Neuromodulation Therapy: Guaranteeing their access becomes essential given the rise in cases of Parkinson’s disease.

Joaquin Castro, CEO of Medtronic in Argentina

On World Brain Day, it is important to make visible those diseases that affect the neurological level in order to raise awareness and inform about progress in treatments that increase the chances of patients’ well-being. In Argentina, one of the main pathologies is Parkinson’s disease. Currently, about 90 thousand people live with this disease in the country, and its incidence is growing: a new case is diagnosed every 12 hours.

It is worth noting that Parkinson’s disease is incurable, as it is a progressive disorder that directly affects the nervous system, leading to various non-motor and motor symptoms. The latter limit muscle control and cause involuntary tremors, stiffness and slowness of movement, which in turn causes severe pain and depression. Fortunately, there are many treatments, both drug and non-drug, that can help relieve your symptoms.

access to technology

Among the latest generation of surgical treatments is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), a procedure that has been performed for several years and with which there is already a lot of experience. It is a therapy that alters the functioning of the nervous system with the help of electrical stimuli, the ultimate goal of which is to improve the quality of life, relieve symptoms and restore the level of independence of patients.

Faced with the availability of this type of innovative therapy for the benefit of people, the commitment and collaboration of all actors involved in public and private health is a priority to find solutions and reduce disparities in access to superior technologies.

In this sense, there is a model called value-based acquisition that is positioned as a viable option as it is an innovative contracting format that considers outcomes, performance metrics, and levels of improvement in people’s health to select the most appropriate medical devices for each treatment.

This model proposes a collaborative approach between the parties involved in order to focus processes on three main pillars: the patient, the quality of therapy, and the sustainability of the health care system through savings. It also proposes to address complexities in the provider-buyer relationship, including risk-sharing alternatives and rewarding providers and providers who contribute to improved health care services and clinical outcomes.

Then, using this concept of cost in determining purchases, the purchase will be based on the success of technologies to generate savings by reducing the total cost of service. This leads to treatments that speed up interventions and empty rooms faster, shorten waiting lists, prevent consequences, stop the exacerbation of pathologies and effectively relieve pain. In short, it is in these long-term outcomes that the savings will become tangible, and there are several international studies that demonstrate this.

As part of World Brain Day, in addition to promoting health, the commitment of various actors, from professional doctors to those responsible for developing health policy, must be reaffirmed.

Fortunately, at present, in addition to diagnosis, there are also increasing opportunities to improve the living conditions of patients suffering from this disease – and other neurological ones. Now all that’s left is to work and guarantee their access in the same way.

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