As we near the midway point in 2014, we're continuing to see more evidence of medtech companies revamping their business models, a trend that we mentioned in our Year-in-Preview presentation in February. We've seen more evidence of medtech getting involved along the entire continuum or care, including Boston Scientific's announcement that it has partnered with Optum Labs, United Health's health care research and innovation group, as well as Medtronic and Aetna's March announcement of a strategic partnership. These sorts of alliances represent unprecedented cooperation between payers and medtech, and it all stems from companies increasingly realising that they can't take on the transforming health care landscape on their own. In fact, according to PwC's 17th Annual Global CEO survey, 53% of Pharma and Life Sciences CEOs said that they would enter into a new strategic alliance or joint venture in the next three months (this is compared to about 44% across all industries).
The rapidly spiking interest in home care and remote monitoring under the new health care paradigm is also something that companies are paying close attention to. Medtronic paved the way for the big medtech players after buying CardioCom (a manufacturer of remote monitoring equipment designed for heart failure patients) last year, and recently it was revealed that Covidien has also acquired a company with remote monitoring capabilities. Wearable sensors are also words increasingly coming up on my newsfeed Medtronic just acquired wearable sensor maker Corventis, and Apple has been looking into wearable technologies as well. Even Google's glucose-measuring contact lens falls into this category.
Companies are realising that they can't just sit still according to this PwC report, acquisition activity among medical device companies rose 200% by value and 111% by volume in Q1 2014 compared to Q1 2013 a strong M&A level maintained from the end of last year. Although many of these are acquisitions to strengthen and complement existing product lines, more and more acquisitions are transformative and in response to the new health care landscape. The fact that there even are openings for companies like Apple and Google in medtech is fairly solid proof of transformation on its own.
It should be an exciting finish to 2014 as more medtech companies respond to the changing industry pressures.