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October 04, 2018
Here’s why MedTech companies should join the healthcare digital platform race
By: Florian Schulz

Medical technology, one of the fastest growing sectors globally face a host of challenges and disruptive trends. Outcome-based reimbursement is on the rise, healthcare is being consumerized with the introduction of lifestyle products and wearable devices, and pricing pressures are increasing with group purchasing organizations able to negotiate significant discounts for bulk purchasing.

At the same time, we’re seeing the healthcare ecosystem joining forces with digital services companies, startups partnering with established players to deliver better patient outcomes and some MedTech companies choosing to shift from selling products to providing services. In addition, and as potential disruptive moves, the big technology innovators put tremendous focus on revolutionizing parts of the healthcare segment.

Other industries have responded to these types of challenges by developing digitally-enabled business models and online channels that provide consumers with convenience and choice. In healthcare, incumbents have been slower to respond to the upheaval and generally reluctant to build similar kinds of disruptive digital service models.

But all that’s about to change. It’s only a matter of time before the digital disruptors move really big into healthcare. So, it’s imperative that medical technology companies move quickly to adopt digital platforms and new thinking—including collaboration, investing in the healthcare ecosystem and staying ahead of the technology curve.

How will digital platforms benefit the medical technology ecosystem?
Because stakeholders in the medical technology ecosystem are used to being connected as consumers to platforms like the Apple App Store, the Android Play Store and Amazon Prime, they expect a medical technology platform to provide the same convenient, high-value, seamless experience.

And what is the value for medical technology companies?
For the medical technology company that develops a digital healthcare platform, there are some significant benefits:

  • Enhance the company’s existing portfolio of services or enable the company to create an entirely new portfolio.
  • Improve care quality, while lowering the cost. A digital platform offers unique potential for patient data aggregation and the application of advanced analytics can be used to anticipate prevention and adjust therapy for better quality of care.
  • Enhance the patient experience by improving communication between all the stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem—healthcare providers, nurses, families and patients.
  • Expand the company’s footprint and improve its brand image through a greater number of contact points, increased brand awareness and an enhanced portfolio.
  • Build partnerships and collaborations with other companies and stakeholders in the ecosystem.
  • Collect and host data from devices and users to create value through advanced analytics, AI and cognitive computing, and blockchain. Security and trust are of critical importance.

The race is on to build the first successful healthcare platform
For MedTech companies that recognize the value in creating a platform, I recommend getting started by developing powerful partnerships within the healthcare ecosystem. As digital technologies like cloud, analytics, mobility and security become ever more important elements of a platform service, no single company will be able to master all the necessary strategies and skills. Open, global partnerships will be key, and for those who succeed, it’ll be a game changer.

Read our full point of view and learn also which steps the MedTech companies need to take to build a successful healthcare platform.

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