3. Changing the healthcare value equation“2019 promises to be an interesting year! While companies will closely watch a new Congress, FDA changes and the impacts of U.S.-China relations and tariffs, we see the medical device industry focused on evolution and redefining economic value in healthcare. In Medical Alley, we see an increased focus on new partnerships among health technology companies (medtech and digital health) and with payers and care providers. As volume becomes value, we believe that these partnerships will set the standard for how value is defined. Health technology companies have been exploring these partnerships and making non-traditional investments and acquisitions over the past couple of years and 2019 will be the year that we start to see this activity pay off and change the way industry approaches innovation and measures value, with a significant impact throughout healthcare.” – Shaye Mandle, president, Medical Alley Association
“In keeping with a trend I outlined last year about device and digital health ecosystems, the IoT networks that will support this continue to gather momentum, especially the LoRaWAN low-cost long range and ultra-low energy alternative to cellular and WiFi now rolled out in many U.S. and E.U. cities and regions with more coming in 2019. Just as medtech leveraged consumer-driven cost and tech improvements of low energy Bluetooth, LoRa’s advance in (the) consumer and industrial world will assist healthcare. Likely to benefit will be devices that exploit the public and private mixed-network capabilities of it, allowing continuity from in-hospital to take-home use with seamless auto handover.
Another area to benefit from the combination of digital health, pharma, AI and behavioral science is managing and diminishing the harm of all kinds of addictive behaviors that impact health. Next year, expect to see good progress from many companies, mostly startups, tackling this, e.g: taking harm-reduction drugs for opioids from Rx and high cost, to OTC and lower cost, as well as advances in digital health solutions for those tricky issues of addictions like smoking cessation and alcohol abuse.” – Bill Evans, user-centered product design strategy consultant in San Francisco