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Innovating global dental care: An interview with HuFriedyGroup's strategic leaders

Giana Spasic, Director of Professional Relations & Stephane Loth, International Strategic Markets Director at HuFriedyGroup. (Image: CAPP Events & Training)
Dental Tribune Middle East

Dental Tribune Middle East

Fri. 21 June 2024

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Dental Tribune MEA had the pleasure of speaking with Stephane Loth, International Strategic Markets Director, and Giana Spasic, Director of Professional Relations. During the insightful conversation, they shared valuable insights on the future of dentistry, key initiatives driving oral healthcare advancements on a global scale, and the importance of collaboration and education within the dental care community. Stay tuned for a comprehensive overview of their perspectives and expertise in shaping the future of dentistry.

Can you provide a brief overview of HuFriedyGroup's mission and values, and how your respective roles align with the company's overall commitment to advancing dental care globally?

Giana Spasic: To answer this question, we should first understand what HuFriedyGroup is. We are a combination of different companies, solely focused on dental, that have come together to deliver the products, services, and solutions every dental professional needs to be “The Best In Practice.” This is also what we state in the payoff of our logo. Our mission is to provide the best dental experience to the industry, with our unique combination of products, services, and support, to enable dental professionals to reduce risk, improve efficiencies, drive compliance, and enhance patient and staff safety.

Stephane Loth: We are a group of different companies that altogether have more than 200 years of dental experience. The most important are Hu-Friedy, Omnia, Crosstex, and Accutron, and each one has its specific expertise: premium instrumentation, infection prevention solutions, sterile and non-sterile disposables, sutures, and conscious sedation. This allows us to offer a unique dental experience to all the different players in the industry, from hygienists to dentists, from universities to DSOs and government institutions.

Giana Spasic: My role embodies our connection to one key driver of dental care: the improvement in the quality of clinical procedures. We believe that, while technological development allows for a democratization of dental care, raising the standards everywhere, the pursuit of clinical excellence will increase its importance and become a key factor of choice for patients globally, thereby driving clinicians’ behavior.

Stephane Loth: Strategic Markets in HuFriedyGroup include every customer who is not a traditional dentist, so they link with two key trends and challenges in global dental: the growth of group practices’ market share and the rising importance of universities as clinical and educational hubs. As we know, DSOs are the fastest-growing market segment almost everywhere in the world, and they’re becoming increasingly international, with some of them spreading their activities across different countries and even continents. Our Strategic Markets Program is designed to address the challenges of managing a group practice. We developed a University Program to establish a direct connection with students, universities, and institutions, to promote a high level of support for students and faculties, providing them with innovative products and solutions throughout their careers. Simply put: the university world represents the future of dental for us.

Can you elaborate on HuFriedyGroup's strategic vision and approach towards Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) internationally and within specific regions? How does the company aim to collaborate and support the evolving needs of DSOs?

Stephane Loth: Our vision towards DSOs is embodied in the HuFriedyGroup Strategic Markets Program. It’s designed to help dental practices improve their business by leveraging five pillars that are fundamental to their success:

  • Patient experience, through our world-class products and compliance solutions
  • Staff experience, via comprehensive educational support
  • Office efficiency, prioritizing efficiency, safety, and standardization
  • Brand awareness, enhancing practices' reputation for clinical excellence
  • Compliance and sustainability, thanks to our IMS system

Universities play a pivotal role in dental education. How do you envision collaborating with universities on a global scale to advance dental education, research, and innovation?

Stephane Loth: We believe that the university world represents the future of the dental sector. That's why we created our HuFriedyGroup University Program, developed to establish a direct connection between students, universities, institutions, and our company. Our goal is to promote a high level of support for students and faculties by providing them with innovative products and solutions throughout their careers, as they move from students to practicing dentists or hygienists. We achieve this by supporting educational programs worldwide, creating networking and community opportunities for them, and providing dedicated conditions.

How does the company approach market expansion in the Middle East, in strategic markets?

Stephane Loth: The Middle East is a key development region for us and for the market in general, specifically the Gulf area. As we see every year during a trade show in Dubai, it is becoming the epicenter of all connections and opportunities in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. This is why our goal is to strengthen our team in the region, focusing resources and people to develop this market, particularly targeting government and university institutions. I’m pleased to announce that from July 2024, we have a new very experienced Commercial Lead MEA, based in Dubai, mr. Mohamed Fehri.

Can you discuss the significance of building relationships with Key Opinion Leaders in the dental field? How do you collaborate with KOLs to enhance product development and market understanding?

Giana Spasic: At HuFriedyGroup, we are strongly aware that the dental field is relationship-based. That’s why Professional Relations is a key part of our strategy. To demonstrate this, we have a Key Opinion Leader program that significantly impacts and influences the way we shape, design, and create our product offerings. We place great emphasis on maintaining collaborative relationships between our company and opinion leaders, so much so that more than 60% of our instrument product portfolio has been developed in partnership with dental professionals, institutions, or universities.

Collaborating with professional associations is crucial. How does HuFriedyGroup establish and maintain relationships with clinical associations to stay connected with the dental community and contribute to advancements in dental care?

Giana Spasic: Following the previous point, relationships are also key with dental associations, as they are focal players in the development and dissemination of clinical protocols and innovation, thereby moving the dental field toward the future. We work hard to build and foster deep and strong relationships with the most important associations all over Europe, the Middle East, and ultimately, the world, such as SEPA in Spain, SIdP in Italy, and the Saudi Perio Society in Saudi Arabia, for example.

In a rapidly evolving dental landscape, how do you envision the company’s role in shaping the future of dentistry, and what key initiatives or values do you believe will be critical for the company's continued success in advancing oral healthcare on a global scale?

In the forthcoming years, people will increasingly need oral care, both in the developed regions of the world and in the growing economies of the world, with demographic, behavioral and economic factors pushing it.

People will increasingly look for both basic functional oral care, for which the democratization of technologies and standardization are key, and high-level esthetic treatments where the most advanced clinical solutions need to be applied. And they will need them in the safest way for both patients and operators.

These will be the main drivers of our success: cooperating with clinicians and association in the development of innovative dental and sterilization protocols, and educate all the actors in the dental care world, including dentists, hygienists, assistants, government, hospitals, universities and DSOs, to help them be The Best In Practice.

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