Medical companies that are still entertaining the notion that business can continue as usual – that somehow the model of collaboration between firms and physicians is enough to foster innovation – are in for a rude awakening.
We live in the “mobile information age,” where
customers patients aren’t tethered to bulky computers or laptops to do the necessary research on a treatment method that might be suitable for them. All they need to do is need pull out their smart phone or tablet and at the touch of an ap, they have about 75% of the information they have on their respective disease state.
Patients are becoming smarter and well informed about their treatment options well before they even hit the doctor’s office. So the original method of med-tech firms working along with physicians to best discover valid results in the treatment of care… those are long gone… at least to those who want to succeed and take a leadership position in the space.
On Monday, I spoke with representatives from PricewaterhouseCoopers. The nature of the conversation was PwC’s Health Research Institute report that says that med-tech companies need to stop relying on traditional methods and start thinking more outside the box, when it comes to fostering innovation.
The report specifically states that the “innovation machine is not working like it used to. Today adding nifty features to existing products is not enough to warrant a price increase. Customers — be they hospitals, accountable care organizations (ACOs), or even individual consumers — now demand more in financial, convenience, and health terms. Med-tech companies must focus more on service and business model innovations that meet new industry demands rather than on incremental product improvements. If they don’t, the report says that they risk fierce threats from new players eager to claim a part of this $349 billion global market.
The report is spot on. More and more companies that we interview at Medical Device Daily seem to talk about the
customer patient and the involvement that particular customer patient has in using the device. Six years ago, when I started this was something that was barely discussed.
The med-tech companies who will be successful in this endeavor are looking for ways to empower the
customer patient and are tailoring solutions that will fit his or her individual needs.