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VIDEO - DUwHF #759 - Marie-Laure Pochon
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AUDIO - DUwHF #759 - Marie-Laure Pochon
Mrs. Marie-Laure Pochon serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of ACTEON Group. Mrs. Pochon is an engineer in Physics & Chemistry and then she was graduated from a MBA (HEC).
She began her career in the Pharmaceutical Industry in large American companies: Merck & Co (12 years) and then Pfizer (5 years). On this period, she held increasing positions in Marketing and Sales and as of the early 90s” was in charge of large Business Units with more than 50 M€. Then she moved to medium size European pharma companies where she was in charge the French affiliate and then swiftly from the European commercial operations. Her last position in the pharma industry was to serve as Executive Vice-President of Lundbeck with responsibility over worldwide commercial operations.
In 2012, she then decided to move to the MedTech domain in order to make more impact on the health and lives of the patients. Since this date, she has been involved in a significant number of companies: starting in GN Store Nord one of the worldwide leader in the hearing aid industry, in a couple of companies where she serves as Independent Director and now as President & CEO of Acteon Group.
Howard Farran: It's just a huge honor for me, today, to be podcast center viewing Marie-Laure Pochon. She serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Acteon Group. She's an engineer in physics and chemistry, then she was graduated with an M.B.A. She began her career in the pharmaceutical industry, in large American companies Merck for 12 years and Pfizer for 5 years.
On this period, she held increasing positions in marketing and sales. As of the early nineties, was in charge of large business units with more than 50 million euros in sales. Then, she moved to medium-sized European pharma companies, where she was in charge of the French affiliate. Then, swiftly from the European commercial operations.
Her last position in the pharma industry was to serve as Executive Vice President of Lundbeck, with responsibility over worldwide commercial operations. In 2012, she decided to move to the medtech domain, in order to make more impact on the health and lives of patients.
Since this date, she has been involved in a significant number of companies. Starting in GN Store Nord, one of the worldwide leaders in the hearing industry. A couple of companies where she served as Independent Direction and now, President and CEO of Acteon Group.
When I started Dentaltown in 1998, I didn't want it to be Dentisttown, I wanted it to be Dentaltown, because the only reason we are so great dentists, is from all the great companies that make us the products and technologies that we use. If all the dentists were saying, "We wished your product was red." And you were making it blue, well, you would need to know that, more than anyone.
I always wanted the dental manufacturers, to see what everyone was saying about their products, so that you guys would know what we needed. So, thank you for coming on the show. By the way, I don't do any paid commercials, I asked you to be on my show, you did not ask me. I wanted to get you on the show, I've heard so many great things about you and your company. Thank you so much for coming on the show today.
Marie-Laure P.: It's my pleasure and my honor. Thank you so much, for inviting me.
Howard Farran: So, what are you passionate about, today, in the Acteon Group?
Marie-Laure P.: We are passionate about providing progress and providing innovations to the dentist. Basically, you probably know that Acteon has two major technologies. One is about ultrasonics for scanning, but also for making more surgery. Less invasive surgery. The second is about imaging and we are a little bit new in the imaging field, but now, we think we have a whole line and we are ready to make a real impact in this imaging field.
Howard Farran: Tell us about your ultrasonic line, why that has you excited.
Marie-Laure P.: Our ultrasonic line, being very, very clear with you, I think we are head of the show. We are head of the league on these ultrasonics, with many, many, many, many patents. We are providing ... How would you say in English? We are providing devices which are more efficient, but more soft, on the other side.
Extremely efficient, by far, we have the products which, for instance, in terms of Piezo surgery, which is our most important product in these fields, which are able to really cut bones, hard tissues, without impacting at all the soft tissues.
This is a new way to make surgery, this is a way to make less invasive, less hurting, a kind of atraumatic surgery. It's really important for the patients and also for the dentist.
Howard Farran: So, which dentist would be the best at showing this technology? Creating a online CE course on Dentaltown or a YouTube video. Who's your favorite dentist using this technology, that likes to teach it?
Marie-Laure P.: I will not give you names, because I don't want be the promoter of Mr. So-and-so, but I will give you a very clear lead, that the specialties of the dentists, who are extremely fond of our products. We think it's important.
