Vinmec: 10 years of development based on treatment and research

Vinmec: 10 years of development based on treatment and research

From the first few internationally successful cases

In the last days of 2016, Mrs. M. Takako, a 71-year-old woman from Japan, was brought to Vietnam by her family for medical treatment as a last resort. Takako, who was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis at the age of 14, already underwent two kidney transplants in her hometown in 1987 and 2004. Since 2014, she has undergone dialysis treatment. “My doctor in Japan said that I was old, I already had two kidney transplants, and my blood vessels were showing signs of atherosclerosis. Additionally, the techniques required for my third transplant were highly complicated. As a result, the likelihood of a third transplant for me was impossible”, exclaimed Mrs. Takako regarding her prior condition.

When her hopes began to dwindle, Mrs. Takako became aware of Vinmec. At that time, despite only being 5 years into operation, Vinmec had already made a name for itself in the medical world due to its numerous successful treatments, including organ transplantation. Following careful consideration, Mrs. Takako’s family ultimately opted to bring her to Vietnam for medical treatment, choosing Vinmec as their facility of choice.

Luck was on her side, as the kidney transplantation was successful. After only two weeks following the operation, Mrs. Takako’s health had remained stable. “In Japan, the oldest person to have a kidney transplant was 72 years old. I am 71 years old—nearly the oldest person to do so”, shared Mrs. Takako.

The success of this kidney transplantation marks a milestone for Vinmec. This achievement has renewed hopes for domestic and foreign patients seeking organ transplants.

Additionally, Vinmec is contributing to shifting public perception towards Vietnamese hospitals by offering high-quality treatment and a world-class healthcare service experience.

Mrs. Nguyen Phuong Lien, a 44-year-old resident of Hanoi, was among the first mothers to give birth at Vinmec. She shared that her first childbirth experience took place in France, where she was impressed with the quality of healthcare provided. Mrs. Lien wanted a similar experience for her second child upon returning to Vietnam. As such, she opted for Vinmec.

“The care conditions here are comparable to those found in European countries. Even better, the doctors and nurses also possess the sympathetic, caring, and understanding nature characteristic of Vietnamese”, shared Mrs. Phuong Lien.

To significant breakthroughs in treatment and research

After nearly a decade, Vinmec has emerged as one of Vietnam’s largest private general healthcare systems, boasting seven hospitals and two international general clinics across multiple provinces and cities. Among those, two hospitals have been JCI-accredited, which is the most rigorous certification of hospital quality and patient safety in the world.

Together with its expansion, Vinmec has attained many achievements in treatment through the application of a range of the world’s latest technology and techniques. Notably, in 2018, Vinmec made a significant breakthrough in the field of pain management by successfully implementing Erector Spinae Plane (ESP) anesthesia as a replacement for morphine in an open heart surgery. This innovative approach has resulted in faster recovery, shorter hospital stays, and a pain-free post-surgery experience.

Following the success of the first kidney transplant on the 71-year-old patient, Vinmec became the first hospital in Vietnam to successfully perform a liver transplant for a child weighing less than 10 kg and a partial heart transplant using LVAD technology. Furthermore, the hospital has implemented various advanced techniques, such as immunotherapy in cancer treatment regimens, surgical robots in cancer and digestive disorders’ treatment, etc., with a success rate as high as 95%.

According to Dr. Phung Nam Lam, Deputy Director of Vinmec Healthcare System, Vinmec’s success can be attributed to its strategic investment in specialized and high-tech fields, such as organ transplantation, cancer treatment, cardiovascular care, digestive health, and orthopedic trauma.

In 2016, Vinmec established the Research Institute of Stem Cell and Gene Technology. After only 5 years, the institute has published over 50 research papers in renowned international medical journals, including STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and The Journals of Gerontology. Among those, several have garnered great attention from the medical community. These include the study of the Vietnamese genome, the identification of gene mutations in children with autism, and the genetic analysis of cancer pathologies.

