Digitalization in MedTech industry: The end of silo politics is near

In many areas, the medical technology industry still continues to use conventional strategies to achieve growth in important therapeutic areas.

“However, as the shift in power from providers and payers to patients and consumers continues, this business-as-usual approach will not work anymore.

To succeed in digital future, medical technology companies will be judged not only on the safety and efficiency of their devices, but also on their ability to capture and use insights from these products to improve patient care.

Simply supplying a medical device without offering an open data architecture for data evaluation, data storage and data transfer to third-party systems will no longer be enough to survive in this market in the future. Thus, the end of “silo policy” is approaching.

Large consumer-driven companies such as Amazon, Alphabet, Apple, IBM, Microsoft and Samsung are investing massively in digital innovations in the field of medical technology and medical technology services. What all companies have in common is their approach of offering technologies and services that have an open data architecture. It is time for traditional medical technology companies to realize that the clinical information recorded in networked medical devices is more important than the device itself and that a “silo policy”, where data is only passed on within a data structure that is strictly specified for the customer, has come to an end.

The topic of AI (Artificial Intellegence) and the collection of data in the cloud will certainly play a major role in this. Technology drivers, such as Medtronic, have long recognized this trend and have formed alliances with the major digitization drivers. For example, the recorded patient data from medical devices and wearables is distributed into various channels via intelligent links to software and hardware tools from Apple, Google & Co. However, it is also evident here that there is not only an alliance to a technology group, but that the data transfer is kept open for alliances with all providers.

It will be interesting to see which companies will ally themselves with the Big Five Techcompanies in the future. In the end, the market will be driven by customer needs. This fact has now slowly manifested in the healthcare system in Germany.

©, author: Frank Bergs