The industry takes its role seriously to develop and distribute crucial medical technologies that providers and patients everywhere can access in order to help diagnose and fight this public health emergency. It’s not the first time this has happened – from SARS in 2002 to the Ebola outbreaks in 2013 and 2018, medical technology has been at the forefront to combat and contain disease outbreaks.
First, it is crucial that accurate, rapid and easy-to-use tests are available. The global in vitro diagnostic industry is already at work to develop tests that rapidly diagnose and detect people who may or may not be infected. Containing the spread of the disease is vital, as is identifying patients who can then benefit from the care they need.
Second, it is essential that medical devices, such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), are continuously available and distributed. Isolation gowns, masks, gloves, protective footwear, headcover and goggles are needed as they create a barrier preventing the spread of infectious agents. Personal Protective Equipment is crucial in ensuring that health care workers can carry out their essential work safely and effectively. Equipment necessary for the care of patients with severe symptoms (hospital beds, oxygen delivery systems, extra corporeal membrane oxygenators, etc.) also helps to ensure the readiness of healthcare systems.
The New Zealand industry will continue to work diligently with partners such as the Ministry of Health and the District Health Boards, to ensure that our health systems are fortified with the right equipment to deliver the appropriate prevention and care to all.