech in Canada:
Canada is lagging in Med Tech and gap is required to be filled. In 2016, Canada’s medical technology market sat at an estimated US$6.7-billion in a US$336-billion global market.
“Canada is home to world leaders on the scientific front, physicians who do high procedural volumes and complex cases, and strong clinical research capabilities,” says Dr. Brian Courtney, an interventional cardiologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre who earned his engineering degree before attending medical school. “And yet, when we go and use devices, they’re often sourced from elsewhere, not Canada.”
Canada imported $8.6-billion in medical devices in 2016 and exported only $3.1-billion, according to Statistics Canada – a trade gap of $5.5-billion. And with an aging population and increased health awareness, the world market is projected to grow.
While many Canadians have the ability to innovate, industry leaders say few have the skills necessary to take a medical device from idea to invention through commercialization. As a result, and more heartbreaking than its impact on our economy, many promising medical technologies may never reach the patient bedside.
Environmental Sustainability in Med Tech:
Environmental sustainability in med tech can be achieved by key environmental programs;
Energy Consumption/Resource Conservation:
Since hospitals are required to heat, cool and power their facilities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, energy consumption makes up a significant portion of a hospital’s footprint. This, however, does provide an opportunity for hospitals to make major reductions to their environmental impact by changing operating practices.
Strategies for reducing the impact of a hospital’s operation include:
- retrofitting existing facilities to function more efficiently;
- implementing energy conservation strategies;
- converting to cleaner, renewable energy sources;
- buying green power;
- incorporating Green Building Principles such as LEED, and
- considering overall transportation impacts of facility location
An important strategy for reducing a hospital’s waste production and therefore its environmental impact is to reduce the amount and toxicity of material that enters the hospital in the first place. Any sustainable development strategies for the sector should:
- implement waste diversion initiatives to minimize the amount destined for disposal (i.e. waste reduction,
- material reuse and recycling all eligible materials including electronics);
- create combustion control strategies to improve the performance of existing incinerators;
- use alternative disposal or treatment technologies such as anaerobic digestion of wastes, with recovery of materials and combustion of biogas;
- segregate medical waste to divert materials from the incinerator;
- purchase reusable products instead of the disposable when available;
- audit waste streams to assess the degree of conformity with regards to regulatory compliance, evaluate or demonstrate due diligence, and possible performance improvements;
- minimize radioactive diagnostic and therapeutic materials, and prevent and compost food service waste
An important strategy for reducing a hospital’s waste production and therefore its environmental impact is to reduce the amount of material that enters the hospital in the first place. A green procurement policy would alter the purchasing practices of the hospital by giving preference to environmentally sustainable products where clinical performance and safety are equal or better.
A green procurement policy needs to:
- include language about the packing material in your supplier specifications;
- reduce use of toxic materials;
- request rationalized packaging;
- buy in bulk to reduce packaging;
- ensure longevity of the product;
- buy local and seasonal food;
- procure organic food when possible;
- eliminate bottled water, and purchase the least toxic disinfectant and sanitization products available
Sustainable transportation initiatives would:
- operate high fuel efficient or hybrid vehicles;
- provide eco-driver training;
- use fuels that have minimal ecological impact;
- support mass transit, carpooling, car sharing, telecommuting and biking initiatives;
- support suppliers with efficiency/alternate fuel standards;
- support local suppliers;
- purchase for energy efficient shipping, and dispose of waste locally reducing energy and greenhouse gas emissions produced in transporting waste
The establishment of ‘green teams’ or environmental management teams are one way to ensure the implementation of the above strategies for reducing the ecological footprints of Canadian hospitals. Green teams play an important role in monitoring and reporting on environmental performance while prioritizing goals and actions plans. The formation of green teams and their inherent management and reporting systems can also contribute to a hospital’s successful application for accreditation from Accreditation Canada and ISO-14001 certification. Accreditation and certification help to guide hospital organizations to continuously improve management practices while achieving:
- awareness of their impact on the environment;
- acceptance of responsibility for those impacts;
- the expectation that harmful impacts will be reduced or eliminated, and the placement of responsibility for environmental impacts upon all members of the community.
Resources for Medical Technology:
|MEDEC||MEDEC is the national association representing Canada’s innovative medical technology industry.
Representing approximately 100 medtech companies (ranging from Canadian-owned to multinationals), MEDEC works closely with the federal and provincial-territorial governments, health professionals, patients and other stakeholders to deliver a patient-centred, safe, accessible, innovative and sustainable, universal healthcare system supported by the use of medical technology.
900-405 The West Mall
Toronto, ON M9C 5J1
300, rue du Saint-Sacrement, suite 28
Montréal, Québec H2Y 2X4 (514) 217-1167
|Waterloo MedTech||Waterloo MedTech leverages the Region’s unique collaborative innovation culture to address the gap between healthcare research and its adoption in practice. You can become part of a healthcare ecosystem of visionaries, resources, and knowledge.||information@WaterlooMedTech.com||http://www.waterloomedtech.com/|
Below organizations have signalled the need for change by calling attention to the links between health and the environment and encouraging governments and health-care sector policy makers to adopt green policies:
|Organizations for medical community
|Association of Canadian Academic||HealthCareCAN is the national voice of healthcare organizations and hospitals across Canada. It fosters informed and continuous, results oriented discovery and innovation across the continuum of healthcare.||HEALTHCARECAN
17 York Street, Suite 100
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5S7
|Canadian Association of Physicians for
|CAPE educates its members, other physicians and health professionals, the public, and policy-makers about environmental health issues and collaborate with other organizations, nationally and internationally, that share its concerns and values. It also supports and guides physicians to advocate for healthier environments and ecosystems.||Address:
308-192 Spadina Avenue
|The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care||The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care enables the health care sector to lead the integration of environmentally responsible practices into the delivery of health care||Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care
1724 Concession 6 West, RR #2,
Branchton, ON Canada
|Canadian Healthcare Engineering
|A non-profit voluntary society promoting improved planning, design, operation and management of hospital technical services systems||Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society
4 Cataraqui Street Suite 310
Kingston ON K7K 1Z7
Telephone: +1 613-531-2661
Fax: +1 613-531-0626
CHES National Office
Telephone: +1 613-531-2661
FAX: +1 613-531-0626
|Canadian Medical Association||CMA works with physicians on issues that matter to the profession and the health of Canadians. Its focus is health advocacy — informed by policy and prioritized by our members.||1867 Alta Vista Dr.
Ottawa, ON K1G 5W8 T: 613-731-8610
Toll Free: 1-888-855-2555
|Canadian Pharmacists Association||The pharmacy profession and health care in general are changing, creating new opportunities for pharmacists to focus on providing better patient care||1785 Alta Vista Drive
Ottawa, ON K1G 3Y6
Tel: 1-800-917-9489 or 613-523-7877
|CPHA is the independent national voice and trusted advocate for public health, speaking up for people and populations to all levels of government||404-1525 Carling Ave.
Ottawa, ON K1Z 8R9
Telephone: Phone 613-725-3769
|Health Care without Harm||Health Care Without Harm seeks to transform health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint, becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and firstname.lastname@example.org||https://noharm-uscanada.org|