First and foremost, these are the dentists who are using, who are making a lot of implantology in their practice. They need to cut bones, they need to cut gingiva and for them, it's a real help. It's a way to decrease the healing process, in terms of duration, by two. Meaning that, for the patients, it's totally another experience.
First is, I would say, all the dentists who are making implantology on a regular basis. Second, I would say it's all the dentists that who would think, for instance, in case of extraction of the tooth, they think that they want to make it atraumatic. Easy for the patients, easy for them. Without hurting and without risk of [inaudible 00:05:46] whatsoever.
So, basically, I would say that probably 80% of the dentists may have a real use of this new technology.
Howard Farran: So, to get into dental school, you had to take Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology. Most dentists said that was the worst part about becoming a dentist, is having to take Physics and Chemistry. You were in the engineering business, in chemistry. What do you think made you like physics and chemistry?
Marie-Laure P.: What made me like? I would say, first, the idea of progress. In fact, I've always worked for the health industry. First off, for pharma industry and then for medtech. For me, nothing is as important as health and the progress. I'm probably a little bit naïve, but I think that we can really have an impact and make progress for the patients. This is, for me, a good reason to wake up in the morning.
Howard Farran: So, what have you found more fulfilling? Working for pharma, that's making pills and medication, or now, working in dentistry? Is it kind of the same thing, or is it very different?
Marie-Laure P.: No, it's really different. First, pharma industry has changed a lot on the last decades. I would say what it was, 20 years ago, I'm not so young, so I can speak about 20 years ago. What it was, 20 years ago and what it is now is probably very, very different.
I thought it was extremely rewarding, 20 years ago, to work in the domain of cardiology and then psychiatry, because we brought to the market and brought to the patients really innovative drugs. Real breakthrough products. It was in the matter of hypotension, angina, CHF, congestive heart failure, et cetera.
It was really, really rewarding and life changing for the patients. Even in schizophrenia, et cetera. So, these times, I thought the pharmaceutical industry was really bringing to the market, incredibly good drugs for a large population of patients. Now, I would say that the pharma industry today brings extremely, extremely important drugs, but for a more rare disease. For smaller number of patients.
I think that's why I thought it was a good move, to go from the pharma industry to the medtech. Because, I thought that it was important to bring to a larger group of patients. To be very honest with you, I think dental is fantastic. Because in dental, you treat not the usage, of the ability to eat, the ability to speak without any problem, et cetera.
You treat the aesthetic, which is so important. It's clear that a smile which is just in bad, it's terrible, it hurts the patient. It hurts the soul of the patient. It hurts the patient, really, really inside.
So, it's the link of, I would say, the usage of the mouth, it's the link between the disease and the opening on the, eventually, on the organic disease. Because, we know that there is many, many links for instance, between diabetes and overall disease. It's also about the sick. This is fantastic.
This is, I think, where today, many, many progress can really be brought to the general population. So, I'm very happy to be here.
Howard Farran: Well, we're happy to have you on the show. By the way, the last time I spoke in Paris, was last year. I took three of my four boys with me and my gosh, they had so much fun. I wasn't going to go back to Paris, without taking all, I tried to get all four of my boys, but the eldest one's married, with kids, so he couldn't go.
But, my gosh, we loved Paris. I got to say, the one difference between Paris and the United States. The Americans, they call football, you know, they're throwing the football. They think they're really good fans, but there are no more bigger fans than soccer, in Paris.
We watched some soccer games, at some bars at night. I've never seen people get that excited and crazy during a sport event, as in France. Those are the most hardcore soccer fans.
So, tell us about imaging. What are you passionate about, about imaging? What did the market not already have that you decided to innovate in imaging?
Marie-Laure P.: In imaging, as you probably know, we have a comprehensive line of products, which goes from cameras. Some years ago, in this segment. By the way, we are already in numbers two, in the market, in the camera segment.
We have also large extraoral devices, 3D devices which have been launched in the last [inaudible 00:11:04]. So, we have today, a comprehensive line. I would like to tell you about two stories, two events. Which really are important for us.
I will check my notes, because you know, my English is not really good. So, I will have some help, is that okay?
Howard Farran: What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call someone who speaks one language? An American.