According to Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Liem, Director of the Vinmec Institute of Stem Cell and Gene Technology, the integration of medical research with hospitals is inevitable. These studies are making significant contributions towards the treatment of critical illnesses, offering potential solutions for disease prevention, and laying the groundwork for personalized and precision medicine.

Thanks to this, Vinmec has successfully conducted stem cell transplantation procedures to cure pulmonary fibrosis in premature infants. Additionally, the medical facility has also performed stem cell transplants to treat neurological sequelae caused by autoimmune encephalitis. Vinmec is also finishing up its research project on stem cell transplantation for cerebral palsy and a bone marrow mononuclear cell transplant for autism, with over 90% of patients experiencing significant improvement in life skills.

Sharing about her daughter’s miraculous recovery from autoimmune encephalitis through stem cell therapy, Mrs. Ma Thu Huong from Y Yen, Nam Dinh, was deeply moved: “The doctors at Vinmec have given my daughter a second life”.

In the field of cardiology, Vinmec has gradually mastered many advanced techniques. Vinmec achieved a significant milestone in December 2017 when it was acknowledged as the foremost independent facility in Vietnam for transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).

Mrs. Le Thuy Anh, General Director of Vinmec Healthcare System, stresses that “with a specialized and highly advanced center for TAVI cardiovascular interventions, Vinmec has successfully performed a series of complex surgeries and published numerous valuable medical research projects in stem cells, gene technology, etc. These are important progresses in Vinmec’s development strategy.”

Over the two-year COVID-19 pandemic, Vinmec had not only provided support for the community’s COVID-19 response efforts but had also made notable strides in medical treatment. Vinmec has achieved mastery in various advanced medical procedures, such as endoscopic surgery for gastrointestinal cancer, percutaneous transhepatic laser lithotripsy, personalized bone replacement using 3D printing technology, etc. As per a Vinmec representative, the organization is incorporating novel technology to keep pace with the current trend of personalized, precise, and minimally invasive medical treatments, with the aim of enhancing patients’ quality of life.

Moving towards academic medicine

In 2018, Vinmec reached a new milestone by shifting its focus towards becoming a global academic medicine system. Thus, in addition to setting up new research institutes, Vinmec has been working with distinguished domestic and international universities and research institutes. This strategic partnership aims to connect talents, promote breakthrough research, and ultimately elevate Vietnam’s healthcare sector to be on par with global standards.

Domestically, Vinmec has joined forces with VinUniversity to build a state-of-the-art medical human resource training program that meets international standards. Thanks to this, Vinmec has become one of the first JCI-accredited medical practice facilities in Vietnam.

Vinmec’s global position is also demonstrated through its partnerships with renowned medical institutions, such as Johns Hopkins Hospital, UCLA Health (USA), Monash Medical and Health Sciences Center (Australia), Ottawa Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences (Canada), etc. Additionally, Vinmec has formed partnerships with esteemed institutions such as the University of Paris Descartes and Reenes (France),  to establish medical centers specializing in cancer, cardiology, and orthopedics, operating in accordance with global medical standards but located in Vietnam.

Mrs. Le Thuy Anh emphasizes that healthcare is not solely focused on treatment but also on the importance of having highly skilled human resources and innovative research advancements that can be utilized to enhance the overall quality of life. Vinmec has opted for a development model that emulates the world’s leading healthcare systems. This model comprises three pillars, namely research, clinical treatment, and training, which are mutually supportive. The ultimate goal is to create a comprehensive and long-lasting healthcare solution.

“With this model, we expect that Vietnamese people will excel in world-class research projects, take initiative in clinical application, and become self-reliant on highly specialized medical human resources”, shared Mrs. Le Thuy Anh. She also stated that Vinmec is committed to continuous development. Vinmec is set to establish an academic medicine system in the coming year, with the accomplishments of the past decade serving as the bedrock and catalyst for this endeavor.

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