Interview of Joachim Dehmel
True to the company motto 'Wings for your Health', the French medical device manufacturer THUASNE has been committed to the bandage, compression and breast care segment for many decades and is currently working on numerous innovations to make patients' everyday lives easier and to further increase the medical effectiveness of its products. Joachim Dehmel, CEO Germany, spoke with Wirtschaftsforum about current impulses as well as important lessons from the corona pandemic.
Interview translated from German in English : „Krankheiten warten nicht!“ | wirtschaftsforum.de
Wirtschaftsforum : Mr. Dehmel, in addition to its home market of France, THUASNE has been active in over 80 other countries for a number of years and has made a name for itself in the orthopedics and compression sector in particular. What exactly are the services you cover?
Joachim Dehmel: Our best-known products are certainly still our orthopedic products and bandages, which are used for ankle, knee and wrist complaints, as well as back and elbow complaints - such as classic tennis elbow. In addition to products for acute complaints, we have also developed solutions for the treatment of chronic diseases, for example in the case of osteoarthritis, which may also further delay or even completely prevent the need for surgical interventions. In the classic compression area, we work very closely with numerous burn centers in our role as market leader, where we can use our customized products to ensure that scars remain as supple and flat as possible - here, numerous studies have shown that a certain pressure on the scar from a certain stage of recovery can accelerate the further healing process and is also conducive to a good cosmetic result.
We are now able to transfer these decades of compression expertise to related areas such as lymphology, phlebology as well as the treatment of lipedema.
Wirtschaftsforum: In addition, THUASNE is considered a proven expert in the breast care segment.
Joachim Dehmel: Here, too, we focus on the development and manufacture of non-invasive products that are worn on the skin. Our involvement here is not limited to corresponding epitheses that comfortably replicate the ectomized breast. Rather, thanks to our growing experience in the compression and scar area, we are also able to offer solutions that can provide support in the case of frequently occurring complications long after the actual surgical intervention: For example, over 30% of all women undergoing breast surgery develop edema on their arm, which is easily and readily treatable with our compression garments. Based on our comprehensive understanding of the full clinical picture, this allows us to continuously develop our product portfolio to meet the needs of patients in their entirety.
Wirtschaftsforum: What further improvements can be expected in the future?
Joachim Dehmel: One important approach is certainly to further promote and strengthen patient compliance - because a large number of all prescribed compression products end up in some dresser drawer without ever being worn, which of course means that they are not effective at all. That's why we are constantly working on modern forms of finishing and new materials to make the products softer and more comfortable, and to make it easier for patients to put them on themselves - an issue that is becoming even more important as the shift from inpatient to outpatient procedures continues. After all, patients will then no longer be able to rely on trained nursing staff to take over in a clinical setting, but will have to act independently from the very first step. So making our products as easy to use as possible is more important today than ever before.
Wirtschaftsforum: What changes can digitalization also trigger in this regard?
Joachim Dehmel: In the future, it will certainly be possible to equip our products with appropriate sensors that can be used to indicate via an app solution whether the respective aid has not been worn long enough or even too long and must now be taken off or moved to a different position, or, for example, how much the knee may be loaded or bent in the respective postoperative week. We are currently pursuing a variety of different approaches here, with extremely positive feedback from users to date. Accordingly, we are convinced that we have found an important lever here to further increase medical added value through faster healing success.
Wirtschaftsforum: The Coronavirus pandemic has revealed a considerable degree of fragility, especially in patient-centered medicine - how has THUASNE experienced this period?
Joachim Dehmel: Acute sports-induced injuries have, of course, decreased noticeably. Chronic diseases, on the other hand, did not stop at the pandemic and must be treated consistently. Our great advantage during this period was our broad portfolio, which is geared to various clinical pictures and has made us very independent of health care providers. This independence and reliability have always been central elements of our value system. Since we have designed our own supply chains for maximum security, THUASNE has been able to remain able to deliver throughout the Ukraine conflict, which, given our range of services, is also without alternative - because the disease simply cannot wait. Nevertheless, the fragility of medical care during this period was at times worrying - and hopefully leads to a greater awareness of its unalterable necessity in our everyday lives!