Innovation Saves Lives, Long-Term CostsWed, 09/06/2017 - 12:00
Q: 3M manages a large variety of brands. Which are the most important in Mexico and what is your added value?
A: We divide our business into five groups, each of which is responsible for driving brand awareness locally. We want the same image to be projected in Mexico, China and the US. I am in charge of healthcare. In this sector, Littmann is one of our most recognized brands and is synonymous with quality. Another strategic brand is Tegaderm, which has been growing globally and is the most important brand in Mexico in terms of sales. Both Tegaderm and Littmann will receive strategic investments in 2017. 3M provides addedvalue because although a product may be more expensive, its positive outcome will reduce total healthcare expenditure.
Q: What are the greatest challenges 3M faces in Mexico?
A: The country’s improving life expectancy and increase in chronic diseases present an opportunity. The more costefficient solutions we can offer, the better the system will work. One 3M solution helps to prevent infections in operating rooms, creating savings for patients and hospitals. An example is a patient’s temperature. The longer patients are in surgery, the lower their temperature drops, which puts them at a higher risk of infection and cardiac arrest. A blood transfusion also increases risk and thus the cost. By maintaining a patient’s temperature throughout the surgery, risk and costs are lowered. We estimate that less than 5 percent of surgeries in Mexico happen with a temperaturemanagement system. This is an opportunity for us.
Q: What strategy do you employ to enter your products onto the National Formulary?
A: We need to show a positive clinical outcome, the expected cost and the potential savings. If we add innovation just for the sake of it, the authorities will not be interested because it will increase cost without improving clinical outcomes. If the clinical outcome is positive but does not generate savings, it will not be accepted. We offer all these requirements through health-related economic and data analysis tools that allow us to show an infected patient’s hospital stay would be longer, increasing overall costs. In addition, this person is not going to work, impacting family life. These are direct savings.
Q: What system is in place to track the user’s experience of 3M products?
A: We have well-established metrics. In hospitals, for example, we can measure infection rates and their reduction. This is hard data that can corroborate our progress. The same goes for hand hygiene. If people comply, infections are reduced. The same applies to food safety because we can prove there are no pathogens or food viruses on instruments.
Q: What are the results of 3M’s work with the Fundación Carlos Slim?
A: We signed an agreement with the foundation to participate and collaborate in education through the healthcare academy, which is an umbrella for any kind of educational activity. We worked on this with the foundation and with IBM. Students are eager to learn about new practices and new technologies and we struck an alliance with Del Valle University to provide these. Part of the university’s responsibility is to show students not only the history of their field but also what they will encounter on a daily basis in their practice. If students graduate knowing the latest technology, they can jump into the workforce right away with the necessary skills.
Q: Which are your main objectives for 2017?
A: In healthcare, we are investing heavily in coverage, adding more resources to broaden our reach, covering more hospitals, dentists and areas in food safety. We look forward to greater growth, considering that the market is expanding due to chronic diseases. We are focusing on adding more technicians, providing more education to the market and more sales reps to reach more people. We look forward to identifying key opportunities to offer solutions that improve lives every day through science and innovation. This is our ultimate and main goal as a company.