D ' here in 2012, we will place a hundred new products on the market. "Reinaldo Garcia, CEO of General Electric Healthcare for Europe, is no concern for the future of his group. "Health becomes a major topic in all countries and about 80 of expenditures are the cause of chronic diseases on which we can intervene." The US group is not the only one to focus on the market of the medical device (DM), which represents for the moment only one-tenth of the total sales of drugs. GE will invest nearly $ 6 billion in R & D by leveraging its strong: medical imaging and diagnosis and treatment monitoring techniques. Several factors explain this excitement: the miniaturization of components, the development of biocompatible materials and the development of sensors measuring continuous physiological parameters. Ten bodies are currently repaired or assisted by medical technologies.
Despite the presence of a few heavy weight from the world of imagery, such as GE, Siemens, Philips and Toshiba, the medical device industry is a breeding ground for innovative businesses. They represent about 80 of the 10,000 companies identified in a very heterogeneous sector. It covers a range of very large products, since the disposable surgical accessories that cost a few euros to MRI unit worth between 3 and 5 million euros. Between these two extremes, there are Implantable devices such as heart valves, defibrillators and brain stimulation systems.
Alliance with drugs
The intrusion of an object in the human body is not always accepted by patients. "Some say that this machine makes them dependent and do not want," said Emmanuel Hirsch, Director of the ethical space of the Assistance publique-H˘pitaux in Paris (AP - HP). This expert closely follows the "transformation of the living" with a bit of concern. "Health industries must never prevail over the well-being of patients who are often very vulnerable.".
One thing is certain, the opportunities are immense. "In twenty years, 1 billion people on Earth will have more than 60 years", said Jean-Luc Butel, Vice-President of the American Group Medtronic, specialist cardiac pacemakers. Minneapolis group plans to invest about 10 billion in R & D over the next years and market new products 60.
According to cardiologist John Mark Morgan, of the University of Southampton in England, it still saw nothing. "I predict to all persons over 65 years of age have an implant in a decade." This expert put on injected into the human body sensors of the size of a match which analyse significant biological biomarkers of medical risk permanently. "It is not realistic to do an exam to all persons at risk." It would be too costly. In contrast, a system injected measuring blood pressure continuous would give very valuable information. Not only to verify compliance and the side effects of drugs.
Jean-Luc Butel put on the complementarity between drugs and medical devices. "The great industrialists of pharmacy come all to us." There is interest to issue of low doses of a drug very accurately. "In this context, the health authorities will have to take into account the medical service (SMR) of all products in development, some of which are worthy of science fiction. Under the European research programme, the Commission has launched a program of research building on the implementation of electronic circuits in the brain to compensate some cognitive disorders. "A real rupture in terms of regulatory environment, assessment, pricing and reimbursement is preparing", anticipates Didier Tabuteau, Director, Chair in health science po Paris. Undeniable therapeutic progress which, according to Emmanuel Hirsch, will be monitored closely. "With nanotechnology, there is more nothing inviolable in the human person."