Challenges facing the MedTech industry

The MedTech industry has made great strides in innovation with regular breakthrough developments from 3D printed organs and limbs, to VR surgery! The potential offered by telemedicine technology is well positioned to take the healthcare industry into an entirely revolutionised era of administration and care.

However, while the pandemic may have accelerated the need for the MedTech industry to rise to the occasion and find remote solutions for healthcare, that pandemic has also created a series of challenges that MedTech will feel for years to come.

MedTech industry challenges faced in 2021

In a survey of 42 MedTech organisations in 2020, Deloitte identified that there were some pressing concerns MedTech leaders were facing:

  • 88% of respondents rated advances in technology as a top challenge.
  • 63% stated that policy and regulatory activity, and changes in consumer attitudes, behaviours, and spending were a concern.
  • 50% of the executives rated transformation of functions using digital and information technologies, cyber readiness, and economic issues as their highest priorities.
  • 69% said cyber readiness will be their highest priority in the next five years—signalling the need to balance digital transformation opportunities with risk preparedness.
  • 56% also flagged transformation of functions using digital and information technologies.

Industry trends for 2021 will depend partly on global conditions such as vaccine rollouts and supply chain stability, but also on how the MedTech leaders navigate challenges and other threats to the Medical Tech industry such as:

Regulatory compliance & government support
Leading manufacturers in the MedTech industry must ensure their products adhere to local safety standards and regulatory compliance, and these can differ from country to country. In addition to this challenge, MedTech innovation works best when it has sustained support from the government in the form of subsidised research and product development, expediting approvals and financial support. Although it is in many governments’ interests to maintain this relationship, this could prove to be challenging for MedTech organisations trying to draw focus away from pandemic solutions.

Privacy & security
Advancements in technology and the growth of information sharing through medical devices are reshaping the landscape of healthcare. Though with increased digitalisation and transmission of patient data, MedTech companies will need to mitigate the new cybersecurity risks and GDPR concerns that come with it. Though this has a double edge to it as it balances privacy requirements against functionality as the rise in innovation must always comply with existing healthcare infrastructure and facilitate data sharing between various systems and solutions.

Product quality
To survive the competitive nature of the still volatile economic markets, MedTech companies must ensure they produce high-quality products that are safe and secure to avoid product recalls. If they create a faulty product this will negatively impact their brand’s reputation and there is no room for error in the sector at this time.

Another major challenge for the MedTech industry is to overcome the rapidly increasing cost of developing new products, as a result of the challenges mentioned above.