Smart MedTech Devices will Strengthen Preventive Care: Sidhartha Sharma on HealthTech

THE INEVITABLE DISRUPTION

The use of smart medical technology devices is going to grow exponentially in both healthcare and consumer devices markets. The equipment used in the hospitals and care centers is going to evolve further both in hardware, software, and connectedness. Thanks to the new-age wearable tech and consumer devices, we will see a flood of self-care, monitoring devices. The data generated by these smart medical devices will be beneficial in predicting and preventing health emergencies. Medtech is a large and vaguely defined sector.

The sector covers technologies that can be used in a care setting, which include disposables, capital equipment, and surgical procedure innovations. It also includes implant technology, biomaterials, connected health IT, preventive health consumer devices, and predictive health smart devices.

Traditional Model Inefficiencies: What are the Pain Points?

  1. Low health screening rates and innovation in self-diagnostics devices: The health screening rate in emerging and developing countries is meager. A significant portion of the population that undergoes screening never buys expensive screening packages that give detailed information on health. The innovation in the medical devices that could be used at home has been very slow. As a result, healthcare issues do not get highlighted until they are way past the preventive stage.
  2. Medical devices are expensive: The medical devices ranging from big MRI machines, ventilator systems to smaller devices like surgical quality equipment are costly. Healthcare being an essential service, it is not available to everyone
  3. Systemic failures and unpreparedness: COVID 2019 pandemic exposed the short-comings of the healthcare systems even in the most developed countries like America, UK, and Germany. There are reports of massive shortcomings of surgical quality masks, protective quarantine gear, ventilators, and other respiratory valves.
  4. Human errors in image diagnostics: The human eye is not better than artificially intelligent machines in noticing disease symptoms in X-rays and MRI scan reports. There are proven medical and productivity benefits to be gained from integrating AI with radiology. In Jan 2020, an artificial intelligence system developed by Google showed promising results in more accurately detecting breast cancer when compared to a human radiologist.
  5. Devices have not been smart and connected: The medical devices have not been smart and connected. The crucial patient treatment data has been lost for many years due to slow innovation in the space.

Big 8 and the MedTech Margins:

Market leaders like Medtronic, Mindray, J&J, Abbott, Thermo Fisher, Philips, Seimens Healthineers, GE Healthcare, are building future-ready MedTech products, however the competition from the wearable sector is beginning to emerge especially in the B2C segments.

The B2B market- provider and hospital network is still not ripe for disruption, but the low-cost innovative (yet equally effective and safe) MedTech products are being manufactured in emerging markets that can expedite the disruption.

MedTech is a regulated sector but 3D printing and innovative low-cost products from the new age tech-startups can bring some inevitable shake-ups in the sector.

This is why it is even more critical for the MedTech players to think about open innovation and building Digital Ecosystems with the help of tech startup-partners.

Over the next few weeks, I will be writing actively on the topic of MedTech.

Podcast coming soon:

I will also bring to my readers the story of the Ventilator Project built by the IIT-Kanpur consortium.

The ventilator project is a mind-boggling case study on — innovation in Healthcare and Robotics, Project-management, accelerated product development, and Make In India.

Hear directly from the authors of the book- Srikant Sastri and Dr. Amitabha Bandyopadhyay.

Regards,

Sidhartha Sharma

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Sidhartha Sharma- Future of Tech, Digital & Data

Sidhartha Sharma- Future of Tech, Digital & Data

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~16yrs Consulting- McKinsey & BCG-Digital Strategy, Ecosystems & Ventures | Start-Up Mentor | Platforms | Digital-First | Author & TEDx Speaker. Views Personal