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“Exhibiting at Africa Health allows us to showcase our technology and connect with new partners and end users,” says Simon Meredith, General Manager, Medical Systems Olympus Africa. With more than 16 years of experience in medical devices with over 10 years spent in Africa, he believes that the event serves as “an opportunity to see the latest technology and network with like-minded industry professionals.”
Simon Meredith has held various leadership roles with multinational medical devices companies and has extensive experience in distributor and direct markets in both Europe and Africa.
As the General Manager for Africa at Olympus Medical Systems, what do you think is currently driving the healthcare industry forward, both in Southern Africa and Africa overall?
There are actually many factors, but I think both the rapidly expanding middle class and the easy access to healthcare information via internet and social media has fueled growth. This, in conjunction with the ever-increasing burden of non-communicable diseases, are some big drivers.
What current trends do you see specifically in the Southern African healthcare industry and what do you see as the growth areas going forward?
A big change is that we are seeing medical professionals who traditionally trained abroad in Europe or the US and stayed there previously are now returning to their home countries to practice. This is allowing skills transfer and enabling more patients to access a wider range of healthcare. I also see a stronger demand for better quality value-based offerings in both capital equipment and consumables.
What do you feel are some of the current issues the Southern African healthcare industry faces and how does Olympus contribute to aid in resolving these issues?
For sure, there is a skills shortage which is not new. Olympus has an extensive professional education program which is accessible to all healthcare professionals as well as field-based clinical support personnel who are fully medically qualified and able to transfer knowledge and skills and thereby, empower Africans.
How important is innovation in healthcare? What are the technological/medical/strategic innovations that your company brings to the healthcare arena?
Innovation is more important now than ever. With the need for quality equipment that can add value, deliverance in terms of ease of use, better patient outcomes, shorter hospital stays, and more clinically proven secondary benefits are currently on top of the list. We have a wide range of products which fall directly into these categories and we continue to develop them at a market leading rate.
What is your plan for Africa Health 2018?
What products/technology will you be showcasing?
What is unique/new about your product/service?
We will showcase the latest imaging platform Visera Elite II surgical endoscope system with Infra-Red imaging capability. Also, we are showcasing the latest generation dedicated to electrosurgery unit for the Endoscopist, the ESG-300. You will also find at the Olympus booth, Evis Exera III and EU-ME 2 Premier Plus Ultrasound system, Endocapsule.
As a company closely associated with Africa Health, how would you evaluate the impact of the event on the healthcare industry in the region?
We place a high value on the workshops we run in parallel with Africa Health. The exhibition itself allows us to showcase our technology and connect with new partners and end users.
What, according to you, are the benefits and opportunities available to healthcare and trade professionals to attend Africa Health?
It is an opportunity to see the latest technology and network with like-minded industry professionals.
Simon Meredith is the General Manager for Africa at Olympus Medical Systems. He has over 16 years of experience in medical devices with over 10 years spent in Africa.
Simon has a BSc (Hons) and a Bachelor of clinical technology degree from University of technology Free State, and he has completed the Executive Development Program at Copenhagen Business school.
Simon has held various leadership roles with Multinational Medical Devices companies and has extensive experience in distributor and direct markets in both Europe and Africa. Prior to joining Olympus Simon was the Managing Director of Maquet Southern Africa.