The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed; Washington), the largest medical technology lobby group in the U.S., held its annual meeting last week in Washington DC. The meeting offered an excellent snapshot of all the exciting developments occurring in this critical sector of the healthcare field.
While the med-tech market has encountered some challenging headwinds over the past few years on the regulatory and reimbursement fronts as well as in the venture capital markets, there are signs that the sector is headed for a dramatic rebound. A report released at the meeting provided by EvaluateMedTech forecasts the industry approaching $455 billion in global sales in 2018.
Ian Strickland, a product manager at EvaluateMedTech and author of EY's report, said that the in vitro diagnostics market is expected to be the world’s largest med-tech segment in 2018, with sales of nearly $58 billion. "Within the industry, the leading segment of in vitro diagnostics continues to grow more strongly than the med-tech market as a whole, thanks
to advances in molecular diagnostics and drugs becoming increasingly linked to diagnostic tests," Strickland said.
Another report released at the meeting by Ernst & Young noted some key ways in which the med-tech industry is expanding its offerings.
Companies are offering services and solutions to improve outcomes and drive costs down. The report also noted the increasing use of prevention and remote monitoring to improve outcomes more efficiently through real-time management of health conditions. Additionally, med-tech companies are increasingly enabling patients to manage their conditions at home without frequent, costly interventions.
It was apparent in listening to the many panel sessions at the meeting that companies that can find a way to successfully transform themselves into effective providers of value-based medical technology in the U.S.and in international markets have the potential to thrive in a dramatically changing healthcare environment that is rapidly leaving behind the traditional fee-for-service model.
Glen Giovannetti, Global Life Sciences sector leader for EY, told me that 80% of healthcare costs are people with the top five of chronic diseases. "There’s a real patient management challenge at that level. And so you begin to think about opportunities to help hospital systems more efficiently manage this. It could be an intervention, it could be a device but it could also be about the patient’s journey and how we help them. Let’s talk about when they might need a health intervention before they show up in the emergency room."
I also learned that not only is my smartphone fun to play with, but it can also save my life. One session that I attended at the meeting noted that there are more than 97,000 healthcare-related applications available for these phones, and that healthcare organizations are trying to help their customers determine which of these products are effective in helping to save time and money. In the presentation, Manasai Patwardhan, a consultant at PA Consulting Group, noted that nearly 500 million smartphone users will have healthcare apps by 2015.
There were quite a few celebrity sightings at the meeting including U.S. senators Orin Hatch (R-Utah) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota). Additionally, Marilyn Tavenner, adminstrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Margaret Hamburg, MD, commissioner of the FDA, made presentations. Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski brought there unique brand of commentary to the meeting as well.
We too had a special celebrity sighting at our booth, with the Blues Brothers stopping by to admire our awesome array of products and to promote next year's AdvaMed event that will take place in Chicago.
On a more personal note, AdvaMed was the first conference that Medical Device Daily has covered since our acquisition by Thomson Reuters, and we really enjoyed playing up the benefits of our new ownership to current and potential customers at the meeting, Who knows, maybe we can get Elwood and Jake to promote new product roll-outs in the future.