CIIE 2020: Medical tech companies showcase anti-COVID-19 solutions
Updated 14:01, 08-Nov-2020
By Yang Chengxi

COVID-19 is one of the biggest focus this year at the China International Import Expo (CIIE). You don't need to actually walk into the medical section to feel that. There are strict health codes that all participants must abide by: mandatory face masks, temperature checks at major entry points, and a COVID-negative medical certificate. 

A medical pavilion on public health and epidemic prevention is a new attraction this year, with companies showcasing their latest anti-COVID-19 solutions.

Siemens Healthineers is debuting a robotic system for intervention procedures. The company believes the future of medical procedures is robotic, 5G-connected, and remote-controlled. That could be helpful in a pandemic situation. 

"We can reduce more than 95 percent of radiation exposure to the physicians. Around 10,000 patients have been treated through this system. Therefore, it is already proven to be a safe and reliable system. Especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we see a lot of usage [of this machine] to reduce the risks to the physicians. Because the system will help the physicians isolate [themselves] from the patients," said Pu Zhengrong, vice president of advanced therapies at Siemens Healthineers Greater China.

Another item that received much attention is U.S. firm Medtronic's next-generation ECMO machines. ECMO, or Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, is the last line of defense for the critically-ill COVID-19 patients. These devices were employed across Wuhan's intensive care units earlier this year. 

"The biggest highlight is our oxygenator on the ECMO. In the past, they needed to be changed every six hours or so. But this is the first oxygenator that can be used for 14 days straight. It saves efforts and reduces the potential irritation to the patients. It also comes with a screen that tells doctors info that they need. We think we can get this equipment registered in China in the first half next year," said Xu Ming, senior director of Cardiac Surgery Business at Medtronic Great China.

Many of these literal life-savers are awaiting fast-track approvals in China.