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Device developers get creative to connect with physicians

Device developers get creative to connect with physicians

Device developers get creative to connect with physicians

A photo of Dr. Farzad Azimpur, SVP of Advanced Technology at Edwards Lifesciences and Device Developer

Dr. Farzad Azimpur is SVP of Advanced Technology at Edwards Lifesciences [Photo courtesy of Edwards Lifesciences]

Medical device developers have played a constructive role in connecting with surgeons and interventionists during the pandemic.

Leaders from Abbott, Boston Scientific and Edwards Lifesciences share some of their experiences, challenges and opportunities with attendees device talk waste In October.

The main challenge is the number of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who have left the field during the pandemic.

“The elephant in the room is that everyone is concerned about how we’re going to deliver things to patients,” said Farzad Azimpur, SVP of Advanced Technology at Edwards Lifesciences. “From nursing, physicians, everyone – how do we equip the limited capacity we have right now to enable us to reach patients in a timely and appropriate manner?”

Nick West, chief medical officer of Abbott’s vascular business, called the change “irreversible.”

A photo of Dr. Nick West, Chief Medical Officer and Divisional VP at Abbott's Vascular Business and Device Developer

Dr. Nick West is the Chief Medical Officer and Divisional Vice President of Abbott’s Vascular Business [Photo courtesy of Abbott]

“Nobody’s going to flip a switch, and it’s going to go back to the good old days of how it was. That’s not going to happen,” West said. “What we need to do is continue to engage . There are great signs of engagement with the FDA regarding rapid approval of the devices, to continue to generate data on the way clinical trials can be conducted in this setting. Because many companies – luckily we were not one of them – continuing their clinical trials during the pandemic had major problems completing follow-ups. But there are many, many mechanisms by which you can address this.”

Device developers take advantage of new technology

A photo of Dr. Nilesh Patel, VP of Medical Affairs for Boston Scientific & Device Developer's Neuromodulation Division

Dr. Nilesh Patel is VP of Medical Affairs for Boston Scientific’s Neuromodulation Division [Photo courtesy of Boston Scientific]

Device manufacturers have put medical professionals in touch with distance learning and training technologies. Nilesh Patel, VP of Medical Affairs for Boston Scientific’s Neuromodulation Division, said other solutions such as pre-authorization portals and remote psychological clearance are taking some of the work out of practicing physicians.

“The American ingenuity is there,” he said. “If there’s a problem, an unmet need, we’ll figure out ways to meet that need, how to reach these patients, how to manage them efficiently, and how to maintain therapy. And I’m in these places. I continue to see innovation.”

West said access to hospitals remains useful, especially for R&D teams looking at equipment used.

“But there are ways to do this virtually. We have used both augmented and virtual reality in proctoring, in training people when you can’t go to hospitals,” he said. “There are many other remote monitoring systems around the world. which have also been used. Innovation has kept pace with the need. … I don’t think communication is worse now than it was before.”

Another concern is that the pandemic has reduced the number of cases and studies for trainees and researchers. That means equipment manufacturers must provide tools to help physicians deliver the same quality of care as before the pandemic.

“Simplify it,” said West. “Today’s doctors, tomorrow’s doctors may not be as trained as they were five, 10 years ago.”

Device developers get provocative

At Edwards Lifesciences, Azimpur’s team has a way to get ideas from practitioners in a practice using simulated essences.

“We are obsessed with just clarifying and clarifying what is needed. …we put the provocations before the physicians, and even these provocations are not a solution – it is solution X,” he said.

To find out what clinicians want, they ask what a perfect study might look like about Solution X. Next, dream up the ideal medical journal that would publish the study.

“Let me tell you the title, the purpose, the methods, exactly what patient population you’re going after and why. Talk about results that are reliable, not 100% certain. And then what are the results? And that’s it. It is written in language that doctors can understand,” said Azimpur. “You put it in front of a therapist as your provocation, and they look at it, and they say, ‘Okay, here’s a red pen. I’m going to tear it up. It’s right to go after it. The population isn’t,’ or, ‘Yeah, those are fair, these are the results I’d like to see would be enough to change my practice.’ And if you can get around it by inventing any solution, then go ahead. Green light. So we do it like this.”

pay doctors to come to you

“You can do what we did. … just hire a group of physicians through the fellowship”, Azimpour said.

Edwards Lifesciences holds a Structural Heart Innovation Fellowship, with fellows based at Irvine, Calif., headquartered under Azimpur’s group.

“By bringing these early-career cardiologists and cardiac surgeons on this rotating annual basis, we not only get an idea of ​​what that individual’s practice preferences are, but we also give them an understanding of how the world practices medicine and why, said Azimpur. “So in the beginning, you can tell if someone’s going to just say, ‘I do it this way and that’s the only way.’ Obviously this would not be the right kind of fellowship for the fellowship you are running. We hope that someone can argue why they do something and why other people do it differently. We’ll get a good perspective.”

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