Medical Technology Awareness Week 2017
Medical Technology Week 2017 took place between November 27th and December 1st. The focus of the week was the launch of the MTG’s latest report on the social and economic benefits of medical technology: ‘Keeping Britain Working: How medical technology can help reduce the cost of ill health to the UK economy‘.
As well as events across the week, Helen Whately MP hosted a reception at the Houses of Parliament on November 29th for Parliamentarians, NHS representatives, clinicians, patient groups and patients who have benefited from medical technology.
See our blog post for more details on the reception.
Among the patients to tell their story was 24-year-old doctor Fran Porter-Young, a keen rugby player and footballer, who captivated the audience with her own personal experience. Fran was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and fitted with an s-ICD to monitor her heart rhythm and correct it if necessary.
MPs and guests also learnt about three other individuals whose lives, and those around them, have been transformed with medical technology:
David Burdus from Newcastle explained how he shattered five vertebrae and severed his spinal cord in a motorcycle accident in 1983. Like Fran, David spoke of the revolution in medical technology, and that if he’d had his accident in the 1950’s he’d have been dead in 18 months. Today he uses six pieces of technology and enjoys a full life, saying “I’m socially included, I’m in work, and I’m not a drain on the NHS”. David highlighted the hydrocolloid sheath in particular as the device that’s given him the physical and mental confidence to contribute economically and socially “on equal terms”.
Joanna Dury spoke about her daughter who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 11 months old. She was the first baby to go straight on to an insulin pump at diagnosis under Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Describing how the device has helped the family manage the condition, Joanna’s story illustrated well how medical technology is essential for not just day to day life but for the long-term management of a lifelong chronic condition.
In the final talk, Paul Stevenson told how technology helped him go from a morbidly obese 51 stone “prisoner in his own home”, to a 21 stone active football coach and job seeker just three years later. After reducing his weight to 41 stone, Paul claims to be the heaviest patient to have received a sleeve gastrectomy operation at the Royal Derby Hospital. Obesity’s cost to the NHS alone is estimated at over £6 billion per year, so treatments that can reduce long term dependencies on the NHS are essential. Today, Paul’s Type 2 diabetes is in remission and he no longer needs medication. He is now actively looking for work.
The latest innovations in medtech were on display at the 2017 event.