It’s actually possible for medical device companies to run into trouble in opposite ways, according to Huzefa Neemuchwala, VP of North America education solutions at Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices.
On one side, worries about Google or Amazon eating their lunch cause medtech companies to rush into digital enhancements without appreciating the significant supply chain reworks and marketing and sales shifts involved, Neemuchwala explained during a panel at the Medtech Conference in downtown Minneapolis today. On the other side, it’s dangerous to sit back and relax because digital tools have made it easier for startups and entrepreneurs to jump into the space.
“I’ve seen mistakes happen on both sides,” Neemuchwala said.
Neemuchwala thinks the key is to focus on the patient and how the data can increase value, saving on healthcare costs and improving the effectiveness of treatment. “The way healthcare costs are going in this country — it’s got to foster innovation.”
Michael Harsh, a former GE Healthcare CTO who has been in the medical device industry since the late 1970s, thinks companies shouldn’t rule out using digitization for any product.
“You have more computational power in your pocket than we had in a CT scanner in the early 1980s,” Harsh said. “I wouldn’t rule out digitization at any level, across any devices or business models. It’s about reaffirming your beliefs.”