Deloitte sees a future with more partnerships between health and consumer tech

Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics have the potential to improve prevention, diagnosis, healthy habits and measurable outcomes, resulting in “dramatic change” to traditional medical technology business models, a new Deloitte study shows.

WHY IT MATTERS

Medical technology companies that have traditionally focused on developing hardware such as surgical and diagnostic equipment, infusion pumps and other medical devices are shifting their focus toward software, data collection and advanced analytics, according to the new Deloitte Center for Health Solutions report.

It suggests that more and more healthcare technology organizations will be partnering with consumer technology companies in the years ahead.

Traditional hardware vendors working more closely with, for example, developers of wearable devices for fitness and wellness tracking, will position them for a future of fast-evolving information technology.

The Deloitte study conducted a crowdsourcing simulation involving healthcare experts from several fields, including health systems, digital health start-ups and research institutions.

Artificial intelligence, robotics and nanotechnology were the top technologies cited by the company’s research, while the top three service areas cited were remote patient monitoring, data storage and integration and improving clinical efficiency.

In the near term, more sophisticated, data-driven services like data collection and advanced data analysis, as well as software development will start to replace the traditional medtech focus on hardware like surgical equipment, pacemakers, joint replacements and others, researchers said,

In fact, the report indicated data collected from their hardware could be more valuable than the hardware itself, at least as these capabilities evolve even more radically in the future.

In order to address changing healthcare provider needs, medtech companies also need to focus on developing, acquiring or partnering to access sophisticated data analytics capabilities, which could help them optimize surgical performance and improve patient outcomes.

THE LARGER TREND

In December 2018 a joint survey of 22 medtech companies conducted by AdvaMed and Deloitte found the vast majority of respondents (95%) said they feel increasingly complex global regulatory requirements are a top challenge for R&D over the next three to five years.

Meanwhile, digital technology is opening opportunities as well as creating challenges: All of the companies surveyed reported investing in device connectivity, but more than three-quarters (77 percent) reported that integration of data from new technologies is a key challenge.

ON THE RECORD

“To stay relevant in the future of health and be in a position to embrace new care models, medtech companies should consider partnering much more closely with consumer technology companies so they can continue innovating across the complete patient journey and clinician experience,” said Pedro Arboleda, managing director, Deloitte Consulting, in a statement.

“The pace of innovation in healthcare is unprecedented, so medtech companies should think about what role they want to play in the future ecosystem, whether it’s a data and platform provider, a well-being and care delivery organization, a care enabler, or elements of all three,” added Glenn Snyder, principal and medtech leader of Deloitte Consulting, said in a statement. “Knowing where a partner may help fill any short- or long-term gaps can only position them for greater success.”

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @dropdeaded209
Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

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