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With a dentistry degree and a Master of Business Administration, Heikki Pilvinen has always been half-dentist, half-entrepreneur. With the launch of the first Megaklinikka in Helsinki in 2010, Pilvinen introduced a new dentistry delivery model in Finland. The clinic provides a completely new service concept that streamlines the dental appointment and treatment process and offers patients all basic dental care in one sitting and at affordable prices. In this interview, the Megaklinikka founder and COO talks about sustaining competitive advantage in dentistry.
Dental Tribune Online: Have you always been passionate about adopting new ideas and technologies?
Heikki Pilvinen: Yes, most definitely. I have always loved to solve problems and have used information technology to make things easier and more reliable and to have an edge on the competition.
How are new technologies affecting dentistry right now?
We are in the midst of a huge change through digitalisation. We now have business and service possibilities that we could not even have dreamt about ten years ago. The Megaklinikka concept would not have been possible just 20 years ago because fewer people had mobile phones then. The whole world has experienced enormous structural changes, in conjunction with massive digital input to support these and to just do things faster and better and to enhance the quality of services.
We saw this in industry in the 1980s, in banking in the 1990s and lately in agriculture. Efficiency, availability and quality have dramatically increased in all areas of our life, but for one, the delivery process of medical services. We have seen huge leaps in technology, but the delivery system of medical and dental care has not changed in 300 years.
This is why the cost of medical services to society is so unbearably high that we cannot continue like this. We have to reorganise ourselves and the way we work. According to research findings by Aalto University (2015), the existing way of working has an inherent wastage of 32 per cent of overall work time.
How will digital technology be implemented in daily practice in the future?
We are moving towards larger entities, mega-clinics and even giga-clinics! The most demanding specialty work will remain in smaller units, and geriatric, psychiatric and child care would remain similar. However, 80 per cent of the medical and dental work could benefit a great deal from considerable restructuring.
Thank you very much for the interview.
At the annual Swedish dental congress in Stockholm, Heikki Pilvinen will be presenting at the “Ledarskap—en spännande utmaning för tandläkare [Leadership—An exciting challenge for dentists]” session, which takes place on Friday, 18 November, from 1.30 to 3 p.m. in Hall A5.