The year 2016 is just around the corner. While there are still weeks before we say goodbye to 2015, I’m going to write a few thoughts on what I think will be the key themes for the medical technology industry next year. I did a similar blogpost last year and I’ve done another round for you today.
Below are my five thoughts on trends for the industry in the coming year:
1. New regulations means new ways of working
As we know, the trilogue for the MDD and IVD revisions are coming to an end. While we still don’t know yet the final texts of the regulations, it is certain that these regulations will have a tremendous impact on the medical technology industry. The regulation will change how we operate, do research and distribute our products. While the regulation won’t be implemented next year – businesses will need to start adapting to the new regulation. This will have an impact not only in the European sphere but also in how companies collaborate at a global level.
2. Technology will play an even more active role to healthcare
I think this comes as no surprise to a lot of people. Every year, we see new ways of working, travelling and interacting with other people. We’ve seen a rapid change in our society today thanks to technology.
In the area of healthcare, this is no different. The medical technology industry is at the forefront of driving this innovation for the sector.
How will technology play a role this time? In the industry, the trend will continue towards developing new devices like wearables and sensors. Technology will allow us to deliver and connect more devices, obtain better and more information using big data and be able to define new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases. This innovation will be driven not only by the current industry, but from other players like SMEs and IT companies. Technology will enable healthcare improvements in more ways than we ever imagined, and the medtech industry will be a key player in driving these changes
3. Better connected and more powerful patients
Patients will increasingly be at the forefront of the healthcare dialogue. With technology, patients are now more equipped to make decisions that will define how they want to manage their health. They will demand more innovation and will continue to become vocal advocates for better healthcare. Patients will be using more tools to gather information. They will be more informed and participative in making choices in their healthcare solutions. And finally, patients will increasingly indicate their satisfaction publicly towards their medical technology products to healthcare professionals.
And patients should continue to be a top priority for the industry. I see the growing need for the medtech industry to listen and adapt to patients being more self-aware and vigilant. And that all players need to work together and closer with each other, may you be a payer, healthcare professional or a patient, in order to advance together.
4. Integrated healthcare systems
We will see integration become more prevalent in the coming year. Integration of our healthcare systems will drive change in business models and in the creation of new ones. I see our industry providing more global, more integrated solutions and services. I see companies not only delivering products but also becoming service providers for healthcare institutions. This certainly will lead to more companies working together in creating a global service model.
We will continue to have the diagnostics and devices industries work more closely with each other. We aim to be at the forefront of the healthcare sector by providing integrated care throughout the complete patient pathway. Better integration will allow early diagnoses, quicker and significantly less invasive interventions, and patient monitoring after intervention that will improve the lives of patients throughout the course of their condition.
5. Challenges on cyber risks, interoperability and security
The benefits of technology towards the medical technology sector have been significant. But with the rapid rise of technology, it also posed several challenges to the way we work. Cyber security will need to be an integral part of the industry’s strategy. Interoperability will be critical to fully deploy the potential solutions of innovative technologies. Understanding and ensuring that these become a priority will help the industry transition towards more digital technologies for health care while at the same time, ensuring the safety and security of patients.
I hope you enjoy my blog post for this month. I’ll also take this opportunity to invite you to the MedTech Forum 2015 on 2-4 December. The main theme will be on technology enabled healthcare – connecting the dots and untying the knots, we have invited speakers with different healthcare profiles and industries. I hope to see you all there!