Medical Devices

The convergence of information technology with medical devices is transforming the landscape of patient care. Medical devices integrated with mobile applications for monitoring and diagnosis of disease conditions reduces cost of diagnosis. Also, evaluating health measures is no longer restricted to in-clinic visit. Patients can self-monitor their health at their convenience using portable medical devices. In-vitro medical devices have transformed the diagnostics industry by reducing costs and time for tests. Be it diagnostics, surgery, monitoring or treatment, medical devices provide convenience and help increase access to health services. Growth in this industry is typically derived from innovation and focused patient care.

Challenges

Integrating rapidly evolving technologies inexisting products in order to maintain competitive advantage in the market is a constant challenge faced by medical device companies. Hence, a major share of the spending of these companies is directed towards research and development (R&D). According to a survey conducted by Forbes in 2015, around 47% of the medical device manufacturers are planning to spend over 6% of revenue on R&D till 2017. At the same time, increasing cost pressure is posing a challenge for companies to launch new technologies at low costs. Moreover, new regulatory requirements and fierce competition are creating new complexities and challenges for companies operating in this sector. The new Unique Device Identification (UDI) guidelinesintroduced in 2014will aid the stakeholders in saving costs; however also involves implementation cost for the medical device manufacturers.

Home Healthcare Devices to Fuel Market Growth

Increasing self-medication practices is in turn driving demand for home healthcare devices. The launch of glucose monitors, insulin delivery devices, oxygen concentrators and nebulizers have contributed to increased access to healthcare system in developing countries. Driven by an increasing awareness of lifestyle disorders and increasing awareness about new technologies, consumers are likely to adopt more sophisticated devices to self-monitor their health conditions. For consumers, this could mean convenience in time and travel and reduced healthcare costs.For doctors on the other hand it could mean more efficient and effective healthcare, driven by patients who take greater responsibility for their own health. However, app-based devices are facing challenges with respect to the FDA approval.

Growth in Emerging Economies

Although North America dominates the global medical devices market, significant growth is projected to be observed in the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions. Inadequate access to healthcare system would open up large opportunities for medical devices. Rapidly expanding patient pool, rise in healthcare spending, and increasing health awareness in these markets are expected to be supportive factors for companies to invest in these regions. However, the price points need to be low compared to that in western markets. Also, the distribution, manufacturing and business models need to be changed to make a successful foray in these markets. Mergers and acquisitions are projected to continue in these regions in order to help companies strengthen their product portfolios and increase their market reach.

Conclusion

The way healthcare is delivered, accessed and perceived is changing mainly driving by introduction of novel medical devices. As regulatory requirements change and evolve, medical device manufacturers need to understand the implications and accordingly, need to be operationally and technologically equipped. Companies also need to ensure they have the right competencies to keep up with increasing competition and regulations, and assess their impact. Major global players in this market include Johnson & Johnson, General Electric Co., Medtronic Inc., Siemens AG, Baxter International Inc., Stryker Corp., Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co., St. Jude Medical Inc., and Becton, Dickinson and Co.

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