Dräger: An Integral Provider is the Best Ally During Crisis
STORY INLINE POST
Q: How has Dräger improved its market share in the private sector?
A: Dräger has grown its sales in the private sector in medical equipment and consumables. We are reaching more private hospitals around the country and offer financing programs to access equipment and consumable consumption. Due to COVID-19, growth has stopped but it is likely to recover once the emergency is over.
Q: Dräger created a protocol to digitalize data and enable communication between devices. What is the status of this project?
A: Dräger devices are now following this protocol, which fully guarantees process digitalization. Even our older equipment has the capacity to interconnect and achieve information digitalization. The protocol is already available worldwide but we expect Europe to be the first to adopt it as its hospital networks favor digitalization and technology. With this protocol, Dräger intends to gather as much information as possible to support doctors during their decision-making process. The protocol provides information on patients and their actual status, helping doctors, anesthesiologists and nurses.
Mexico lacks the hospital infrastructure and equipment necessary to build a communication network for devices. The country does have public and private hospitals that have digitalized their practices and many others are working toward this goal, but COVID-19 has highlighted that Mexico’s hospital capacity still has concerning deficiencies.
Q: What new products or solutions is Dräger planning to introduce to the Mexican market?
A: We are about to introduce a new anesthesia machine called Atlan. We hope to introduce a new ventilator technology that is already in other countries. It is going through the regulatory process in Mexico.
Q: Amid the global pandemic, how has demand for your services and solutions grown?
A: We are seeing a significant increase in global demand, especially for ventilators, and increased demand for ventilation accessories and light respiratory protection. The increase in demand began at the beginning of the year in China and is now continuing in many other countries, in parallel with rising infection rates. Usually, hospitals are our customers but up to date, health authorities or government agencies are increasingly asking for our products. Despite all efforts, the demand for ventilators and protective masks is well above the capabilities of the entire industry.
In Mexico, we have incoming orders for ventilators but this year we will not deliver more than what was already arranged. However, we are selling more monitors, which is new and positive for hospitals expanding their ICU capacity. While the pandemic is a terrible situation, hospitals will end up being properly equipped.
Regarding the public sector, by the end of last year, Dräger won a tender on ventilators for IMSS. We equipped many of its hospitals and I hope this helped when coping with the first cases of COVID-19. For now, however, it is not possible for us to cover the demand from the Mexican public sector due to its magnitude. The equipment intended for Mexico was already distributed. No one was expecting a global pandemic.
Q: How is Dräger contributing to helping Mexico overcome the pandemic?
A: Dräger has been intensively working on the service part of its offering. We hold service contracts with IMSS and INSABI to check on their existing equipment, so we have been quick to react and provide the proper maintenance. We have prioritized ventilator equipment calls, which are coming at a very high speed. As an integral provider, Dräger takes care of aftersales service, offering at least one year of maintenance for a device. With IMSS, we have a three-year maintenance contract, ensuring that their equipment is in optimal condition. Dräger’s technical team has been tackling this task and it has been the frontline of our services during the pandemic.
It is important to understand that healthcare systems need to be fully equipped at all times. A pandemic is not needed to demonstrate that putting proper equipment in hospitals is essential, time-consuming and costly.
Q: How will the pandemic change the medical devices sector?
A: We saw at the beginning of the pandemic that countries where protective equipment was produced stopped exports of that equipment until the need of the local market was covered. This also affected our own supply destined for our staff in the frontline of the hospital equipment maintenance. As a result one can expect governments to better prepare and diversify their sources in the future. In March, Dräger won a large FFP mask order from the US government and will build a new production facility on the east coast of the United States. So far, we produce respiratory protection masks in Sweden and South Africa. We now have decided to look for an opportunity to open plants to manufacture respiratory protection masks in different regions as a way to avoid this scenario in the future and to help governments to better prepare.
Dräger is a German company specialized in medical technology and safety. Its products and solutions target hospitals, fire departments, emergency services companies, government agencies, mining and other industries