The medical technology (MedTech) industry is being reshaped by digital health and consumers’ expectations to receive care how, when and where they want, according to a new report from Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and AdvaMed.
The report, titled “Digital Health and MedTech – New Signals for Transformation,” based on a global survey of more than 150 MedTech executives, reveals a shift away from traditional healthcare models, with leaders adopting digital health as a core part of their approach to improving patient outcomes. More than three-quarters (75%) of the executives said that expanding care settings will significantly reorient their company’s long-term strategy and change business models.
“Healthcare is at a crossroads, facing unprecedented pressure and disruption — including affordability challenges, shifting patient expectations, and an increasing deluge of health data,” said Tim Durst, a managing director at Accenture who leads the global medical technology sector in the company’s Life Sciences practice. “With a unique understanding of therapeutics, patients and providers, as well as insights gained from digital devices in the hands of patients, MedTech companies are well-positioned to lead the transformation to digital health. However, companies will need the proper digital foundation to leverage the necessary insights and create a comprehensive digital health solution.”
The report notes that developing the right connected products, services and programs for patients and providers remains a hurdle, citing implementation complexity and the lack of the right partners as primary challenges. In addition, nearly nine out of 10 executives (86%) said that technology and collaboration are key to addressing these challenges.
The report identifies five key trends driving the future growth of MedTech:
- The Consumer Patient: Healthcare is no longer a one-way interaction with the patient only on the receiving end; it now requires continuous engagement between patient, provider and payer. Two-thirds (70%) of executives said that the Consumer Patient phenomenon is very relevant and expect it to significantly affect their firm’s long-term strategy.
- Care Anywhere, Everywhere: As consumers increasingly expect to receive care how, where and when they want, healthcare is increasingly expanding from hospitals to ambulatory and at-home care locations. The MedTech executives interviewed for the report said that while traditional products continue to drive revenues, the expansion of care to new settings is a key part of their growth strategies.
- The Rise of Digital Health: MedTech company leaders are prioritizing digital health by building capabilities in-house through investments in R&D, technology, digital and new business models; and by making asset acquisitions to expand their pipeline across therapeutic areas and add new capabilities to innovate faster or reach customers in new ways. Nearly all (99%) executives indicated that development and commercialization of Digital Health solutions has accelerated in the past two years.
- Converging Sectors: The rise of digital in healthcare is also fueling non-traditional deals, with future success dependent upon various sectors converging to develop products and services across the entire care continuum, according to nearly nine out of 10 (86%) executives.
- New Regulatory Pathways: Digital Health may fall outside the bounds of established regulatory pathways for untested technologies, requiring new approaches from the sector. Most executives (87%) identified government regulations as a threat and disruptor to their business. This may be due to the shifting nature of regulatory guidelines, as regulatory bodies work to keep up with the rate of new and emerging technologies and ensure they are safe and effective.
Scott Whitaker, AdvaMed president and CEO said, “AdvaMed members are at the forefront of innovation and improving patient health outcomes, and we are seeing some of the most exciting advancements in digital health. The report’s findings will help us plan for the future of our industry to ensure we can thrive and grow to meet the needs of the patients who rely on medical devices every day.”