In a year that challenged the resilience of communities all over the world, a number of professions and sectors stepped up to help societies tackle the impact of the pandemic. Among the global healthcare industry in particular, companies were able to help save lives by rapidly drawing upon their experience and expertise to bring reliable, safe and often innovative solutions to meet some of the challenges of COVID-19.
One such company is B Medical Systems, whose ground-breaking cold chain service has helped to deliver the ongoing global vaccination programme, and whose state-of-the-art medical refrigeration products and blood management services has brought reassurance to senior decision-makers as they carry on with business as usual.
B Medical Systems’ Chief Executive Officer is Luc Provost. He explains that the Luxembourg-based company has a rich culture of innovation at its heart, which helps it attract and retain talent and meet the demands and challenges of a diverse range of customers including hospitals, research laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, blood centres, humanitarian organisations, and ministries of health all around the world.
“B Medical Systems was part of the Electrolux Group in the 1970s, focusing uniquely on medical refrigeration and the vaccine cold chain, so innovation is part of our DNA,” says Provost. “We then went our own way, and developed our company and activity from Luxembourg, which is only a small country but it’s a big melting pot in terms of nationalities and cultures. I would say the richness of this multicultural environment has strongly contributed to the innovations we have brought to the market.”
These innovations include reliable storage and transport solutions for all kinds of bio specimens, vaccines, lab specimens, medical preparations, blood and its components. Its medical-grade vaccine refrigerators, laboratory refrigerators, laboratory freezers, blood bank refrigerators, plasma freezers, contact shock freezers, ultra-low freezers, and transport boxes are the result of years of intense research and development.
This attention to detail means B Medical Systems is certified by the European Union MDR – one of the first medical refrigeration manufacturers in the world to be certified –, United States FDA, and World Health Organisation PQS, just to name a few.
It’s for this reason that B Medical Systems has been able to respond to today’s unprecedented global demands so successfully. Its storage and transport solutions, for example, can maintain products from temperature ranges of 2-8°C down to -86°C. The firm’s R&D teams worked day and night to find solutions for different vaccine family profiles.
And in the blood management area of the business, it has been applying similar technology to ensure the safe transport, cooling, and storage of blood components.
“What is happening today worldwide is an environment that, at a smaller scale, we have been working in for the last four decades,” explains Provost. “We have experience of installing national vaccination programmes in some of the most remote and difficult places around the world. Our production technology is easily expandable, which means output at the factory can be multiplied in a short time by two, by four, by 20 if needed. The biggest change for us was the acceleration required to respond to urgent needs.”
Utilising the latest technology has enabled B Medical Systems to build reliability, safety and sustainability into its solutions, he adds. For example, all of its refrigerators and freezers are embedded with Internet of Things, meaning it knows from its base in Luxembourg exactly how the product is working. A government health minister, meanwhile, could monitor an entire chain in real time if they so wished. “We know that it works, wherever it goes in the world, and that’s a big advantage,” says Provost.
The company has 130 local partners around the world, adds Provost, which means that in the deployment of the company’s solutions geopolitical situations and local customs need to be considered. He recalls a time when Nigeria had the highest infected population in terms of polio. “We deployed our vaccine cold chain around the country, even in areas occupied by Boko Haram terrorists. We have worked in areas where there is absolutely no civilian transportation such as the Amazon in Brazil, where we used military helicopters to deliver the refrigerators. That local knowledge is something we are really good at.”
As the company looks to the future, Provost is excited by the potential of further partnerships and new opportunities. B Medical Systems has already worked with Toyota to develop an exclusive 4×4 vehicle with medical refrigeration capabilities, which the two companies are now beginning to manufacture and distribute around the world. The CEO also believes that the technological innovations developed during COVID will soon be applied to oncology, meaning investments will continue to pay back. “We have opened a lot of new doors, and these new doors will certainly bring opportunities.”
To find out more visit: https://www.bmedicalsystems.com/en/
To read in more detail about B Medical Systems and how the business joined the global fight against COVID-19, look out for a new feature here next month.
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