What is the future of medtech in 2018?


Medtech convergence and data

Philips’s Azurion is a next-generation image-guided therapy platform. [Courtesy of Philips]

“Three different worlds are converging. There are new medical opportunities in digital, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals coming together.” —Jordi Parramon director, Medical Devices Verily- Google Life Sciences

“[There is going to be a] shift from “big” data to “meaningful” data:  Data collection and analytics will shift towards a more “surgical” approach as payors/providers realize that just having data is not necessarily a good ROI. [We will also see] more focus on tech-enabled value-based care instead of “digital health”:  How do we use technology to truly deliver value instead of extracting cash/users from direct to consumer non-evidence backed consumer-oriented approaches.  A return of focus of the provider to the tech-enabled care conversation. Finally, we will see increased interest in assessing provider technical proficiencies:  One of the most important levers of patient outcomes is barely assessed currently.  Once payors and institutions realize what a tremendous impact controlling for technical skills will have this will become a major area of investment.” —Justin Barad, MD, founder, Osso VR

“Five to six years ago, big data was all the rage. Analytics would save us money, cure disease and personalize medicine. Hype hasn’t met reality yet, but that is normal. These things take time. I believe 2018 is the year that digital health and medical devices converge to create a new health tech sector. Medical device’s ability to deliver therapy and digital health’s ability to separate signal from noise will mean more patients get the right therapy at the right time, first time. [Minnesota’s] Medical Alley companies like Medibio, with their ability to more accurately diagnosis mental health conditions and monitor treatment for effectiveness, or Global Kinetics, and its Parkinson’s disease monitoring tool that can improve patient dosing, are paving the way to a world where digital health and medical devices are not separate sectors but complementary technologies that lower cost, improve quality and make the patient experience so much better.” –Frank Jaskulke, VP of member services, The Medical Alley Association

“There is an ongoing revolution in the data processing and biometric sensor space, resulting in a large number of wearable products in development. On one hand, there are traditional medical device companies such as Medtronic, Stryker, Abbott and others who have created diagnostic and therapeutic products requiring high levels of accuracy and efficacy, with commensurate trials to prove safety and efficacy to physicians, as well as regulatory agencies such as the FDA.  On the other hand, there are traditional technology companies such as Apple, Google, Jawbone and others that have developed wearable fitness trackers and other devices that have generally not required the same level of accuracy and efficacy standards, nor regulatory approvals. For example, traditional fitness trackers are said to record heart rate, but their accuracy is not clinically established and not intended for medical use. AliveCor’s KardiaBand EKG reader is said to be the first FDA-approved medical device accessory for a consumer smartwatch (the Apple Watch) to still be sufficiently sensitive enough to take medical-grade EKGs to detect arrhythmias. Both traditional medical device companies and traditional tech companies have built large patent portfolios, and likely will continue to grow rapidly. With this convergence, we are likely to see significant patent litigation battles between entities that did not in the past likely consider themselves to be competitors, such as a traditional tech company and a medical device company.” —Bryan Wahl, partner at Knobbe Martens


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ECO-SYSTEM TRACK: focuses on issues impacting medtech companies across Minnesota and beyond. TECHNOLOGY TRACK: drills down on the hottest new tech that is changing medtech. REGULATORY 201 and CLINCAL 201 TRACKS: Hosted by Medical Alley and focuses on the most important trends in regulatory and clinical development.

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  1. Alok Sharma says:

    In the year 2018, device industry must cohesively work more with Pharma companies to add value to the life of the patients. The disease and the disease patterns are changing & so the long term outcomes. Doctors / practitioners/ Companies & regulatory authorities must look at the side effects of post implantation of a device and prescribe medications so that long term outcomes of the patients are better with low side effects. Not all patients globally have an insurance Cover. Adipose tissue derived autologous Stem Cells treatment must get speedy approvals from regulatory authorities.

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