Francisco Morales
Director of Healthcare Division
3M
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View from the Top

Innovation at the Service of the User

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 15:51

Q: How does 3M manage the introduction of new technologies given associated costs?

A: When a medical device company wants to introduce its products to the market, it faces two possibilities: the public sector or the private sector. The process for the private sector takes approximately six to 12 months to obtain a sanitary registration and start commercializing the product. In the public sector, it can take up to four years to introduce innovation and technologies because the process is highly complex. 3M’s approach is to generate value proposals that have a balance of costs and benefits, so that it is easier for the government to authorize the inclusion of our medical devices in the basic list. For example, 3M has a product called Bair Hugger, which is designed to keep the patient warm during surgery. In the long term, a product like this can save a considerable amount in medicine and for instruments that are used to achieve normothermia standards. All our products offer a reduction of infections at surgical sites of 25 percent, which in turn reduces hospital stays by 40 percent. This translates into lower health expenditures for institutions.

Q: What role will technology play in the healthcare sector?

A: 3M believes that innovation can improve lives. In the field of medical devices, the important issues are prevention and the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of a patient. Therefore, the approach that must be taken with technology, innovation, digitalization and automation should target prevention to reduce the cost of health.

Q: How can a prevention approach be implemented by the medical devices sector?

A: Our division for oral health and care works with schools, the government and other institutions to promote the use of tooth enamel that prevents the formation of cavities. The idea is to educate people to prevent tooth decay and to have healthy teeth. Oral health is important for the wellbeing of a person because that is where the feeding and digestive processes begin. In this sense, by promoting the use of dressings and our medical devices, 3M can help to cultivate a prevention culture in health.

Q: How is 3M growing in the local market given current economic conditions?

A: The medical devices market grows between 1 and 2 percent per year and our goal is to grow three times more than the market. 3M works hard to improve standards and patient care practices because these practices also improve the market. For example, in the food industry there is a traditional method for testing whether pathogens are present or not. The company has a technology called Pretrifilm that contains almost all microbial tests while saving time on quality tests. 3M wants to change traditional practices and innovate through new technologies.

Q: What internal regulations need to be improved to facilitate the importation of medical devices?

A: The registration for regulation processes for the import of medical devices has improved considerably. 3M has observed a positive trend over the last couple of years, so what is needed now is an alignment with international standards to facilitate the validation of our regulation with other countries. Also, the double process that exists in Mexico generates obstacles to improving access to medical devices in the public sector which makes a company to first enter the basic list and then repeat the process for each institution. This causes delays and excludes some technologies from the public sector.

Q: How can 3M systems improve healthcare practices at public institutions?

A: Our technologies standardize and improve processes at health institutions. 3M believes that when processes are standardized, diagnoses and results become more constant. We are planning to complete 16 product launches by the end of 2018. Consistent launches are the key to our main strategy of promoting the improvement of our products, but also to be more competitive.