IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 15936: Can Medical Devices Help Mitigate Global Environmental Change Effects on Human and Animal Health? A Pilot Study (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Globalization and urbanization are new challenges for the ability to protect public health. Indeed, the anthropogenic impact is changing the environment on a global scale. These changes can have direct and indirect health effects on both human and animal populations, introducing new diseases. Heat waves and floods are an example of these changes. Global Environmental Change (GEC) consequences on human health and well-being are stronger in urban areas, which are inhabited by 70% of the European population. In this context, the use of appropriate medical devices can also help mitigate the effects of climate change. Studies into lifestyle, environment quality and potential fields of application can be useful tools to identify possible types of medical device that could help to support the therapeutic needs and the prevention of health both in everyday life, and in the case of environmental alerts. A study was carried out on the potential role of medical devices (MDs) in mitigating the effects of GEC on human and animal health, by issuing two different questionnaires to specific professional clusters: the first to doctors, pharmacists, and veterinarians, the second to MD manufacturers. The data obtained from this study confirm the strong connection between GEC and the increase in the use of some MDs. Results obtained from questionnaires circulated to MD manufacturers confirmed this trend. MD manufacturers also declared that there are no longer any seasonal trends in market demand for some medical devices. This is a pilot study to consider MDs as a mitigation tool for CEGs.