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FOKUS Patient turns international

FOKUS Patient is arranging conferences over 3 days in October, and this year, the focus will be on international collaborations.

“Although we have not aimed to become international, many potential partners have asked us about collaborating. We wish to be a catalyst for networking and perhaps even contribute to business and collaborations between research, companies, authorities and patient organisations,” says Penilla Gunther, initiator of FOKUS Patient.

On day 3, the theme is transplants. Surgeon Bartley Griffith, who performed the heart transplant with a pig’s heart in the USA early in January, will attend online. A Swedish company was very much involved in that operation with its perfusion machine that kept the heart going during the transport to the hospital in Maryland.

“We have quite a few life science companies in Sweden with a high ranking in research and development in transplants, including Xvivo, which was part of the pig heart transplant. They will attend, and so will Realheart, which is developing an artificial heart. These are MedTech products, and naturally, they are incredibly interesting, but there are also other interesting aspects.”

Most people find it cool that such advanced operations as transplants can be successfully performed, but even so, other aspects must be highlighted and given space, according to Penilla Gunther.

“One perspective that is often forgotten is that you live with life-long medication after a transplant. I had a new heart 15 years ago, and I am still on the same anti-rejection medicine. What is the status of research and development in this field?”

Day 1 of the conference focuses on patient safety in collaboration with the European Patient Safety Foundation. Patient rights are affecting everyone, says Penilla Gunther.

“FOKUS patient is an assembly platform for everyone, and we are very pleased to see that some of the largest European organisations will attend for all 3 days. Not many people work with these issues. However, FOKUS Patient is not a patient organisation, although we work from a patient perspective, which should be the general perspective.".

Patient safety was put on the agenda during and after the pandemic, and the subject is highlighted by FOKUS Patient: exhausted staff, postponed operations, lack of products such as rubber gloves and people not daring to go to the doctor.

“So many questions were raised during the pandemic. All of a sudden, people were sitting on the bus talking about phase II and phase III of vaccine research. People have become involved, and this is actually a window of opportunity for the life science industry to continue spreading knowledge about research and development.”

3 themes with a focus on the patient – for 3 days

  • Patient safety in Sweden, Europe and the world.
  • Cardiovascular disease forum with partner Global Heart Hub.
  • Forum for transplant issues

FOKUS Patient Event will be held from 3-5 October at the City Conference Center in Stockholm. Life Science Sweden is official media partner.

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