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Newsroom
June 11th, 2019

Cook Medical calls for continued investment to support innovation in the medtech industry in Ireland


Development of innovative minimally invasive devices, personalised healthcare, the connected health model and a more streamlined approach to clinical trials could deliver savings for the Irish healthcare system, reduce patient recovery time and improve patients’ lives, according to Cook Medical.

“While minimally invasive procedures are increasingly becoming the norm, more investment—from industry and government—in research and development is necessary to expand the range of conditions that could be treated,” says Bill Doherty, executive vice president for EMEA and managing director of Cook Medical Europe, “Minimally invasive procedures can reduce recovery time and may eliminate the need for open surgery and hospital-based procedures.”

“One of the biggest risks to healthcare globally is the potential lack of innovation in the medtech sector,” added Doherty. “To ensure that we can continue to deliver life-changing and lifesaving solutions for patients, we need sensible regulations, more investment in research and development, and a pipeline of skilled professionals. A great example of this is the recent announcement of the IDA-funded National Advanced Manufacturing Centre here in Limerick, and we are greatly encouraged by the recently launched report on Future Investment in Clinical Research.”

Doherty made the comments ahead of MedTech Week, a pan-European event that highlights the positive contributions that the medtech industry makes to patient well-being, health services and national economies.

Ireland’s 300+ medtech companies export €12.6 billion worth of goods annually and employ more than 38,000 people.[1]

Professor Gerry O’Sullivan, Consultant Radiologist at University College Hospital, Galway, and a specialist in cardiovascular and interventional medtech devices, agrees:

“Ireland’s population is ageing, and chronic illness is more frequent. For older, sicker patients, open surgery carries a significant risk. Minimally invasive procedures, specifically those that use medtech devices, allow us to reduce the impact of these factors and increase the chance of successfully treating patients. In the long term, this is good for the health service, as it reduces the time a patient needs to stay in hospital and seek aftercare.

“To ensure we can maintain this momentum, investment is crucial, both in terms of clinical and medical engineering skills, and in product development. Government and industry must collaborate to invest in better medtech-enabled facilities and infrastructure for healthcare practitioners, and in increasing the resources available for medtech innovation, such as grants.

“The future is bright. Ireland has made an extremely positive contribution to medtech. From a medical practitioner’s point of view, it’s very heartening to see lifesaving and life-changing devices developed by local, Irish-based companies and universities positively impacting patient care across the world. It makes me proud to stand on the podium and tell other physicians that this product was conceived, tested, developed and manufactured in Ireland.”

MedTech Week in Ireland

MedTech Week will take place from 3-7 June 2019 at locations across Ireland and Europe. Cook Medical will host an event at their Limerick base, in Castletroy, including live demonstrations of their devices and the product lifecycle from benchtop to bedside.

“We are proud of our employees and the innovative solutions that our company produces in Ireland and Denmark. Celebrating MedTech Week at Cook Medical is a wonderful way to recognise our employees’ efforts to serve patients in EMEA and around the world,” said Doherty.

[1]. Irish Medtech Association strategy: the global medtech hub. Irish Medtech Association Web page. https://www.irishmedtechassoc.ie/Sectors/IMDA/IMDA.nsf/vPages/About_us~irish-medtech-association-strategy-the-global-medtech-hub!OpenDocument. Accessed 29 May 2019.