Arab Health 2017 Review - Miele

Miele develops innovative sensor to improve sterilisation process

At the Arab Health 2017 exhibition, Middle East Health spoke to Matthias Schmitz, Miele’s Marketing Regional Director for the Asia-Pacific, about their corporate philosophy, innovation, quality and position in the Middle East.

Middle East Health: Can you tell us a bit about Miele as a company?

Matthias Schmitz: Miele was founded in 1899 by two gentlemen, Carl Miele and Reinhard Zinkann. Although Miele is now a global company with around 18,500 employees worldwide, it is still 100% familyowned and under the management of the fourth generation of the founding families.

Most people will know Miele for its high-quality domestic appliances, such as washing machines, tumble dryers and kitchen appliances. However, we have been active in the healthcare sector for more than 50 years. Miele Professional has contributed many innovations to infection control, such as the Vario TD programme which set the standard for the automated washing and disinfection of surgical instruments and is still the basis for any kind of automated instrument reprocessing processes, just to name one example.

Now we are launching our 4D sensor, which will set new standards in steam sterilisation and therefore in infection control and patient safety in the future.

MEH: Can you tell us a little bit more about the size of Miele´s business? 

MS: In 2016 we achieved a total revenue of around 3.8 billion with a healthy and sustainable organic growth rate of 5%. 70% of the turnover is generated outside our home market of Germany.

Miele Professional is an integral part of that, with a revenue of 473 million and growth rates in line with the company as a whole.

We are very happy that we have been able to increase our business especially in the Middle East.

MEH: What is Miele’s objective and approach to doing business in the Middle East?

MS: Miele’s slogan is “Immer Besser” or “Forever Better”. This is not only a motto, but a clear promise to provide best quality machines, best service and continuous development. Middle Eastern countries are witnessing significant developments in the healthcare sector, especially in infection control standards, which is precisely where Miele provides state-of-the-art medical solutions.

We have been making very good progress in this region. We have had successful installations in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Qatar, and Oman in strategic reference hospitals. But it doesn’t stop there: we also provide our customers training, service support and advice to guarantee 100% satisfaction.

Miele’s team – the top management and our UAE-based sales office and service centre – will maintain its focus and support for this region

MEH: You focused on the word ‘service’, what is Miele’s perspective on ‘service’?

MS: Service is one of the most important core values in our company. We believe that providing perfect quality is the first step, but maintaining high levels of service will reflectthe real image of our products. Our aim is to guarantee peace of mind and the best return on their investments to customers who invest in our brand. So, for this to happen, service is the key. Critical operations such as hospitals should never struggle with servicing our machines or suffer from prolonged downtimes.

Service capability is a crucial decisionmaking criterion for our partners in the respective regions.

We support our partners in the Middle East from our subsidiary in Dubai where we have an organisation with around 40 people.

But service for us means more than just providing technical support.

We assist our customers right from the outset and are involved as early as the planning stage, such as with designing a new central sterile services department (CSSD). With our international experts, we can provide support in the design phase by providing capacity calculations, planning layouts and workflows and finally, of course, by ensuring the efficient use of our equipment.

To give you an example: Following the Arab Health exhibition, a team of three experts will visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iran to provide training on infection control and to consult hospitals on how to create an efficient reprocessing facility from an economic, technical and process perspective.

Miele will never compromise on technology and service which makes it the trusted brand for which it is so well known.

MEH: Can you tell our readers about Miele’s new innovation for sterilisers?

MS: We refer to Miele’s new innovation as the 4th dimension of instrument reprocessing.

According to scientific literature, surface steam sterilisation conditions comprise saturated steam and a specified temperature / time combination. For example, 134°C for 3 minutes. Pressure is used to control the sterilisation process.

That means that to ensure successful and safe steam sterilisation you have to measure four parameters:

  1. Pressure
  2. Temperature
  3. Time
  4. (Penetration with) saturated steam

In the past, it was usual to deem sterilisation successful if the parameters of pressure, temperature and holding time – only three parameters – were measured during the process. Using these parameters it was presumed that sterilisation always took place using saturated steam, although this was not always the case in practice.

The new sensor from Miele continuously monitors the presence of saturated steam (the 4th dimension) and thereby gives users the peace of mind of knowing that sterilisation took place under the most favourable conditions in the interests of safety.i

MEH: What sets it apart from the competition?

MS: The Miele 4D sensor is the only available system on the market that is able to measure the presence of saturated steam in each sterilisation cycle in real time. All other systems monitor pressure and/or temperature but these parameters do not guarantee that saturated steam is present for a safe sterilisation.

Cultural attitudes a barrier to fertility treatment

A deep-rooted reluctance among men in the UAE to address their own fertility issues is causing couples to go childless instead of seeking treatment, according to leading fertility expert Dr Geetha Venkat from the Harley Street Fertility Clinic (HSFC), London, UK.

Dr Venkat was at Arab Health to raise awareness of the need for more education and a shift in cultural attitudes.

With the region having some of the highest levels of obesity and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in the world – two of the condition’s key contributing factors – it is easy to understand why one in six couples in the UAE is facing fertility issues. However, Dr Venkat is keen to emphasise to patients that the root of the problem is not unique to women – in fact males are found to be solely responsible for 20-30% of infertility cases and contribute to 50% of cases overall. As a result, Dr Venkat wants to encourage both partners to seek help and leave any stigma surrounding infertility at the clinic door.

“Lifestyle factors such as obesity, diabetes, smoking and stress affect both men and women and so, naturally, both sexes need to be tested for infertility,” she says.“While attitudes and opinions are slowly changing, more still needs to be done to educate both men and women and replace any negative feelings of blame, guilt or embarrassment with a greater acceptance of infertility and the treatment pathway associated with it.

“While symptoms can be easy to spot in women – such as abnormal or irregular periods, in most cases of male infertility, there are no obvious signs, so the need for medical testing for male partners is crucial.

“Over the last few years, developments in the area of infertility have advanced, to include the use of metformin as an effective treatment for PCOS sufferers, and inofolic to correct the insulin resistance associated with PCOS; so there’s a lot to be optimistic about,” said Dr Venkat.

“My clinic is one of very few that offers an extensive range of fertility services and treatments to couples who can’t conceive on their own, including a dedicated andrologist and consultant urologist specifically to treat male infertility problems,” she added. “We’re keen to bring our expertise to the region and work together with local medical organisations and professionals to help ensure patients can benefit from the very latest developments.”

The Harley Street Clinic provides comprehensive assistance to couples who are not able to conceive. This ranges from fairly simple techniques such as timing intercourse and inducing ovulation, to more advanced treatments such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), IVF/ ICSI, ICSI using IMSI technique and time lapse embryoscope, etc.

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Date of upload: 18th Mar 2017

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