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The medical technology industry broke records last year, “surpassing for the first time over $400 billion in revenue,” Jim Welch, global medtech leader for EY, told attendees at The Medtech Conference on September 24. Medtech "achieved over 7% in growth, which is fantastic and is actually a record since the economic crisis of 2008.” He cited figures on U.S. and European-based medical device companies as reported in EY’s 2019 medtech report, “Pulse of the Industry: As Data Personalizes Medtech, How Will You Serve Tomorrow’s Consumer?”
“Most notably, for those of you who may have been here last year or read last year’s report, R&D spending has also gone up, by 11%,” Welch shared during The Medtech Conference super session, "Pulse of the Industry."
As the title of EY's 2019 report suggests, there is a significant push toward personalization and data-driven solutions in medical technology.
“Providers, payers, physicians, regulators really are showing a readiness to move to a data-driven approach to care,” Welch told the audience. “This incredibly important for us as an industry in how we invest and how we deploy capital.”
The EY report predicts that “in the future, data will become critical to determining whether or not an innovation represents a real breakthrough. Data will also change the way many product classes work, driving them toward a more personalized, high-touch data relationship with patient-consumers.”
The industry has made strides in such data, but there is still much work to be done.
For instance, the report points to the growth of diagnostics. “Nonimaging diagnostics companies recorded some of the highest annual growth seen in the entire industry,” with the segment recording 11% growth, according to the report. One remarkable story EY points to is the 71% growth of Exact Sciences, a company that utilizes biomarker libraries, DNA testing, and blood-based biopsy to detect cancer earlier, according to its Web site. (In July, Exact Sciences announced a merger with Genomic Health.)
Genomics was identified in EY’s report as “the single most critical data source for allowing personalized medicine to become a reality.”
Progress has also been made in digital health. Welch pointed to “breakthroughs in AI and robotic surgery,” such as the FDA approval of 33 AI algorithms in 2018-2019. (Digital health is described by EY as encompassing applications of social media, data analytics supported by machine learning or AI, mobile/web services or platforms, telemedicine, wearables, IoT, cloud storage, and digital patient data.)
However, medical device companies are “not moving fast enough to embrace the business models that can accommodate these technological innovations,” EY noted in its report.
“To result in significantly better health outcomes for patient-consumers, individual data-driven innovations must be linked together via a common infrastructure.” Needed to support such an environment are connected device security, a connected ecosystem, and a “data-enabled supply chain,” EY shared.
Success in connectivity will benefit patients and healthcare. “As the health care ecosystem becomes more connected, the advances in diagnostics, genomics, AI, and other emergent data technologies will reinforce each other, driving an exponential acceleration toward personalized care,” according to the report.
EY also points out the huge growth in robotic-assisted surgical systems and points out that data will play an increasing role in future success.
At the end of his session Welch enouraged the medtech audience to consider these four questions:
- Are you investing enough in the capabilities that will deliver future value?
- Have you identified the customer you need to focus on, and the data you need to serve them?
- Are you planning beyond the device to the data ecosystem surrounding it?
- Do you have the cybersecurity and supply chain expertise to deliver connected care, anytime, anywhere?
Click here for EY’s 2019 medtech report, “Pulse of the Industry: As Data Personalizes Medtech, How Will You Serve Tomorrow’s Consumer?” The report also includes guest perspectives from industry leaders such as Kevin Lobo, Stryker chairman and CEO; John Liddicoat, MD, executive vice president and Americas region president for Medtronic; and others.