Health First Europe, an alliance of patients, healthcare workers, academics, experts and industry which aims to ensure that equitable access to modern, innovative and reliable medical technology and healthcare is regarded as a vital investment in the future of Europe held an exhibition in the European Parliament in Brussels from 20-23 June 2005. In order to highlight just what innovative medical technology can do, HFE gave visitors the opportunity to learn about treatments which exist in various fields of healthcare, but more importantly, highlighted that not all European have access to the same treatments, asking why this is so and whether EU decision makers can look at the need to increase investment in innovation and patient safety.

Visitors to the exhibition were given the opportunity to:

  • Try their hand at being a heart surgeon with the virtual reality cath lab
  • Do their own keyhole surgery on the computer assisted surgery platform
  • Have their arm bandaged in the latest synthetic cast system
  • Learn how technology has provided a breakthrough in the treatment of obesity
  • See how pacemakers have developed from 1958 right up until today
  • Undergo on the spot diagnostic testing to find out about the condition of their liver and kidneys.

Throughout the four days a total of 450 participants visited the exhibition, including 80 members of the European Parliament. Meetings were set up with 10 MEPs involved in debating the Commission’s Programme of Community Health and Consumer Protection (2007-2013) and the 7th Research Framework Programme. In addition, HFE members met with 3 European commission officials dealing with key aspects of health and research policy.