7 Trends To Watch In The Medical Device Industry In 2022

ByHanover Team
Posting date: 22 February 2022

The unexpected onslaught of the pandemic somewhat eclipsed the innovative progress that was being made in the medical devices sector. However, as we celebrate the success of the global vaccination efforts and breathe a collective sigh of relief at declining infection rates, there’s an emerging cultural importance surrounding this sector once more.

Medical device companies are diving into the innovative, infinite possibilities of IoT technology, device connectivity and data-driven improvements, amongst others.

An ageing population, global cost pressures and the demand for data-driven efficiency make for an interesting mix. This has led to many industry experts casting their predictions on what trends are to come, from privacy headaches through to diagnostic wearables.

These are my top seven trends to watch in 2022.

1. Growth and expansion

If there’s one thing that each of my medical device clients have in common, it’s that not one of them was left unaffected by the pandemic. The entire industry is still reeling, with many healthcare providers and solutions having been brought to the brink of what’s possible.

However, this disruption has led to new, inventive approaches and technologies (more on that below). Stats still show across-the-board growth, with US and EU public medtech valuations up 55% in 2021, along with a collective revenue increase. As we emerge from the other side of COVID-19, I expect this growth will continue through 2022.

2. New technologies

Medical device companies are harnessing the power of AI when it comes to more manual tasks, allowing employees to get back to the all-important human-centric roles. The industry continues to see exponential evolution in the collection, curation and analysis of patient data, driving the launch of innovative services and real value.

Software and AI/machine learning are becoming common tools of the trade that support increased patient access and take the pressure off healthcare services already operating over capacity. In the US, surgical robots such as da Vinci and HUGO await FDA review.

Wearable technology will also play a significant role in patients being able to afford access to medical care. A study by Mount Sinai recently showed wearables could predict conditions such as flu and COVID-19, for example, with things like pregnancy, ovulation and menstrual cycles set to follow suit.

3. Using the blockchain for heightened security

If you’re providing data-driven services, you obviously need airtight security. All that very personal, sensitive and valuable data needs to be protected as it travels end-to-end within these exciting new innovations, setting a high cybersecurity bar for medical device and medtech innovators to contend with. One of the preferred airtight options is the use of blockchain technology.

Complex and decentralised, blockchain enables safe, free interactions and is used extensively to facilitate and record cryptocurrency transactions. All information is encrypted with private keys, but can be immediately accessed whenever needed. Such features make blockchain a desirable addition to medical device innovations.

4. Regulatory framework will become even more important

With great innovation (and cloud storage of sensitive patient data) comes great responsibility. With great responsibility comes the demand for increased regulation, and the watchful eye of relevant regulatory bodies.

Boards across the globe will be paying close attention to the likes of AI and the Internet of Things, which also suggests a large opening for organisations to equip themselves with top-level talent that have an in-depth understanding of the relevant legalities.

5. Improved supply chain resilience

Another area ripe for improvement and innovation is supply chains. The disruption caused by the pandemic has highlighted a dire need to ensure greater supply chain resilience in the future.

Present medical device business models of asset-heavy design make for significant amounts of redundant stock; it could well become necessary to downsize and reach smarter forecasting solutions. The future must be agile.

6. Addressing the waste problem

Reducing the waste and emissions in the medical device industry is now becoming a key business strategy, not to mention an attractive feature for the recruitment of top level, socially-responsible talent.

A key consideration for industry leaders around the globe is likely to become the introduction of biodegradable packaging, materials and perhaps even the incorporation of sterilisation technology to facilitate recycling. However, this is likely to be balanced with the potential for spreading disease and the cost of eliminating all bacteria.

7. A new approach to NED and board roles

I believe that new non-executive director and board roles at medical device businesses will have greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion and ESG. Bringing this knowledge, experience and expertise in at the highest level will positively impact your organisation from the top down, allowing you to retain the great talent you have while becoming more appealing to emerging high-performing talent.

Equip your organisation for the future

While we’re still not fully out of the dark and dense woods of the pandemic, the need for innovation is clear. In order to outperform your competitors as they devise and design revolutionary medical device products, technologies and services, your organisation needs high-performing talent at the intersection of science and technology.

I can help you bring exceptional talent into your organisation, including NED and board-level roles. Or, if you’re looking for a NED role yourself, I can also help you with that.

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