a doctor talks to parents of a newborn

As Seen In AUTHORITY MAGAZINE – Health Tech: Arjan Haverhals On How Milestone Scientific’s Technology Can Make An Important Impact On Our Overall Wellness and Society

Medical News
March 4, 2022 1:52 pm
By, Luke Kervin, Co-Founder of PatientPop

… What drives and motivates me every day is improving the quality of life for patients. That is the reason I am working in healthcare. Additionally, my daughter went through five attempts to place an epidural whilst giving birth to her first child. I was not aware of our technology at that time, however if I would have known, I am quite sure she would have had a better experience.

Milestone Scientific CEO, Arjan Haverhals

In recent years, Big Tech has gotten a bad rep. But of course many tech companies are doing important work making monumental positive changes to society, health, and the environment. To highlight these, we started a new interview series about “Technology Making An Important Positive Social Impact”. We are interviewing leaders of tech companies who are creating or have created a tech product that is helping to make a positive change in people’s lives or the environment. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Arjan Haverhals, president and CEO of Milestone Scientific.

Arjan Haverhals has served as Milestone Scientific’s president since September 2020 and as president and Chief Executive Officer of Milestone Scientific’s Dental Division, Wand Dental Inc., since June 2020. He brings more than 30 years of sales, marketing, product development, and international expansion experience within the medical device, pharmaceutical, and other industries.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory and how you grew up?

Born and raised in Zutphen, Netherlands, a small town close to the border of Germany, my father was employed at the town hall, and together with my mom, they did everything in their possession to give my sister and I all the tools needed for a bright future. The focus was on education, thus school, and in my spare time you could find me on the soccer pitch. After high school I went to the western part of the Netherlands, to a city called Leiden, where I studied and got my master of science degree in pharmacy.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

After obtaining my master’s degree, I wanted to work either in a hospital, which required additional studying for another four years, or join the pharmaceutical industry. I wrote two application letters and was appointed by Nycomed as responsible pharmacist. There I became interested in business and after three years I was asked to move to the headquarters of the company in Oslo, Norway. I left the Netherlands in 1992 and have not returned since. This was the start of my international career in healthcare and medical devices. I have lived and worked in multiple countries including Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and currently, the United States.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

That would definitely be my parents. They taught us to always set ambitious goals, whether it was in sports, school or other areas. They told us to never take a “no” for granted and to keep challenging and improving yourself. Work hard and never give up. In my childhood I had some health issues that did not allow me to go to school for one year. I was worried that I would not be able to catch up that year, however my mom mobilized friends to do their homework with me whilst visiting me. In other words, she taught me that for any problem, there is a solution.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“If you want to go fast you go on your own, if you want to go further you go together.”

I am a strong advocate of teamwork. Whether this is in sports or work — creating great teams drives success. It is also important to establish a high-performance culture in the working environment.

You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Living and working in different cultures has given me the skills and traits to better listen and observe, adapt to different situations and change my mindset.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about the tech tools that you are helping to create that can make a positive impact on our wellness. To begin, which particular problems are you aiming to solve?

Injection technology has not seen innovation in the last 150 years. So many people fear needles and patient outcomes aren’t benefiting from this lack of evolution. Milestone Scientific is bringing much-needed innovation to the space with computerized drug delivery instruments that provide virtually painless and precise injections. It does this by monitoring the exact pressure and optimal needle position during the administration of anesthetic. This technology is used in our two solutions for dental and epidural procedures — all with the goal to create better patient outcomes and experience.

How do you think your technology can address this?

The CompuFlo Epidural instrument is able to accurately confirm and verify needle placement in the epidural space with a more than 99% success rate on the first attempt. This reduces the risk for a patient’s epidural placement to result in an unintentional dural puncture, which leads to long-term side effects such as severe headache, paralysis and in some cases, death.

Our dental device, STA Single Tooth Anesthesia System offers patients no discomfort or lip numbness upon delivery of anesthesia in the mouth, and it’s virtually painless, which is particularly helpful with children, including those with special needs. Additionally, it reduces wait time for procedure to as little as 60 seconds after making an injection.

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

What drives and motivates me every day is improving the quality of life for patients. That is the reason I am working in healthcare. Additionally, my daughter went through five attempts to place an epidural whilst giving birth to her first child. I was not aware of our technology at that time, however if I would have known, I am quite sure she would have had a better experience.

How do you think this might change the world?

This technology can offer better health outcomes so patients and physicians don’t have to keep asking questions like: Why are we using technologies from the 1800s while living in this high-tech era? Why do patients, prior to an epidural, have to complete a waiver and liability form when a technology like ours exists? Why are the associated risk factors for an epidural, like paralysis, severe headache and even mortality, brushed under the carpet? Why aren’t we increasing women’s healthcare outcomes by using today’s currently available new techniques? What are we waiting for?

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

Our concept is clinically proven, FDA and CE Mark approved. I do not see any drawbacks. We have proven the reduction of side effects, ability to save the patient and physician time, and increased safety — all of which improve health outcomes at a lower cost.

Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, can you please share “Five things you need to know to successfully create technology that can make a positive social impact”? (Please share a story or an example, for each.)

Overall, it’s important to have a strong belief that the new technology can solve existing problems. In this case, we are doing that for patients and health providers too. Look at dentistry. Who likes going to the dentist? Not many people. Why? It can be painful and uncomfortable. In this instance, to provide painless injections with our technology, it boils down to knowing it can do the following:

  • Create safer outcomes
  • Save time
  • Make patients more comfortable
  • Increase efficiency
  • Reduce cost

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

Be passionate in what you are doing. Make the world a better place. Care about the individuals around you.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I have always been an admirer of Nelson Mandela. His life was so impressive with all the challenges he had to deal with, including, of course, his time on Robben Island. He was a true leader, turning a nation into a homogeneous society where people are equal regardless of race and gender, and treated with respect. That is what our country, society and global citizens need. Meeting with Nelson Mandela would be my ultimate wish.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Advancements on Milestone Scientific can be found on our website or social channels. We are continually aligning ourselves with industry leaders who have the priority of patient safety as their primary goal.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success in your important work.

Published in Authority Magazine