Two start-ups from western Switzerland revolutionise the treatment of glaucoma
Swiss Medtech Day provides the perfect stage to present this coveted prize for innovation worth CHF 50,000, sponsored by the Lichtsteiner Foundation, the Straumann Group and Ypsomed. The two winners of the Swiss Medtech Award 2020 Rheon Medical and Coat-X, both start-ups from western Switzerland, were enthusiastically applauded for their collaborative achievements by the 500 conference attendees.
Rheon Medical’s eyeWatch system is currently revolutionising the surgical treatment of glaucoma. The medical device has already been launched and applied successfully in more than 150 patients. Glaucoma is a term used to describe a group of diseases that affects the eyes. One common symptom is that the optic nerve becomes increasingly and irreversibly damaged – and in the worst case, patients can lose their sight entirely. Excessive pressure inside the eye is the biggest risk factor for developing glaucoma, and this is precisely where the innovation comes into play. Once the eyeWatch has been implanted, the patient's intraocular pressure can be easily monitored and corrected with a few simple external adjustments during routine check-ups. The key component of this worldwide first non-invasive pressure equalization system to treat glaucoma is its rotating magnetic plate. The innovative coating technology of Coat-X also ensures that the magnetic plate is protected from erosion by body fluids – an important prerequisite for the implantation of an eyeWatch.
«Switzerland is one of the world's most attractive locations to develop and produce complex, innovative medical products. The joint achievement of Rheon Medical and Coat-X, who have both been honoured today, is a prime example. It illustrates an ideal synergy of engineering, microtechnology, and materials technology,» says an impressed Peter Biedermann, Managing Director of Swiss Medtech.
The jury and the audience also praised the accomplishments of the other two finalists; Aleva Neuro-therapeutics qualified for the finals with their deep brain stimulation system to treat Parkinson's patients, and VirtaMed impressed with medical training simulators that enable doctors to practice their surgical skills virtually.
Film Finalisten (E)
- Rheon Medical & Coat-X (winner)
Swiss Medtech represents around 700 members in its role as industry association for Swiss medical technology. With 63,000 employees and a contribution of 16.4% to the positive trade balance, medical technology is an economically significant sector in Switzerland. Swiss Medtech advocates for conditions that enable the medtech industry to perform at peak capacity and provide first-class medical care.