The Medtech Conference 2022 – Top 5 issues for new product innovation
By Rob Morgan, VP Medical
Every year Sagentia Innovation participates in The Medtech Conference, Boston, and Rob Morgan, VP Medical, would like to share 5 key innovation issues in developing new medtech products and services that were being discussed at the convention this week.
Patients matter. The stories told by patients at this week’s conference underlined why we can never lose sight of the needs and experiences of patients. Post-pandemic, patient expectations have changed and advances in digital technology are enabling new opportunities for patient solutions. However, this does introduce a multitude of new challenges to overcome.
R&D bandwidth limitations. In-house R&D teams continue to be deployed on projects relating to the MDR transition and on sustaining engineering to deal with supply chain problems. These issues will persist and medtech companies need to look at how they will resource the technology and product developments that are needed to drive future business growth.
Environmental and social responsibility. Sustainability considerations are moving up the priority order and the largest medtech companies are establishing specialist teams and processes to deliver on their high-level ESG commitments. Health equity is also a shared responsibility and should be considered when conceiving, and developing, new products to ensure medtech innovations have been designed for all patients, regardless of their health literacy and access to healthcare. Practical measures we can take, as individuals in R&D, include considering the selection of participants in human factors studies to test product concepts and the selection of sites in clinical trials.
Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and digital technologies continue to influence the innovations coming to the market. Regulators are trying to keep pace with these rapidly changing technologies and medtechs must stay abreast of the latest guidance from regulators and interpret it. For connected and digital solutions designed to provide healthcare workflow improvements, payers and healthcare providers will look for real-world data. The implications of regulation changes and post-market data requirements need to be factored into new product developments.
New care settings provide a market for new innovations. Surgical and interventional procedures continue to move to outpatient settings, and the hospital-to-home initiatives of the pandemic illustrate the opportunities for providing care in the community, and in the home. Goals include the reablement of patients with chronic health conditions and better care for our aging populations with so-called ‘agetech’. But we must empathise with these patients to get these solutions right. Some elderly patients value human contact more than the efficiencies of telemedicine, and designers must understand the complex needs of patients and their caregivers when developing solutions for these new care settings.
We are privileged to work in an industry committed to advancing the lives of patients and as always, it was a pleasure to meet so many like-minded businesses and individuals this week who are driven by this goal. If you’d like to talk about any of these issues with Rob Morgan, please contact [email protected]