Marie-Laure P.: Okay.
Howard Farran: There's probably almost no one, listening to you today, that could give an interview on my show in French. I'm so astounded that you can speak English as a second language. Everyone listening to you is-
Marie-Laure P.: So, you'll forgive me?
Howard Farran: Blown away, that you can give a dental lecture, in a different language. I don't know any dentist that can give a dental lecture, in two different languages. So please use your notes and you're doing fantastic.
Marie-Laure P.: Okay, thank you. Thank you. So, first is about the fight against periodontal disease. As you know, we have a camera line with the SoproCARE. With this camera, this is one of the only way to see and to evaluate the periodontal disease.
So, this has brought us to start very important operation, in partnership with Henry Schein in the U.S. and we are extremely passionate about this operation. We are now targeting periodontal disease, which is an epidemic among Americans. Basically, you have 64 million Americans suffering with periodontal disease.
What is clear is that it is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. But, even if it's a very important cause of adult tooth loss, it's prevalence is absolutely well known, but it's undertreated. There is a very important link between this, periodontal disease and also the risk, for instance, in terms of diabetes. The risk in terms of cardiovascular disease and even the risk of cancer.
For instance, it increases the risk of some cancer, for instance the prostate cancer, et cetera, by 50%. So, I think it's really an important, important topic, in terms of, in the U.S. and we now, have created an operation by which we ask all dental healthcare professionals to detect, diagnose and treat periodontal disease at the earliest stage possible.
Why? Because with SoproCARE you have the unique possibility to show to the patient, the reality of this disease, directly on his teeth. We have a special way to show, with the fluorescence and this is the only product which does that. To show the disease by itself.
It will help the dentist, to show to the patients and obviously, to treat this disease. So, we have started this operation with Henry Schein three months ago. So far, the result and the takeoff of this operation is quite good. We hope that this operation has major impact, in the U.S. on the next year.
Howard Farran: I think the most interesting thing about periodontal disease is that the insurance companies in America, they have noticed that one of their most expensive claims is a premature baby. They are realizing the link between gingivitis, gum disease-
Marie-Laure P.: Of course.
Howard Farran: They're realizing that if all their pregnant girls were getting their teeth clean, if every time it saved a premature delivery, it would save them over one million dollars, U.S. So, I think that's what's going to get the most focused on the oral systemic lane.
Marie-Laure P.: You have two major, I would say, issues, in terms of organic disease, with periodontal disease. You have one which is, as you say, premature birth. The second is regarding diabetes and cardiovascular disease. With diabetes, you have a really risk of, I would say, not treating the insulin inside the body. Which, in case of the disease.
On both sides, it has a major impact on the global health of the patients. That's why we think if we can help and if we can help in terms of public health, this important disease, well, we'll feel that we have achieved something.
Howard Farran: So, were you born and raised in Paris, France?
Marie-Laure P.: Not in Paris. In France, yes, but not in Paris. My first city was Toulouse, which is 200 kilometers south of Paris.
Howard Farran: How does it feel to be born in the country of the first dentist ever, Pierre Fauchard?
Marie-Laure P.: ... The French patient ... All the people, are very, very emotionally linked to their dentist. I think this is very French. I think you don't have these types of feelings in the other countries. But, on the other side, many patients do not like to go to their dentist, as probably as in all and every countries in the world ... Okay, it's an internal fight.
Howard Farran: Have you seen the museum of Pierre Fauchard in Paris?
Marie-Laure P.: No, not yet. It's part of my plan.
Howard Farran: Oh, you have to go. He really started the whole movement. The Pierre Fauchard Academy is one of the biggest groups in the world. I mean, they're all over the world. I also have to say one thing to my people around the world, who are listening to this. Who haven't gone to Paris.
When you go to see the Mona Lisa, the Mona Lisa is actually the least exciting painting in, what is it called, the Louvre?
Marie-Laure P.: The Louvre.
Howard Farran: I mean-
Marie-Laure P.: The Louvre. The Louvre.
Howard Farran: Yeah, that. The Mona Lisa was not even the highlight. The paintings in that place, the statues. We were mesmerized, for two days. I mean, they had paintings that were 10 meters by 10 meters. I mean some of the most-
Marie-Laure P.: And the Mona Lisa is a small painting. Yeah, okay.
