Healthcare in Iberia - Gasworld: entrevista a nuestro gerente Enrico Spiaggi

Healthcare in Iberia - Gasworld: entrevista a nuestro gerente Enrico Spiaggi


VIVISOL IBERICA está presente en el número de agosto 2017 de la revista Gasworld con una interesante entrevista a nuestro gerente Enrico Spiaggi sobre la evolución del mercado Healthcare en área ibérica.
Gasworld ( es uno de los portales de información más importante a nivel mundial sobre temas de gases técnicos y medicinales.
VIVISOL agradece Gasworld para el espacio dedicado en su revista.


Healthcare in Iberia - Gasworld: entrevista a nuestro gerente Enrico Spiaggi


The contraction of the Iberian gases healthcare market has been evident over the past five years.

2012 saw two major Tier One takeovers in the field; Air Liquide bought Gasmedi, the second-largest player in the market, and The Linde Group purchased Air Products’ Continental- European homecare business, a company that played an historic role in Spain’s gas industry.

After speaking to leading regional player VIVISOL Iberica, it became apparent that it has been a tough hike through the region’s domestic gases market in recent years, with the recession stifling growth in 2008/9 and European GDP averaging at around 0.5% per annum ever since.

Enrico Spiaggi, Country Manager of VIVISOL Iberica, likened his company’s journey to the long, spiritual pilgrimage Camino de Santiago, paralleling the company’s own quest for growth in the local gases industry. “Our history bears resemblance to the Camino de Santiago,” he explained. “The Spanish market is one of the most closed in the world; it’s really difficult to start business here. It’s peculiar.”

However, he revealed that there are indeed growth opportunities to be had, with plenty of prospects harbouring potential to help keep domestic gas companies walking along the right track.




VIVISOL’s mother company SOL Group started providing oxygen at home when it made its first liquid oxygen delivery in 1986, after realising a new opportunity to deliver gases to homes and not just to hospitals. After first supplying medical oxygen to homes in Italy, VIVISOL then began its conquest of Europe, quickly spreading through France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Today, VIVISOL is the third-  largest homecare company in Europe, specialising in home respiratory care, oxygen therapy, and home mechanical ventilation. The last two countries in the company’s subjugation were Spain and Portugal. VIVISOL established itself in Madrid in 2010 with an oxygen distribution warehouse before creating its first filling station in Arganda del Rey in 2012. Soon after, it obtained regulatory authorisation for medical devices and drugs in Spain and six months later gained market authorisation of gaseous oxygen, liquid cylinders and bulk (gases).

Spiaggi stressed the importance of the country’s public tender system, explaining that there are only two or three big, crucial public tenders up for grabs per year. Each typically spans a decade, but Spiaggi says that is changing to help foster healthy competition and open up the market, “The duration of the tenders is dropping to six years now but it’s still not an easy feat; in the last 10 years only 5% of the public tenders in the homecare market changed providers.”

It’s mandatory to have a distribution warehouse for gaseous or liquid oxygen if companies are to compete for these tenders, with Spiaggi stating, “If you lose the tender, it’s game over for another 6-10 years. We missed out on the Madrid tender because our filling station wasn’t authorised in time.” But VIVISOL  Iberica did clinch the Sevilla tender in 2014 – a crucial €5m win that saw them pick up an extra 25,000 patients.“That changed our business and our structure completely,” he stressed. “We had to renew all our operations, establish a new warehouse in Sevilla and hire 50 new staff to accommodate the new tender.”


Data boom

Despite being ‘the most closed homecare market in the world’, Spiaggi does  believe there are opportunities to be had. “The market is growing constantly and dramatically because respiratory disease is always increasing; in the last decade alone, the number of patients suffering has doubled,” he said.

The rapidly rising rate of chronic diseases and the increasing need to transfer vital caregiving treatment from hospitals to homes is driving substantial growth. Couple that with cost containment efforts, new organisational models and VIVISOL has got its hands full providing its range of liquid oxygen containers, compressed oxygen cylinders and concentrators for home oxygen therapy.

“The population in Spain is constantly ageing, so we have more patients to treat but it’s becoming more and more complicated; they want to live longer  at the end of the day,” said Spiaggi. “It’s impossible to get to 80 years of age and be perfectly healthy, so a challenge for us is to not only focus on a respiratory point of view but also to expand the diversification of our product offering for full mobility.”

Spiaggi stressed that demand for home oxygen therapy is growing all the way through the supply chain, “Oxygen is  sort of a commodity but it’s growing constantly, especially at home. There are  a huge number of patients that haven’t been diagnosed yet who will need oxygen therapy, so there’s a big opportunity to treat chronic diseases at home.”

But if that number of patients drastically increases as expected, Spiaggi points out that the corresponding data would also skyrocket, “Today, everyone wants to know everything; data on oxygen consumption, mobility rates and so on. We are creating a web platform for all parties involved to monitor the usage, consumption and compliance of oxygen at home.”

“It’s crucial that we make these huge investments in information technology to make processes smoother and offer transparency to our customers, like web-based solutions to control bulk deliveries” he added. “We will have 360-degree vision as to where our bulk is, where our cylinders are and who is using them. Without a doubt, digital platforms are the way to go.”

“Traceability is mandatory. We have  to be innovative in terms of new services and smart in terms of operations,”he continued. “We have invested heavily in operations to optimise costs; standardised our supply chain to fight the import of low cost and quality medical devices and consumables; and fought with innovation to create a new level of digital service for our customers.”