Martín Ferrari, Director General of Dräger Mexico, spoke with Mexico Health Review on on the benefits data digitalization systems can bring to doctors, hospitals and patients.
Q: What have Dräger’s main achievements been in digitalization since last year? What are you pursuing through digitalization in healthcare?
A: We had a lot of success with the INCan and we have integrated five data digitalization systems with electronic records for critical care areas and the surgical rooms that use our equipment. At a government level, we still have the same flows and issues in the compliance process. However, we have seen the benefits in the institutions we are already working with. Now, nurses have more time to focus on patients instead of collecting data on paper. The doctors can make better and more precise decisions with the new tools.
Q: What are the obstacles to integrating these solutions in more hospitals?
A: There is a budget for equipment purchases but the problem is the way the government buys and plans investment in the mid to long term. The purchase is focused on solving immediate problems, so we are missing better evaluations and long-term planning to invest in solutions that impact problems and processes. IMSS has changed its purchasing process greatly and we hope this filters through to other federal institutions.
Q: What other priorities does Dräger have within Mexican healthcare?
A: We want to change our business model and go directly to market, without intermediaries. We have been working on this for a long time and many doors have opened as a result of the government’s new purchasing systems.
Q: What benefits have you had from the new purchasing schemes?
A: We saw a great result with the IMSS’ scheme and we were successful in the consolidated purchasing of ventilators and monitoring equipment. This is a good initiative from the government, but it should focus on purchasing solutions that could be integrated and become part of a system in the future to provide a better service instead of purchasing individual pieces of equipment. The prices are also low so they are not sustainable in the long term. We can offer those prices for one year but not several years running, especially with the depreciation of the Mexican peso against other currencies. This is not sustainable and endangers quality. The first step should be to understand the value of complete solutions and then change the model to purchasing based on specific therapeutic needs. If the government purchases equipment from different brands for a surgical room, they will have different maintenance teams, different guarantees and different providers.
Q: How are Dräger’s commercial interests split?
A: Our business operations are split 50/50 between government and the private sector. We want to increase our business with the private sector and achieve a split more like 40 percent government and 60 percent private. Due to its business model, the private sector is more dynamic in its purchasing and we can process our sales directly with clinics. The sector is on its way to establishing integrated solutions that we can support with our portfolio. We are seeing some success with Dalinde and Hospitales Star Médica. We created an alliance with Christus Muguerza for building surgical rooms with B.Braun and Diphsa that could bring many benefits for private institutions.
Q: In what areas does Dräger focus its innovation activity and what new products are in the pipeline?
A: We are focused on intensive care, ventilation, anesthesia and neonatal care. In the specific case of neonatal care, this year we are launching a new incubator called BabyLeo, a crib with thermoregulation. It provides many benefits when working with newborns, such as efficiency, a quiet environment for the baby at 40 dB(A) and ease of care-giving for clinicians and parents. It is also possible to perform surgical procedures inside the incubator while maintaining humidity, temperature and oxygen control.