Howard Farran: Yeah. But, just the amazing paintings in that place. I mean, I have seen any museum in the world that had that mind-blowing of paintings and sculptures. I didn't know if my three boys would find it interesting and they didn't even want to leave. We stayed there all day and went back the next day.
I mean, just the detail on those paintings. Just, all kinds of genres of paintings. I've got to say, it was fun.
Marie-Laure P.: Parisian people think that, to visit properly the Louvre, you have to spend there seven days. I've never spent seven days in the Louvre, at least, not seven days in a row. But, normally, this is the normal time to really know about the Louvre. So, it's really-
Howard Farran: And it's a walk through history. I mean, for thousands of years. There's paintings covering all different timespans and it was just incredibly interesting. I can't wait to back, to do it again someday.
So, I want to go back to digital imaging. You also have phosphor plates.
Marie-Laure P.: Of course.
Howard Farran: What would you say to a young dentist who's going to start their own practice and they could do imaging with phosphor plates, or they could do it with sensors? What should they be thinking about, in deciding to go with sensors or phosphor plates?
Marie-Laure P.: Ah, this is a difficult question. I think it's a little bit a matter of religion, you know? It's like asking a Catholic what he thinks about [inaudible 00:19:54] I think that both the technologies have their drawbacks and advantage. I would not say one is better than the other. What is clear is that, with the progress that has been made in both technologies, we can really provide the dentist with products which can help him a lot in his dental practice.
I would not ... plea for one versus the other. Obviously, the quality of the image with the new phosphor plates is just incredible. We have a product which name is PSPIX, probably you have heard about that. Which really, really brings a lot of progress, with the possibility to have this product very much on the side of the dentist.
So, really close to the practice, very easy to handle. Very easy to put in the mouth of the patients, because obviously, with sensors, it's rather big and it can hurt a patient. Clearly the children more. But, I would say that both technology are really good and we cannot tell. We cannot say one is better than the other.
Howard Farran: Well, it definitely seems a lot of my friends who are pediatric dentists, who only work on children, like phosphor plates better, because they're smaller.
Marie-Laure P.: Of course, yes. For children, it's obvious.
Howard Farran: Yeah, for children, it's obvious. A lot of endodontists, who are just taking a picture of one tooth, a lot of those endodontists prefer the [inaudible 00:21:26]. But, which one, in the long run, do you think costs more money? Because, when a sensor goes out, I mean, that's very expensive.
Marie-Laure P.: Of course.
Howard Farran: For the long run, over the life of a practice. Say, on a 10-year run, what do you think is lower cost?
Marie-Laure P.: We have measured that. If we take only very premium-quality products, because usually, if you take a very-quality product, the computation is different. If you take real premium-quality product, on the long run, scanners. So, PSPIX, for instance, is by far cheaper than sensor, by far. In the real life.
Howard Farran: By far, what do you mean? Do you mean 20% less? 30% less?
Marie-Laure P.: Between 25 and 30.
Howard Farran: Between 25 and 30% less?
Marie-Laure P.: Yes, right.
Howard Farran: I want to go back to what you were saying, it comes down to religion ... It seems like different parts of the world, some use air-driven hand pieces, and then you go to other countries where everyone's electric. Why do you think some countries all use air-driven turbines and some countries use electric motors? Again, what do you think is higher quality, lasts longer, lower cost?
Marie-Laure P.: This is an easy. I think, for me, it's an easier topic. If we speak, for instance, about Piezo Ultrasonics, versus for instance, Cavitron. For me, I think in terms of technology, in terms of benefit for the patient, benefit for the dentist, which ones the leads? The Piezo scaler, much better, if you ask me.
This has been proven, we have a lot of publications. Clinical publications, clinical experts. But also, I would say, engineer's review. So, on this one, I think it's not a matter of religion, it's really a matter of facts. It's, up to me, very different from what we spoke about, regarding sensor and scanner.
Howard Farran: Yeah, yeah. I think the other advantage of the electric motor is the air-driven has a high whine, that everybody knows that sound and doesn't like that sound. It's kind of like when you fly on an Airbus, made in France. Or a Boeing, made in Seattle. They have different sounds. I think the electric sound is more soothing to the patient than the air-driven sound.
