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10 April 2019

Amanda Silva, Diabetes Clinical Specialist, Medtronic ANZ

Attended Bio Melbourne Devices + Diagnostics Lab 2019 Conference in March 2019

Amanda (2)

Tenure with Medtronic: 2 years

Why did you attend the Event?

Aside from the fact I was asked if I would like to present my personal health journey at the BioMelbourne Network’s Devices and Diagnostics Lab conference, I saw this event as a great opportunity to showcase Medtronic as a great company to work for. Furthermore, it also provided me with the platform to personally express my gratitude – to Medtronic – for bringing their life-changing and life-saving technology to Australia.

What were the key takeaways from the Event?

What I was surprised to hear throughout the course of the conference, was that patient experience/ choice is becoming increasingly more significant in the medtech space. Historically-speaking, clinicians were generally given the final say as to which medtech brand/treatment their patients would receive, however in more recent times we’ve seen a shift. As patients are becoming more informed about their health, medtech companies are actively listening to the needs of these patients and proactively working with clinicians and their respective patients to adopt a more collaborative approach to healthcare management and treatment.

What were the most memorable moments from the Event?

Apart from openly sharing with some 160 delegates that ‘my daughter looked like a heffer when she was born (I know, what was I thinking?!), the standout presentation for me was led by one incredibly passionate person, Dr Rebecca Seagrave, Deputy Director of BrainPark® – Monash University’s new neuroscience research laboratory. BrainPark® has been dubbed a “playground for the brain” — essentially, it’s a state-of-the-art sanctuary to help people recover from addictions and compulsions. Impressively, BrainPark® “has five zones for its’ five ‘interventions’ or methods”: therapeutic virtual reality, brain stimulation, physical exercise, meditation/yoga and cognitive training. What I loved most about Dr Seagrave’s presentation was that it spoke to people from all walks of life and included a healthy balance of clinical and ‘holistic’ teachings.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge and opportunity in Australian medtech innovation?

In my opinion, the biggest opportunity and challenge in Australian medtech innovation is the utilisation and influence of AI. From personalised healthcare to smart AI-enabled medical devices, the opportunity to reach new heights in ‘true’ preventative healthcare is one which medtech companies are starting to pursue.

The biggest challenge with AI-enabled medtech centres around customer/patient data privacy, and data protection. It’s my understanding that the privacy and ethical considerations of personal data is still an evolving field, with tighter regulations expected in the not-too-distant-future. As a result, the rate of adoption of AI in medtech innovation may be impacted.

By this time next year, what matters relating to healthcare would you like to see solved and/or part of public conversation?

Mental health. Whilst we’ve seen an increase in mental health awareness over the past decade, I am of the opinion, that there is a lot more work to be done on the subject of ‘chronic disease and its impact on mental health’. ‘Burnout’ is a term used by some clinicians to describe the emotional exhaustion, frustration and in many cases depersonalisation patients experience as a result of living with chronic disease. As it is generally thought of by clinicians as a ‘secondary consequence of chronic disease’, appropriate discussion, and intervention, is not generally regarded as a priority. As someone who lives with a chronic condition, I am no stranger to ‘burnout’ and the mental, emotional and physical symptoms associated with it. I look forward to further addressing – and solving – this real-life health issue in the near future.

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