［Hiroyuki ABE］Reporting from a comprehensive Healthcare Tour under the invitation of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport［Healthcare Tour in the Netherlands (Part.2)］
Hiroyuki ABE (journalist)
“Browsing through a Medical Tour in the Netherlands.
Sharing global knowledge to solve the world’s problems.(2)”
On the first day of this Tour, we visited the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam. This Center is a Healthcare Research Laboratory which is hosted by the Netherlands’ largest Hospital, the VU University Medical Center. We were introduced to their PET/MRI equipments. Phillips and Siemens have been working together in order to merge both PET (Position Emission Tomography) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machines.
The results have shown lower radiation emission compared to combined PET/CT, reduced the need to move patients from one equipment to the other and allowed much more precise imaging in a much shorter time. Competition to put this new type of equipment into market is ferocious among the world’s healthcare industry players, but as this very project is already on the testing stage, it is expected to be put to use within 5 years.
The Center comprises 18 different fields of research, more than 30 project leaders as well as 135 Phd students. The main topic they decided to present to us this time was concerning Heart Diseases. There are several categories of heart diseases and even though it is still not clearly known whether they are hereditary or not, one sure thing that has been scientifically proven is the fact that the fat contained in the blood has a large impact on blood vessels and blood flow. Obesity is thus a major factor that causes heart diseases. Here, they would conduct army-level strict education on the importance of getting rid of bad dietary habits, keeping a balanced lifestyle with proper foods and exercises.
We do have metabolic syndrome evaluation tests in Japan too, but it would be hard to say to which degree people are really aware that obesity is a direct cause to heart diseases. It is of course the role of public organizations to undergo this education campaign, but the responsibility relies also largely on the media, and as Japanese journalists unfortunately live the worst lifestyles in the country, how can anything happen?
To continue with our Tour, we were then taken afterward to St. Antonio Hospital in Nieuwegein, a municipality located north from Amsterdam. At this facility, we assisted to real operations such as ICD, pace-maker and Stent Graft implants. A stent is a metallic tubular net that is inserted in the heart’s tighten blood vessels in order to enlarge them and allow better blood flow.
As I was watching these operations through the glass, I was thinking that even though these are very common interventions – more than 300 per year are conducted here – and even though they need only local anesthesia and that the patients are talking to their doctor during the procedure, this visit really made me realize how important it is to do some serious heart disease prevention actions on this planet, for the health of the people as well as to reduce the global cost of medical expenditure.
- 2013年のヒット商品から見えること〜価格ではなく品質や機能を重視した「日本人としての誇りを取り戻す」商品やサービスが好調（野田万起子・インクグロウ株式会社 代表取締役社長）