They are essential to our health: new medical products. Every year, medical device manufacturers, biotech companies, and pharmaceutical companies spend billions to develop them – and then millions to train and educate physicians to know how to use them and how to best help patients. But what happens after that, and how can medical product manufacturers support physicians when it comes to treating real people?
Once a medical product or treatment has been developed, various methods are initially used in the training phase. These range from descriptions and instructions supported by e-learning platforms, videos and audio files to sophisticated training centers with hands-on learning in real operating room facilities with training on animals or cadaver explants. Simulation software and 3D-printed artificial materials to mimic real-world scenarios are also emerging technologies for training and preparing physicians to use new treatments.
Time gap between training and first patient treatment
All of these efforts are designed to prepare medical teams for the moment when a real patient is to be treated. Right after training, what usually happens first is…. nothing! That’s because often the first treatment of a real patient doesn’t happen until weeks or months after training. This is the moment when training and reality meet.
Now it’s up to the physician in his or her clinic to decide whether the patient meets the criteria for a particular implant or interventional treatment. The physician may need to select the right size implant or decide on the access route.
Assessment of medical images vital during post-training-phase
Medical images play a key role in the best treatment outcome, such as methodological selection and determining the size of an implant. And this is where medical device manufacturers can come in: Namely, by supporting physicians with a second opinion at these critical moments. But this is not always so easy and, above all, often too slow, for example because of a physical distance. It is not uncommon, for example, for the attending physician and his patient to be located in Europe, but the manufacturer in the USA, and for medical images to be exchanged by mail.
Clinical decision support via web-based tools to ensure the best treatment possible
A straightforward and secure solution here can be provided by web-based clinical decision support tools, such as our GDPR-compliant online solution decidemedical, which has been used by the medical device industry for ten years. With its help, clinicians can upload their clinical data and medical images and submit them securely and compliantly to industry experts to either get their opinion on the suitability of a case or industry provides sizing services. Clinical experts from the manufacturer review and measure the medical images using specialized imaging software and submit their assessments to the physician via the web-based platform to recommend the best treatment option and implant size.
The benefits to the physician, the industry – and most importantly, the patient – from using web-based Clinical Decision Support tools in the post training phase are clear:
- Utilization of existing medical expertise,
- available worldwide,
- fast turnaround time,
- enables a controlled product launch,
- efficient customer support,
- compliance with regulations, and it’s
- accessible from anywhere – no software required.
How do you manage physician support in the post-training phase? And how does your clinical team share medical images with the different sites?
Discuss here or contact us at info(at)clinflows.com