If the MedTech sector is growing and now has 1,500 companies scattered across the country, this sector has remained unknown to the general public for too long. Nearly 65% of French people are now familiar with French MedTech nuggets.
For good reason, in recent months they have made a big contribution to the production of masks, artificial respirators, hospital beds and scanners, which have proven necessary to overcome the health crisis. In addition to this contribution to the war effort, the sector campaigns to develop innovative solutions and strives to create a modern healthcare system that serves patients and healthcare professionals.
Innovative “made in France” solutions for the modern healthcare system
Surgical robotics, telemedicine, optical technologies, treatment and medical imaging – French MedTech has a future and continues to offer its technological innovations. In addition to striving to guarantee the best possible care for patients, the medical technology industry is committed to bringing the best practices to professionals and contributing to providing economic and organizational solutions for our healthcare system.
To stay at the forefront, the industry has embraced digital and is now operating as a veritable incubator. In recent months, we have seen a real spread of ideas and an explosion in the number of medical startups. The development of telemedicine, medical applications and artificial intelligence tools has allowed us to improve the working conditions of medical practitioners and facilitate the daily monitoring of patients. Real-time health data feedback and patient app development are important factors in transforming our healthcare system. France is a huge breeding ground for innovation and medical progress.
More than ever, the location of our industry on national territory is a guarantee of sovereignty. French MedTech was founded to meet the challenges of the health crisis and ensure that our medical technologies are manufactured in France. Consisting of almost 95% SMEs and today employing more than 90,000 people throughout France, this sector testifies to the importance of its territorial network. But this investment in innovation and our territories is waiting for stronger support from the public authorities in order to be able to hope to flourish in a regulatory environment that is not always the most favorable today.
For the shock of the growth of French medical technology
Today, our French nuggets benefit from very significant innovation support from Bpifrance and other players in the public sector. If there is a real willingness on the part of the government to support us, we still need to make progress on the reimbursement timelines that are needed to quickly market our medical technologies. Unlike other players in the global market, French MedTech companies have difficulty getting their technology reimbursed by the health care system, and most often have to wait 4 to 5 years after receiving the CE mark to hopefully gain access to this sesame. However, in order to create world champions, we must first create champions in their home market. Therefore, MedTech in France advocates a system that provides access to enhanced and immediate reimbursement so that French patients have access to all the innovations and as quickly as their neighbors.
The clinical benefits of medical technologies are today the most important criterion for pricing medical technologies. However, there are other high value-added criteria that need to be considered. We need to go further in recognizing the impact on patient quality of life and the organizational impact of our innovations, which save the healthcare system significant time and money. The same is true for assessing their impact on quality of life at work for caregivers. The criterion of establishment in Europe, which guarantees the security of supply and the quality of our products, must also be taken into account. Considering these new criteria will allow companies in the industry to engage in the process of innovation and continuous improvement of their technologies.
Faced with the risk of losing competitiveness and fear of slowing down innovation, our health care system, currently based on lowest-price accounting, threatens to relocate some of our companies’ production. To avoid a drain on our talents, we formulate a certain number of proposals as the presidential term approaches.
Expand the direct market access mechanism, expand the pricing criteria, create a funding model for digital instruments, increase the weight of France in decisions taken at the European level, and give players enough time and sector resources to adapt. French MedTech will take its place as a world leader only with the full support of the state in a calm and supportive regulatory ecosystem.