There are many trends and forces that affect advancement in medical technology. The following are 10 key examples of these influences and how they relate to opportunities or challenges in the medical technology field.
Manufacturers are focusing on more long-term solutions – treating underlying disease – instead of simply making incremental improvements to the treatment of symptoms.
Because of the recession, cost has necessarily become more of a concern among medical technology manufacturers. Cost is often misunderstood in healthcare, but for manufacturers it can still mean the difference between staying in or going out of business.
While many medical technology manufacturers attempt to create paradigm-shifting products, most only end up achieving small improvements to existing technology. To wit, there are many more 510Ks than PMAs in regulatory approvals (though PMAs do not necessarily indicate a “disruptive” development).
Certain manufacturers are establishing significant competitive positions by becoming familiar with the latest in material technologies for applications in traditional device, pharma, biopharma, cell biology and other manufacturing.
Since the recession began, available financing has largely shifted short-term, return-focused investors, such as venture capitalists and angels, to mid-cap and large-cap medical technology companies with a long-term vested interest in the future of healthcare. These established companies intend to stay in the medical technology business regardless of current market conditions and so require innovation to progress in their industry.
Economic downturns serve to “thin out the herd” in any industry. It is no different in medical technology. Companies that could not complete development when capital was readily available do not belong and will not remain in the business when funding is scarcer.
As research from innovators in different scientific disciplines – materials, cell biology, biotech, pharma, etc. – converges, understanding increases. This has led to a range of novel medical products.
Manufacturers who understand the significant effects of information technology on medical technology developments will be able to gain strong competitive advantages.
The potential of medical technology as it applies to intervening in neural disease and trauma is virtually untapped.
It is widely accepted by the medical device industry that the excise tax component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will NOT eliminate jobs or stifle innovation. On the contrary, the patient population will consequently increase by 33 million Americans.
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