Marie-Laure P.: But, what is clear and this is for me, I'm pretty new with this world. It's extremely strange for me, very, I would say, awkward, to see that the practice between the U.S. and Europe are so different.
I would not have imagined such a difference. You have this difference in terms of ultrasonics, you have a difference in terms of motors, you have a difference in terms of scaler, sensor versus scanners, et cetera. So, this is really strange to me.
Howard Farran: Well, the biggest difference is football. You guys don't use your hands. So, the Americans want to know why you don't use your hands in football. But, you know what I wish every company would do? So, Dentaltown, we started in 1998, we got a quarter million dentists, from every single country on Earth. Then, we came out with an app.
But, anyway, I have this search bar and you can search for a name. If you put in your company's name, Acteon, there's just pages and pages and pages and pages and pages of threads and they love it, when the president or CEO goes on there and acknowledges what they're saying or comment on there.
Because, like I say, it is Dentaltown and some people in dental manufacturing circles think that it's just for dentists and it's not. ... I mean, to have your customers, all on forum, telling you what they like, what they wish you did, or whatever, is just priceless and it's free.
I think they would absolutely love it, if you went on there. If you feel shy, you can say that Howard told you to do it. But, I think every dental company should be monitoring what all the dentists around the world. That is true, what you say, dentistry is very different around the world.
When I'm speaking in Cambodia, in Malaysia, it's so different. Even within the United States, there's big differences between Manhattan and a small rural town in Ohio. What do you think are other major differences in dentistry, as practiced around the world?
Marie-Laure P.: ... I would say a big difference is the fact that in many, many countries the dentists are still alone. Single-office dentists. While, for instance, in the U.S. you have now a lot of DSOs and lot of clinics. I think it's changed a lot, the way to practice dentistry.
For instance, the usage of imaging is much wider, much more regular for these clinics than when the dentists are alone. This is one big difference. The other big difference is very much about imaging. In some countries, the dentists do not have the recourse to do a 3D of a patient.
These change, totally, the way you do implantology for instance. These change totally the way you see the mouth of your patient and the way you want to carry out real treatment of the mouth. Not only one teeth.
This, I think, is very much a big difference. In a way, in some countries, they go one-by-one and in some countries, they really take care, about the whole mouth. Try to understand what they can bring to the patient globally.
Howard Farran: Well, you know, if you look at American healthcare, the physicians. So, there's about 211,000 dentists, but there's a million MDs, what drove group practice and make them consolidate was buying more expensive equipment.
You can't buy an MRI and have one doctor use it. As MRI and CAT scans and ultrasonics. You're seeing that in dentistry, when you look at CBCTs and CAD/CAM and all this high-tech. Plus, the patient wants wider available hours.
I would say that, what consolidated physicians was two things. You need a group practice to buy the machinery, the technology. The other was insurance. I think one of the biggest differences I've seen, I've lectured in 50 countries, is how, if there's an insurance scheme, it really effects how dentistry is delivered.
Like, you go to some countries where there's no dental insurance, like Brazil, India, China. It's a very, very different market, because the dentist just does what they want, charges what they want. But then, when you go to Tokyo, Paris, London, where the reimbursement for a molar root canal is only a hundred dollars U.S.
It makes people look more towards implants and Invisalign. If you're in a government scheme, somewhere in Asia and your reimbursement for these 10 procedures, you can't even break even and you'll do them at a loss. Then, the dentists start looking at other procedures, like Invisalign, placing implants.
I think one the big explosions in implantology and Invisalign is that there's no government or dental insurance company setting your fee for you. Because a lot of those fees are set below your cost. So, a lot of times, if you want to do the right thing, you have to lose money in order to do it.
Like a root canal, in Tokyo. There's never been a dentist in Tokyo who didn't lose money on a molar root canal. But then, it makes a lot of people not want to do a molar root canal. It makes a lot of people say, "Well, I'd just rather extract the tooth and place an implant. Because I'll charge 1,500 for that."
