Regional Managing Director at Olympus MEA
“We want to support every endoscopist, In every procedure, Every day”
Olympus is well known for its optical and digital precision technology in addition to many noninvasive technologies launched lately in the market. Ronald Boueri, the Regional Managing Director at Olympus MEA, talked about the latest technologies of Olympus to be showcased during Arab Health this year. Below is the full interview.
Can you tell us about your journey in the healthcare industry?
With over 25 years’ experience, I have been driving transformation within the medical devices sector, in different roles and geographies from the Middle East to SE Europe. With significant contributions to the regional growth of Zimmer Biomet, a NYSE-listed company, and a leading company in the Orthopedic space, I have recently joined Olympus back in January 2022, leading the local organization’s transformation journey for MEA as I capitalize on a differentiated stakeholder management approach with change management capabilities.
Our region has specific and unique Dynamics with a constantly changing environment in some of our markets, be it on the economic and geopolitical side, which makes it compelling for leaders to anticipate market and product trends and introduce new business models where necessary to create sustainable sales growth. Innovation and medical education remain key aspects to consider as we ensure we have our best technology available in our region and make it accessible to our partners and Health Care Professionals with continued efforts on training and education on all levels.
We also navigate through different environments and cultures, where resilience and resourcefulness is key as we need to adapt to those new dynamics and market specifics. In often challenging conditions, building strong teams, nurturing an open culture based on trust and fairness is an integral part of success; I strongly believe people-driven leadership is fundamental when driving cross-functional collaboration and coordination across an entire organization.
Olympus was well known for its optical and digital precision technology but now you have become a MedTech pioneer with many noninvasive technologies launched lately in the market. Can you tell us more about this successful journey?
As you may be aware, we have recently carved out our Consumer and Scientific solutions division businesses as we now focus on the medical space with the objective to be one of the TOP 10 leading Medtech companies in the world. Our products enable healthcare professionals, from a broad range of specialties to ‘peer’ inside the body, using endoscopic procedures. As we focus on early detection and minimally invasive treatment of a broad range of diseases, our mutual mission is to improve patient outcomes, minimize discomfort, and accelerate the recovery process. Our innovative technologies and services can also optimize workflow and maximize operational efficiency.
We continue to play a leading role in important medical disciplines such as Gastroenterology, Respiratory and urology where we thrive to bring our latest technology and innovations providing access and reach to healthcare professionals in the Middle East and Africa region.
A good example is how we are shaping the benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) treatment, with our newly released iTind technology. This minimally invasive procedure delivers rapid and effective relief from BPH symptoms. iTind, the temporary implanted nitinol device, is inserted in an efficient and straightforward procedure, with a short learning curve for physicians and a removal of the device after 5-7 days.
The entire procedure can be performed in an office environment, under local anesthesia, which also addresses the need of hospitals to move procedures out of the OR. I am happy to share that the first-ever iTind procedure in the MEA region has been performed in the UAE last month. Again, that is part of our solid commitment to advancing the treatment of BPH and urology and bringing the latest technology to MEA; Our Purpose remains in making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling.
How can noninvasive technology make healthcare more accessible and affordable and help in improving patient care quality?
Olympus has recently announced the acquisition of Odin Vision with a wide portfolio of computer-aided diagnostic (CAD) solutions as well as a deep innovation pipeline of cloud-enabled applications. The aim is to create a paradigm shift with artificial intelligence (AI) integration into the endoscopy suite to support clinical procedures, including colonoscopy and esophagogastroduodenoscopy, with a cloud-AI platform.
Recent studies show that AI-assisted colonoscopies demonstrated more accurate detection of colorectal cancer, with increased detection rates. According to our findings, existing approaches of detection can result in up to 25% missed polyps and misclassification, which lead to increased costs, time, as well as risks for patients. The acquisition also allows us to provide advanced AI-powered solutions and data-driven insights which can transform patient care globally and in our region.
With this recent acquisition, we will strengthen our broader Olympus digital roadmap and create synergies that enable us to commercialize highly valuable endoscopy-focused software tools. The intent would be to use the procedure and clinical data, which is collected and analyzed in real-time, to provide digital solutions to care specialists. It is about technology for sure but in today’s world, it is also very much about Data…no longer the future, it is very much the NOW.
What are the latest technologies that you will be showcasing during Arab Health?
At our booth this year we will be showcasing for the first time our new and latest VISERA ELITE III platform, our best-in-class visualization system designed for multiple medical specialties, allowing HCPs to fully focus on patients during the procedure with enhanced quality of endoscopic surgery and improved efficiency in the operating room, leading to a better clinical outcome.
We will be also presenting our ORBEYE exoscope, with its versatile design and a revolutionary small and flexible head enabling the surgeon to observe the surgical field from various angles which facilitates multiple surgical positions, approaches, and techniques without compromising surgeon posture or discomfort when compared with conventional microscopes.
Last and not least, we will be showcasing our most advanced Endoscopy system, Evis X1 platform, EVIS X1 representing a range of new, easy-to-use technologies that aim to revolutionize the way gastrointestinal disorders can be detected, characterized, and treated. This imaging technology optimizes the structure, color, and brightness of mucosal surface images under white light imaging observation. By recognizing subtle changes in color and structure of the endoscopic images in real-time, which are difficult to be observed under white light imaging, is expected to contribute to enhancing the observation performance for suspicious tissues related to diseases such as gastric cancer and colorectal cancer.
We want to support every endoscopist, In every procedure, Every day.