Are we entering a new era of health care Although the population continues to age and drive demand for medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and other health care products, the massive US and European markets are stagnating and becoming increasingly difficult for companies to operate in. Obamacare has struck fear into the hearts of device manufacturers particularly that pesky medical device excise tax while Europe is introducing stricter medtech approval processes (although to the relief of manufacturers, they shied away from introducing a PMA-like process). Although the BRIC markets are continuing to grow, they are nonetheless growing more slowly than originally predicted.

Earlier this year, we discussed how companies need to change their approach to innovation in response to these changes, specifically innovating to encapsulate things like health economics and demand for simpler devices in higher-growth but less developed geographies. An interesting blogpost here discusses how patients are increasingly going to shop for hospitals, and medical device companies can drive success by helping hospitals say and prove that the communities that they operate in are healthier. This circles back to the larger overall discussion on how companies need to consider more than just the one specific disease that their devices treat they have to focus on the overall, long-term health of patients, including preventive care.

Or do they While Medtronic's CEO Omar Ishrak has expressed that he wants Medtronic to be viewed as a medical technology solutions firm instead of a medical device company, St. Jude Medical's CEO Daniel Starks has recently stated St. Jude will continue to consider themselves as a medical device company, with a continued focus on disruptive innovation.

It will be interesting to see how other companies respond to the changing global health care environment through 2014, or if they think they need to do anything differently at all. 3-D printing was also something that seemed more in the spotlight this year maybe this will start to impact companies in the next few years as well.

In any event, this is something we can ponder after the holidays. That's it for the MRG blog in 2013 see you in January!

Pivoting a product launch during the pandemic

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