COVID-19 has likely had a greater impact on healthcare than on any other industry sector, said Glenn Snyder, Principal and Lead Analyst for MedTech at Deloitte, and a featured speaker at a recent SEMI webinar that offered a glimpse into the Future of MedTech in the run-up up to the SEMI Global Smart MedTech Symposium, kicking off tomorrow and running through August 5th.
Snyder said medtech growth may appear muted in its early years but is poised to begin a steep climb as innovation continues, harkening back to the super-charged growth of circuitry on a wafer (aka Moore’s Law), which also saw a seemingly slow, flat start. Medtech enjoy its own exponential growth powered by 5G implementations, consumer demand, and the development of a robust ecosystem of bio-sensors, data standards, and regulatory improvements.
Consumer-Driven Future and COVID-19 Impact
Snyder noted that the future of medtech will be consumer-driven – enabled by open, highly interoperable data and secure platforms geared toward end users. A case in point: Detecting disease early through sensor systems will rely on not only on-body and environmental sensors, marking a fundamental shift from the today’s today’s hospital-centric system to improve health outcomes.
Telemedicine growth during the pandemic is a notable example. In one case study of a health system, Snyder noted that telehealth usage skyrocketed from 1% to 60% of all patient visits over the early months of the pandemic but has since dropped to 10% due to the lack of charting, billing and other support systems needed to sustain the high rate of telehealth visits. Even so, hospitals expect to see a steady rise in consumers’ use of telehealth in the coming years.
One driver are pilot programs for healthcare-at-home services for post-surgical patients. The programs have delivered better health outcomes and are more personalized and family-friendly than medical clinic or hospital visits. They also cost less. Digital monitoring using remote biometrics sensors are one key to driving the long-term success of these programs.
Health Systems Changing Their Business Model
In the medtech sector, changes in health system business models lag consumer adoption. What’s more, policy changes aren’t keeping pace with new models for medtech products.
For medtech products to thrive, a solid foundation of data gathering, transmission and management capabilities that tie into traditional healthcare systems must be formed. Companies considering a vertically integrated approach to the medtech market can steer clear of healthcare providers – but only at the risk of having less access to patients and their historical healthcare data.
Snyder said companies that control vertically integrated healthcare products and patient data can make support systems more efficient and robust but may struggle to deepen their market penetration. Companies such as Intuitive Surgical have found success with this model by offering highly differentiated products.
Supply Chain Alarmingly Thin for Medtech Devices
In a recent Deloitte survey of medtech companies, 60% reported that at least half of their products are powered by semiconductors, yet 70% noted pointed to high supply chain risks with most of their products because they have only a single source. Risk management and creating a resilient supply chain will remain key for medtech providers to adapt on a global scale.
Partnerships and Collaborations
During the event roundtable, Snyder mentioned that bio and pharma companies have partnered successfully to grow their businesses. Doug Kiehl of Eli Lilly, the moderator of the discussion, added that traditional healthcare providers should look outside of their usual business circles for medtech innovation.
COVID-19 highlighted how new multi-disciplinary healthcare partnerships risk assessment processes have opened several paths to innovation previously unexplored. Both Snyder and Kiehl expect to see more collaboration between health systems and medtech innovators as they uncover synergistic business models.
SEMI Global Smart MedTech Symposium Kicks Off Today
Explore the gaps in the supply chain at the Global Smart MedTech Symposium and join the conversation with medtech device companies and health systems providers. Sessions include:
- Realtime Continuous Diagnostics and Monitoring
- Decentralized DNA Sequencing and Molecular Diagnostics
- Data Science and Infrastructure – AI/Data Fusion
- Applications in Rural and Decentralized Healthcare in the Digital Age
The four-day symposium features three sessions at different times each day to cater to participants in Taiwan/Asia, Europe and North America. Register today!
Heidi Hoffman is senior director of Technology Communities marketing at SEMI.