Maher Elhassan

Vice President & General Manager, MENAT



The role of MedTech in improving patient safety


MedTech is playing a pivotal role today in improving healthcare systems in the region. It is crucial, now more than ever, for organisations to embrace the transformations in industries and become flexible to provide the best inpatient care. In an interview, Maher Elhassan, Vice President & General Manager, MENAT at BD, said that with the right MedTech solutions, frontline workers can confidently and safely carry on with their jobs, significantly reducing medical errors.

He said: “The safety of healthcare workers and patients are of utmost priority when it comes to delivering care in the medical field, which is a pillar of the MedTech industry. Staying healthy is one thing, retaining the high standard of safety while providing care is another. With that said, we look forward to meeting tomorrow’s challenges together with our latest innovations elevating the quality of healthcare and enriching the patient care journey for both medical professionals and patients alike.” Excerpts:


What are you showcasing at Arab Health 2022?


Patient Safety is the number one strategic priority for BD in the MENAT region as delineated in a major awareness campaign already in progress. On our Arab Health booth, we will demonstrate the potential of our full Patient Safety story to optimize every care setting thanks to a collaboration between our Medical and Interventional segments (Medication Management Solutions, Medication Delivery Systems and BD Interventional). We will also be showcasing how our solutions help reduce medication errors and prevent Healthcare Associated Infections. Arab Health gives us the opportunity to share a valuable space with other industry professionals exchanging insights and innovations that will benefit the region’s healthcare system.

Moreover, we will have experts from BD at our booth presenting insightful sessions, highlighting imperative medical technology trends and best practices through Patient Safety Talks, as well as demonstrating a range of our products and services.

In parallel and at Medlab Middle East, our Lifesciences segment (BD Biosciences and BD Integrated Diagnostic Solutions) will be showcasing our innovations that help expand laboratory outcomes; from reducing preanalytical errors, automating processes to improving efficiency and standardizing workflows, delivering reliable results to enhance patient safety.


A key theme this year is healthcare transformation. What does healthcare transformation mean to you?


Advancements in technology mean that healthcare systems are fundamentally changing. The industry needs to adapt to these changes and adopt innovative solutions and strategies to improve the patient care journey. Patients are at the centre of what we do, and healthcare leaders need to adopt a customer-centric approach to be able to deliver quality patient care.

With the introduction of new methods and innovations, trust between clinical procedures and patients must strengthen. We can achieve this by a personalised, transparent, and evidence-based outcomes approach. Additionally, in this new era, more collaborations between organisations and other stakeholders are essential. We should move forward alongside adopting modern technologies and abiding by improved regulatory practices.

We are already witnessing this transformation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it has a vast number of initiatives as part of total system reform. The transition and implementation of these reforms are accelerated by a noticeably young, digitally aware generation.


To what extent will emerging health technologies such as AI, IoT and big data influence your business priorities?


The impact of AI and IoT is immense in the way healthcare providers increase efficiency, lower costs, and more importantly, refocus on enhancing the patient care journey. We are now seeing more wearables or IoT devices for remote health monitoring so that patients are enabled to take control of their wellbeing. This will help support many healthcare applications and analyze body activities, temperatures, heart rates, blood glucose and so on.

Integration of AI and Machine learning will also enable healthcare providers to efficiently gather, analyze and use patient data more efficiently. The amount of patient involvement will be frequent, as clinicians will find it easier to track and monitor a patient’s vitals, while visits to the doctors will be significantly less frequent. In turn, saving overall costs.

These recent technologies not only put the power of a person’s wellbeing in their own hands but alleviate the pressures of healthcare challenges on medical professionals. These are all inevitable changes that we must adapt to, as the use of IoT devices will increase by a significant percentage. It is the present and future of healthcare.


As the world continues to pull out of the pandemic, are there any challenges still faced by your business, and how are you addressing these? 


Alongside our unwavering efforts of contributing to better patient safety and care, we aim to cover all fronts of MedTech in the region. As mentioned, empowering patients to reap the benefits of the new hybrid era.

We will continue to drive innovation, improve industry-leading solutions, and skill medical professionals through the best in training. It is important that we successfully practice standardisation processes, full traceability, automation, and closed-loop medication management that can help prevent medication errors.

Some of these challenges are being met by sustaining a culture of safety as well as in the implementation of evidence-based practice interventions and thorough communication and collaborations across departments.


What will your business be prioritising in ‘post-pandemic’ times?


Overall, we will remain consistent with our integrated, holistic approach to our solutions and their applications. We continue to stand by healthcare practinoers’ side to discover, diagnose and deliver the best patient care, matching their expertise with our innovations. Our focus will be on enhancing patient safety and driving efficiency in healthcare supporting every major source of reducing tension and errors for clinicians.

BD innovations and initiatives try to deliver affordable, durable, and errorless MedTech solutions that all stakeholders can benefit from. More importantly, patients as they deserve the best in care.


How important is the resumption of international travel to your business?


While some travelling restrictions may have been lifted, we now live in a world of hybrid work. The entire concept of communication and doing business has changed, just like IoT devices have made it easier for healthcare providers, we are now able to connect in very convenient ways, saving time, effort and reducing costs by avoiding unnecessary travelling arrangements. But, of course, for necessary visits, resumption of travel is critical.