The medical device industry has been seeing an annual growth rate of 4.6%, estimated to reach $343 Bn by 2021. Informed customers, a growing focus on wellness, new technologies, increasing cost of healthcare, and an ageing population have played significant roles in this growth. Fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently increased healthcare spending, the market is now on track to grow even faster and outgrow all previous expectations. A rapid inflow of competition attracted by this growing industry has been changing the way traditional medical device companies operate, forcing them to be on the lookout for areas of continuous improvement. They are always trying to find ways of using existing data to gain actionable insights that can help them transform their processes and achieve better efficiency.
Like every other industry, medical device players generate heaps of data during their day-to-day operations. Cleansing, analyzing, and taking remedial actions based on this data can have massive implications for the company’s top line. Companies are thus looking for tools or software that can do the hard work and present them with accessible and visual formats, from otherwise unusable data. People from all departments and across hierarchical levels can access these Business Intelligence tools to generate reports, and identify threats or opportunities much before they actually arrive. In the following section, I will try to address a few ways medical device manufacturers can use their data:
New Product Development/Innovation and Regulation: Data collected through sensors, built into wearables and implanted devices can provide novel insights about their usage, safety, performance, etc. This data can then be used to improve the existing design and inform the product roadmap. Sensors are increasingly being used in clinical trials giving device manufacturers and regulators access to critical data that holds the key to faster and less erroneous approvals.
Commercialization (Increased Sales): Real-time sales data from on-ground salespeople across the globe can be used to understand consumer behaviour, product life-cycle, product adoption trends and help avoid possible commoditization of products. Relevant reports and data can also help the marketing team in devising new product adoption and launch strategies. Arming your sales force with BI can help them understand threats and opportunities in time and prepare accordingly, to avoid an impact to the bottom line.
Inventory Management: A distributor or manufacturer, equipped with BI, can promptly identify important operational ratios and pointers like slow-moving stock, inventory turnover, gross margin, etc. by a product in a particular location. A BI solution can help companies with identifying and responding to possible markers of a slow sales cycle or market downturn. Above all, BI can help companies accurately forecast future demand for products, and save cost by removing wastage through a possible understock or overstock.
Post Purchase Support/Insights: Increasing patient awareness means customers who make informed buying decisions and love to stay in control, or at least stay informed about their health. Devices that let them monitor their health, using data and BI visualization give them confidence. Medical device companies are shifting their focus from just manufacturing devices to creating a lasting relationship with their consumers. The use of intelligent chatbots in addressing customer queries and providing them data driven personalized support can also go a long way in building such long-standing relationships.
Let us consider Medtronic’s VitalSync as an example. VitalSync is a patient monitoring platform that collects data from ventilators, pulse oximeters, sedation level monitors, cerebral oximeters and other hospital equipment. It then crunches and integrates all the collected data and finally shares the information to the EHR. This information is then accessed through web pages on the hospital network, nurses’ station, on smartphones, tablets or other devices.
There is a reason why people call data the currency of today’s digital economy and organizations need to adopt ways to make use of their data in gaining useful business insights to stay ahead of the competition.. But the complication of understanding and gaining insights from this data and implementing these BI tools within the existing legacy systems can make it challenging for companies to shift to a data-driven approach.
We, at ValueLabs, have all those bases covered. Our experience in this field can help organizations navigate seamlessly throughout their journey from data to insights. Through the application of business intelligence algorithms, advanced analytics, data science, and data warehousing we have delivered actionable insights for our clients’ businesses helping them stay ahead of their competition at every point in time.