One of the most interesting things that's blown my mind, I'm 54-years old and to have lived half a century, watching people buy their $800 iPhone with their own money, their cars, their vacations, Disneyland, their house. Putting in a swimming pool. But then, when they walk into a dental office, they feel like they're a victim and that somebody else should be paying for this. "My boss."
I still can't figure out why someone at work thinks their boss should pay for their root canal, when you're the one who didn't brush and floss every morning and every night. You're the one who drinks Coca-Cola and Pepsi instead of bottled water. I understand insurance, when you come down with cancer or a heart attack, or a disease and it's a catastrophic claim.
That's where insurance is, your house burns down, you get in a car wreck, you get cancer. I get that. But, for dentistry, for dentistry it's like, "Okay, you eat chocolate eclairs for breakfast and you don't brush and floss your teeth and you do this, every day, for years. Now, you need a root canal and it doesn't even dawn on you, that maybe you should be paying for this yourself."
In fact, the Chinese have the hardest time in the world, when they start looking at dental insurance in America. I mean, they just look at you, straight in the face, say, "You're subsidizing bad behavior. If they quit eating so much sugar, if they brushed and flossed some more. So, they do everything wrong and then, you subsidize them, to get all this dental."
So, it's very, very interesting how the human mind works. Why do you think humans expect someone else to pay for their dentistry, but not their iPhone?
Marie-Laure P.: ... I am not sure that it's the same behavior everywhere and the same thinking, everywhere in the world. I feel that, in the Western world, more and more patients are ready to pay. I think, basically, the people who have, in their minds, at least, for instance in France. At least, for instance in the U.K. or in Germany, that health is free.
This is post-Second World War, one of the achievements of the democracy in Europe. I don't speak about the U.S. of course. Achievement of the democracy was, "Okay, you are covered for your health and now, it's free."
Probably, they think, "Okay, my health has to be free, so of course, my dentistry has to be free." But I can tell you, in Europe now, it's very clear that in most of the countries, dental cares are extremely expensive and with extremely low reimbursement.
To go back to what you were saying, regarding the conservative treatments which were not as well reimbursed as the, for instance, the implants, et cetera. Or the implants which are not reimbursed. But, what is clear, is now, in France, you have a strike. Now, now, this week. You have a strike, of the dentists.
Howard Farran: Seriously?
Marie-Laure P.: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm serious, I'm serious. I'm serious.
Howard Farran: Can you email me any news coverage, or any-
Marie-Laure P.: Of course, of course.
Howard Farran: Yeah, send it out-
Marie-Laure P.: In French? In French, but I can translate that for you.
Howard Farran: I had no idea that dentists in France-
Marie-Laure P.: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Howard Farran: Are on strike, this week.
Marie-Laure P.: Yeah, this week. This week, yesterday. Yesterday, it was a, how do you say? The demonstration on the street, of dentists, in 10 cities in France, against the-
Howard Farran: Oh, my gosh. This is breaking news. I haven't heard any of this.
Marie-Laure P.: I'm not sure it's breaking news, but it's a real news. Yes, absolutely. What are they claiming against or what are they willing to have? They want to change the way to be reimbursed. The cares to be reimbursed. They want that, for instance, all the conservative's care better reimbursed. Because they think that it's much better to ensure a real treatment, with the peace of the patients than to change everything, et cetera.
So, I think it's very much current news in Europe. I will send you the documents. Tomorrow morning, you have that in your mailbox.
Howard Farran: Oh, thank you. So, in the United States, if the dentists went on strike, we would be arrested. We're not allowed to. It's actually against the law. The insurance companies can all talk to each other and set their fees, but if the dentists get together and set their fees, it's collusion and it's, "Go to jail."
Where I'm in, the state of Arizona, 30 years ago, when I just got out of school, three dentists in this small town, in Arizona, didn't like the fee and they all met, at one of the doctors offices and they sent the insurance company a letter. They said they had to raise the reimbursement to a certain fee and those three idiots all signed it.
The insurance company got the letter, took it to the attorney general and those boys all went to court and they all lost and they all went to jail. So, what they're doing in France ... Americans, I'm sure they would love to. I'm surprised they're not doing it in the U.K. It seems like the French reimbursement is so much better than Tokyo and London.
