Maria Johnson
Management Latin America Vice President
Boston Scientific
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View from the Top

Medical Devices Can Underpin True Holistic Health Coverage

By Miriam Bello | Fri, 09/24/2021 - 13:01

Q: How is Boston Scientific introducing innovation in care through its robust offering of medical devices?

A: Medical devices are less available to patients in Latin America than in more advanced economies. We prioritize access in the region but we go further because our goal is to provide true health coverage. Access can be limited by a patient’s coverage, their ability to make copayments and even the hospital they are in. By focusing on true health access, we increase access to care. Boston Scientific provides a value proposition that encapsulates not only innovative medical devices but addresses access along the customer's journey.

During the pandemic, entire nations experienced limited access to basic healthcare services. Boston Scientific worked to map the customer’s journey and put in place innovation using virtual technologies so the necessary therapies and physicians were available in surgery rooms.

Q: What are the highlights of Boston Scientific’s value-based model and why is it important to Latin America?

A: Hospital managers often operate in silo, where their priorities are based on the needs of the specific section they work in. A value-based proposition must recognize the importance of introducing a holistic, inclusive approach that addresses the need of patients. Our value-based approach is necessary for Latin America because the region has volatile economies and politics.

Our holistic approach allowed us to develop alliances with key stakeholders, patient groups, government and private payers. For example, we did an education program alongside the Mexican Diabetes Association. Latin America has a large number of lower limb amputations as a result of diabetes. Some of the largest issues that affect access to healthcare are lack of awareness, lack of early treatment or detection and information on the available therapies at all stages of the disease. By the time diabetes patients visit a hospital they often require an amputation. Alongside this association, we educate patients before it is too late.

Q: How has the pandemic impacted technology adoption in the healthcare sector?

A: COVID-19 has disrupted the medical devices ecosystem. Prior to the pandemic, the healthcare sector was one of the slowest in adopting new technology. Now, new technologies are commonplace. Some countries are using drones or blockchain technology to fill orders. New companies are also entering the market after exploring the limitations that COVID-19 put on traditional processes and combined them with digital solutions. The sector has new go-to market models and service models. The pandemic forced healthcare providers to undergo in a few months the digital transformation that under normal circumstances would have taken them 10 years.

Q: As a woman in a leadership position in the healthcare industry, what advances have you noticed in gender equality in the sector?

A:  I feel lucky that I had great mentors, leaders and sponsors who were both men and women. My journey has been fantastic and I was fortunate because I never felt that being a Latino woman stopped me. After taking a more active role in women's groups like The Catalyst Group in the US, I noticed that the most significant factor in female empowerment was leadership and a commitment to drive change.

At Boston Scientific, we have women on the executive team reporting to the CEO. We have been recognized in the industry as a company that really promotes gender equality, diversity and inclusion.

 

Boston Scientific manufactures medical devices used in interventional medical specialties, including interventional radiology and cardiology, peripheral and neurovascular interventions, neuromodulation, electrophysiology, cardiac surgery, endoscopy, oncology, urology and gynecology.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst