Traditionally, the Medical Devices industry focused on a singular modality of treatment or diagnosis. They were able to achieve a profitable growth through feature-rich products that addressed an unmet need (mostly of the surgeon / physician), improved distribution channels and competitive pricing models.
Healthcare, today, demands a system that can efficiently cure or manage multiple comorbidities in an individual, find novel ways of optimizing cost of care including self-help, remote patient engagement or home care. To top it all, the new regulations and outcome driven reimbursement mechanism is forcing the industry to look at multi-level care pathways, resulting in a shift from the product (device/drug) to the consumer.
These changes had the effect of a shot of adrenaline and the Med Devices industry is racing to adapt newer ways to deliver care, measure patient outcomes and optimize cost structures. Emergent new models of supplier relationships that drive revenue share business constructs and cross industry partnerships that can leverage technology adoption to achieve these goals are the order of the day. The innovation that these partnerships can deliver will be the inflection point in the industry by creating a new dimension for delivering and managing Healthcare, as well as opening new models of patient engagement and revenue streams outside of the traditional boundaries.
Capturing the right data and turning it into meaningful decisions will be the single largest transformation in the industry.
There are close to 400 million people in the world with Diabetes (more than the entire population of the United States) and experts believe this number will grow by 50% in 20 years. Medtronic has collected 125 million patient days of anonymous data from its insulin pumps and glucose meters. Medtronic’s partnership with IBM Watson can decipher the troves of data and help discover clues for better treatment and management of the disease.
Siemens Healthineers recently announced a Digital Ecosystem. This is akin to an open marketplace for Healthcare Providers to exchange data on both clinical and operational efficiencies. Siemens has on-boarded several partners that provide solutions and different services on a single platform. This innovative and novel mechanism enables the ecosystem to collate, manage, and share data, applications, and services among one of the industry’s largest installed base.
One of the key components to deliver Personalized Care is to create a Decision Support System that can enable a physician to apply better diagnostics to target the right medicine to the right disease for the right patient type. A deeper understanding and analysis of the individualized genome sequencing Data, Patient Health Information (PHI), Medical Records, will unearth opportunities to create personal care. There are multiple hurdles in achieving such lofty goals, such as accessing data across international boundaries, creating a Data Lake to enable seamless integration among various types of datasets, a rule based analytics engine that has smart algorithms to decipher the data, and provide critical decision support mechanisms. This needs a strong partnership between Pharma, Medical Device Companies, Technology Companies to drive personalized health outcomes.
The concept of Supplier Enabled Innovation is not new. Companies like J&J have embraced it and have fostered a culture of driving up supplier value through innovation. HCL – a global IT and Engineering services company and a dominant player in the Medical Devices outsourced engineering services market entered into a value-based, fee for output based partnership with a Medical Technology company to participate in their Open Innovation Network to help develop their product portfolio.
Our Healthcare system calls for the entire ecosystem of Providers, OEMs, Big Pharma, suppliers, and technology partners to cross leverage skills, scale, and technology assets to deliver a system of care that is effective and patient-centric. Whether incremental or disruptive - the onus of innovation is no longer on just one entity. The terms of engagement has shifted and the burden of Innovation accountability is now shared.