Declan Cassells is Managing Director of Renew Health. He shares his insights on the changing healthcare landscape, technological innovations and connected health.
What do you do, and how did your career path lead you to where you are today? Ireland is known as one of the key medtech hubs globally and so, as an engineering graduate, it was a logical place to start my career. I found it a dynamic and challenging environment, which I thoroughly enjoyed, so I decided to continue my career within this industry.
Over the last 20 years, I have led a series of international expansion projects setting-up new manufacturing operations, engineering facilities, research and development and distribution channels for multinational companies including Medtronic, Conor Medsystems, Kinetic Concepts and American Medical Systems.
Since 2014, I have been the Managing Director of Renew Health, responsible for overseeing operations, distribution, marketing, sales and the strategic commercial direction of the business.
What I really enjoy is the variety of work my role offers. It is also heartening that we make products that have a hugely positive benefit to people’s lives – be that a product to detect and diagnose a medical issue or a device that can treat an otherwise debilitating condition.
How do you meet the challenges of today’s shifting healthcare landscape? While we work in a highly regulated industry, I believe it is important to create a very agile company environment that can respond quickly to changes within the industry and importantly, our customers’ needs. Our founder has a motto and one that I try and live by: ‘Think Big, Keep it Simple and Make it Happen’.
Tell us more about the innovations that you’re developing, particularly Renew ECP Therapy, and how it benefits patients. Renew Health is committed to improving the quality of life of individuals with cardiovascular disease, especially those suffering from angina. We have an impressive portfolio of products and one of the most exciting ones is Renew External Counterpulsation (ECP) Therapy.
Cardiovascular disease is a system-wide chronic illness that results in a weakened circulation, with damaged arteries and blood vessels inhibiting effective blood flow to the brain, heart and organs in the body. Renew ECP Therapy is a non-invasive treatment that improves blood circulation, resulting in better cardiovascular health, and improved overall health, as good circulation aids the body’s delivery of oxygen, nutrients, and other materials that cells need to support, repair and protect the body. We are currently investing in a global research programme examining the impact of ECP on wider health benefits including sports recovery and preventative healthcare. Plus, we have the Zensor™ device.
What does ‘connected health’ mean to you? The crossover between lifestyle and medicine is becoming more unified and connected health is the driving force that I believe will change the healthcare system from being reactive to proactive. Connected health not only helps health organisations run more efficiently but it can improve patient outcomes through developing technology that can diagnose, manage and connect with patients with long-term conditions, and even prevent people from getting these conditions in the first place. The real benefit of connected health is about empowering people to take an active role in their own healthcare while being offered the best possible services available.
Renew Health has recently launched innovative connected health products aimed at the cardiology sector. Both these products, Zensor™ and UltraLinq, have been designed to reduce healthcare costs, streamline workflow and improve patients’ outcomes.
What have been your key milestones and achievements? I am most proud of the business I have helped build with the great support of the team at Renew Health. When I joined in 2014, there were only four people in the European office. Now we have almost 100 staff across Europe and the US and four products in the market. I am very fortunate to have a team that strives every day to make a difference to people’s lives. I am particularly proud of the fact that the team is so open to change. In a business that is growing and developing so quickly, being able to facilitate and thrive in an environment that continually moves and changes is vital.
What motivates you? No two days are the same at Renew Health. With such a demanding schedule and extensive international travel, it is easy to pay less attention to the team around you. I am motivated by developing the team I have around me and I set aside time regularly to help make sure that the right resources are dedicated to the right tasks, and in prioritising the most important projects.
What does the future hold for you, and Renew Health? Renew Health has already demonstrated substantial growth in a relatively short time and we expect this rate of growth to continue in the future. It will predominantly focus on developing sales channels throughout Europe combined with expanding our healthcare portfolio. This planned growth will bring many challenges to the organisation and I am confident the team will work together and embrace them.
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