Marie-Laure P.: No, I don't think so. No, no. I'm serious, I don't think so.
Howard Farran: Right.
Marie-Laure P.: Tokyo, I don't know it by heart. But, London, I know it pretty well. The reimbursement system works much better in the U.K. than in France. In France, the level of reimbursement is extremely low, extremely low.
Howard Farran: Yeah-
Marie-Laure P.: In France, the topic in France is, "I am a French person." Not me, but, "I am French person, I have to have my dentistry absolutely free. Free of charge." I think the population is saying that, also, to the dentist. That's why the dentists are up to that, they are claiming for having more, better reimbursement.
By the way, we have a new president, as you know, probably. Mr. Macron and Mr. Macron during his campaign, has claimed a lot, the fact that he wants dentistry to be much better reimbursed.
Howard Farran: I did not know that. Help me out, also, on a difference in culture. I notice French people, they capitalize all the letters of their last name.
Marie-Laure P.: Yep.
Howard Farran: You know, Americans capitalize the first letter. It seems like French people capitalize. Is that what you do? Your entire last name is in all caps?
Marie-Laure P.: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely, absolutely. Always, yes, always.
Howard Farran: Okay. When someone sends you an email and they only capitalize the first letter of your first name, is that kind of insulting?
Marie-Laure P.: No, no, no. Not at all, no, no.
Howard Farran: It just-
Marie-Laure P.: No, but it's just a way to write the names. To recognize the names is very easy, because it's all in caps letter.
Howard Farran: I'll tell you one of the main differences between Europe in America. I mean, in all honesty, almost all Americans can only name one or two presidents of another country. Almost none of them speak a second. Because we're on the other side of the world. I mean, there's only one billion people in Western hemisphere.
You live on the real side, where six-and-a-half billion people live. So, America has an ocean on each side of it. It's got Canada to the North and when you cross into Canada, you don't even know you're in Canada. When you talk to any dentist in Europe, they can name 50 presidents of 50 countries, they know world history.
I mean ... There's no comparison to the historical and political understanding of the globe, of a French dentist-
Marie-Laure P.: Because we are small. Because we are small and we know that we are small. We know that our country was very much invaded, during the centuries and we have to know by whom it was invaded. So, it's pretty important that we understand the links between, for instance, the Germans and the French. Or the Brits and the French.
So, it's part of our history, even though for a French person like me, I feel extremely much more European than French. Be very clear, I don't feel French, I feel European. When I'm in the U.S., I was in the U.S. all week, last week and I'm very often in the U.S. I feel extremely well.
But, clearly, yeah, we know that we are small, we know that it's extremely important. Well, I feel for me, it's extremely important that Europe goes well. Because, I think it's a way to be stronger.
Howard Farran: Another, very exciting thing for us. I live in Phoenix, which ... Until they discovered the air conditioner, almost nobody lived here. I mean, it was basically Indian Reservations. So, in Phoenix, a very old building is 50-years old. Then, you go to Europe and you just routinely see things hundreds of years old. 500-years old, thousand years old. I just love Europe. Almost every vacation I take is in Europe. I can't get enough of it.
So, last question, I can't believe you've given me so much time. What do you see in the future? Where is Acteon going to be, 5, 10, 20, 30 years? What's got you excited about the future?
Marie-Laure P.: You know, as I told you, we have two technologies and we want to bring process on these two technologies. I think 20 years from now, after that, I have no clue. 20 years from now, we will still be, probably the number one or the number two, in terms of ultrasonics. But, with much more, I would say ... Way to use ultrasonics in the dentistry.
We are working on many, many R&D project, on this. So, we will bring to the market new ways to use ultrasonics. Because, ultrasonics is a real way to make surgery, to change to very, very atraumatic, very smooth and very efficient and very, very esteemed.
So, I think everything which is rotative will be lower usage. Ultrasonics will be higher usage. I think these will still be very much, for us, a core technology and a core clinical implications. The second is that ... This is a challenge, but we are extremely confident about the fact we will be one of the top three or top four companies in the imaging field.
As you know, we have created in Acteon, this imaging line. Basically, 10 years ago, so we are very new. We are very new, but we are coming to the market with, I would say, extremely new technology, because we are not with the old imaging technology.
