Factors leading to the dawn of the digital age in the MedTech industry
The medical technology (MedTech) segment has been subjected to a range of factors that are forcing it to change, and this process begins with managing a demand for stringent regulations and growing cost pressures towards operational hurdles resulting of a global need to merge the stakeholders. efficiencies. Industry players are being driven to accelerate the pace of digitizing all of their systems to meet emerging consumer needs and for business expansion purposes.
Even in the pre-COVID era, Business 4.0 technologies such as wearables, IoT, etc., were gradually shifting into the mainstream healthcare sphere. Since the advent of the virus, MedTech has been placed in the spotlight of transformation without preamble. During the pandemic, the news revolved around the need for critical products such as test equipment, protective equipment, portable devices, ventilators or the scarcity of these. With the status quo completely disrupted, the industry must turn to disruptive rather than traditional models to find its feet in this new normal. While this cascading effect has been seen throughout the value chain, whether in sales and marketing, manufacturing, R&D, or the supply chain, the medical device fraternity has felt the effects in ways particularly strong.
IoT and connectivity in manufacturing and distribution
In the immediate aftermath of COVID-19, MedTech worked on various ways to maintain hygiene and safety through safety suits and testing, and to strengthen home patient care and post-infection care facilities by providing various portable gadgets, folding beds, portable fans, etc. In 2021, stakeholders took cognizance of the dynamic situation and its long-term impact to formulate and rework policies and regulations to prepare for the future and optimize inventory and costs to gain a better grip on the market. world scenario. Thus, supply chains have diversified and product portfolios have been streamlined to combat risk, while the adoption of digital tools to facilitate remote collaboration, strategic sourcing and redistributed manufacturing in view to manufacture products geographically closer to the markets occurred upstream. Changing with a goal was all that differentiated good players from mediocre ones.
Telemedicine and remote monitoring: The new frontier
If there’s one boundary that the pandemic has completely changed, it’s the narrative of seeking a medical consultation by moving it mostly online. Therefore, the frequent use of wearable devices, telehealth, electronic medical records powered by blockchain technology, and innovative manufacturing techniques by leveraging technologies such as 3D printing that sounded light years away is now a reality. With so much data being collected, Big Data will necessarily need to be used to separate and leverage important analytics that will drive new changes in MedTech, while keeping wellness at the center of healthcare.
Sweetening digital transformation for consumers
As the healthcare system of the new era is constantly changing and updated very frequently, patients are bound to ask themselves how to adapt to it. Whereas
The system under construction will have well-being and the consumer at heart, and above all will be fully digitally connected, the medical device sector will also have to play a key role. From being an overlooked segment to becoming the lifeblood of healthcare, the device sector has been propelled to the forefront of industry evolution as an ambassador.
And therefore, given the vast transformation that healthcare is undergoing, it will be up to device manufacturers to reinvent themselves as providers of allied healthcare solutions. In this role, as they already understand the nature and necessity of digital transformations, they will be responsible for explaining the importance of these innovations to consumers in a reassuring way. These players will need to make every disruption accessible, affordable upgrades from the way things have traditionally been and also help build awareness and trust around them.
The path to follow
How medical device players respond to the current challenge is what will decide their future as they must embrace Business 4.0 purpose and technology. But those device companies that will be able to do so well will create immense value for themselves and emerge as the newly created adaptable industry leaders who are in tune with the changed world.
Ashok Patel is the CEO and Founder of Max Ventilator.
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