Partnerships with consumer-tech firms could help medtech companies innovate and stay relevant as healthcare turns increasingly to prevention and wellness, according to a new report from Deloitte.
Executives at medtech companies may be leery of Apple and other consumer-technology companies, especially as the latter tout ever-more-sophisticated healthcare applications. But as healthcare evolves, those potential competitors may turn out to be good partners, according to a new report by accounting and consulting firm Deloitte.
Partnerships with consumer-tech firms could help medtech companies innovate and stay relevant as healthcare turns increasingly to prevention and wellness, according to the report. Titled “Winning in the medtech future,” the report was based on input from 38 experts representing medtech companies, technology companies, health plans, health systems and researchers, as well as subject-matter experts from Deloitte.
The report defined medtech companies largely as firms engaged in developing medical devices, such as surgical equipment, joint replacements and diagnostic equipment. In other words, they make the hardware of healthcare.
But hardware is not what will distinguish them in the future, according to the report.
“In many ways, data collected from the hardware will be more valuable than the hardware itself,” the report said. “And 20 years from now, we expect that most of this medical hardware will be commoditized. What can set medtech companies apart from each other will be their ability to harness data gathered by their devices and use it to improve well-being, anticipate health issues, and help patients change the day-to-day behaviors that affect their health.”
For example, the report said, a company that makes artificial joints could work to develop sensors that detect the early stages of joint degeneration, implant the sensors in a wearable device and use them to head off the need for joint replacement in the first place.
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