Everything is in cloud, it's the new way to think about imaging. Everything is digital, et cetera. So, we are born with the digitalization on this imaging. I think we have an R&D team which is really, really unique. This team will bring us to the top four, top five in this imaging-big world.
We are extremely happy with what is happening in the United States, with our imaging line. The launch of Trion, which is our new product, which is so far extremely, extremely good, in terms of takeoff. So, we are positive about the future, yes.
Howard Farran: I want to end with one other, major, major difference between the United States dental market and Europe. In the United States, the dental meetings are fragmented, there's one in every state, every year. So, there's like 50 annual meetings, every year.
Whereas Europe has this monster meeting, every other year, in Cologne, Germany. It's called the International and they get over 100,000 from every single country on Earth. But the difference at those meetings is, is the dentists in Europe, when they go, want to talk about a product, they want to talk to the owner of the company. They want to talk to the CEO, they want to talk to the engineers.
Americans, they want to go to a dental lecture and listen to a dentist, who doesn't know 90% of what's going on in that company and they're middle-men. These middle-men, they distort the picture, but for some reason the dentists in America, don't want to go right to the CEO.
When I started Dentaltown, I used to, for years ... When I was a little kid, I had five sisters ... Every vacation was the same. We would go to an amusement park, like Six Flags Over Dallas or Kansas City, or Disneyland. We'd go to the amusement park, but on the way to the amusement park, we would stop by companies that gave tours. Like Budweiser, showing you how they make the beer. Coors, how to make the beer. General Motors and we got in a golf cart and followed a car from start.
My dad loved to see these factories. I kind of learned that from my dad and whenever I was lecturing around the world, I would always stop at the dental companies that were in that area and I used to do a profile of them, on the cover of the magazine. Once a month, profile a company.
The American dentist always complained and said, "That's commercialism." Or, "They're trying to sell something." I'm like, "Dude, what are you, a free dentist? Do you give free dentistry? You can sell a root canal and a crown, but the company that's selling you the technology, [crosstalk 00:45:54] to do a root canal, why is that?" It's just such a weird, bizarre culture.
So, we've finally stopped doing the cover profile of dental companies. So, now we're putting dentists on the cover. We've been doing that the last four, five years and we've had that magazine since 1994. Now, on my podcast, I want to bring back my passion for actually going to the manufacturers, going to the CEOs.
I just want to tell you, seriously, it was just a huge honor that you would come on my show, that I asked you to come on my show and so that now, when anybody thinks of Acteon, they're going to think of Marie, Marie-Lau-
Marie-Laure P.: Laure.
Howard Farran: Marie. Marie-Laure Pochon. Marie-Laure Pochon. Did I say it right?
Marie-Laure P.: Absolutely right, thank you so much.
Howard Farran: I really hope that you go on Dentaltown-
Marie-Laure P.: I will.
Howard Farran: Put your beautiful face as your avatar and just drop in each one of those threads and say, "Thank you for your feedback." Or whatever-
Marie-Laure P.: I will.
Howard Farran: Because I think that, what is best for the patient, is if the entire value chain works together. Whether it be the insurance companies, from government or for enterprise. The dental manufacturers, the dentists, the assistants, the hygienists. If we all have to work together so that the patient gets better, faster, higher quality, lower-cost dentistry, and you are a very significant part of that value chain.
Thank you so much for coming on this show today.
Marie-Laure P.: Thank you so much for your invitation. It was really a pleasure. I hope my English was enough.
Howard Farran: Your English was better than everyone's French that listened to you today. I don't know one homie that can speak English and French. Oh, except for Montreal, of course. We could have done this in French for all the Dentaltownees in Montreal, Quebec.
But, thanks again for coming, I can't wait to ... Whenever I'm in France, I'd love to have a chocolate éclair-
Marie-Laure P.: When you're up in France, please, say hello. It will be a pleasure to have a dinner with you.
Howard Farran: No, I'm not going to go to dinner with you, I'm going to make you go to the Pierre Fauchard museum. I'm going to take you there.
Marie-Laure P.: Okay, we'll go together. We'll go together.
Howard Farran: Okay, we'll go together. All right. Have a great day.