Transformation: Bringing Innovation to Indian MedTech Companies
The MedTech industry is currently undergoing unexpected disruption. Care is dispersed and broadening over and above traditional acute care settings in terms of where and how it is delivered. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on MedTech sales and revenue because elective surgeries, precautionary procedures, diagnosis, monitoring, checkups, and rehabilitation have all been canceled or postponed. Requirements for pricing transparency and customized at-home care are rising on a daily basis.
Such quick factors have affected an unfamiliar environment that necessitates faster transformation and a flood of new MedTech disruptors. As a result, traditional MedTech companies must rethink their key business offerings as well as future products and services with a gaze on where and how they will stake their claim.
Transitioning Towards Innovation
To confront the huge shortfall of healthcare services in India, medical technology must be used effectively. The Indian medical technology sector is in its infancy, with very little indigenous manufacturing. Imports continue to play a major for a sizable portion of the current $4.5 Bn medical technology market. However, this does not limit its prospects, as the sector is rapidly expanding.
However, there is a clear difference between how medical devices are used in India and the West. As a result, global medical device companies would need to understand India's healthcare infrastructure, socioeconomic patterns, contextual needs, and existing stereotypes that drive the use of medical devices.
MedTech companies would need to expand their product portfolios to introduce medical devices to meet Indian needs.
Some key steps that businesses must take to prepare their product portfolio for the Indian market are as follows:
- Create guidelines and procedures to expand the reach of your current product portfolio.
- Create business models to make healthcare more affordable for the general public.
- Create methods to bring healthcare to the masses' doorsteps.
- Create new product lines to address contextual stereotypes (the need to re-design devices to suit the requirements of the patient population).
- Improve or repurpose device features so that they can be used in India
Manufacturing and R&D units must be rerouted closer to emerging economies as part of MedTech companies' strategies. This will allow medical device companies to increase manufacturing efficiency, reduce the cost of production, and develop products that help promote local markets. Given the varying conditions, medical devices must be initially designed or revamped for the Indian market in particular, as well as emerging markets in general. Affordability, accessibility, awareness, availability, and versatility are key factors influencing medical device redesign. It is necessary to create an innovation ecosystem that will allow global MedTech companies to conquer obstacles and address clustering issues. They will need a specific plan to differentiate themselves from local competition, overcome infrastructure challenges, and grow in the market through awareness programs and apprenticeship programs.
The Three Innovation Foundations
Speaking with several specialized physicians and surgeons all over therapeutic areas, it is clear that India is not an outlier when it comes to adopting devices with new technologies that global MedTech companies are introducing through various channels, including training and awareness initiatives. To invent, design, and develop new product solutions for India, global MedTech companies will need to conduct some research to feel the inherent pulse of the Indian market. The areas in which companies need innovation to diversify their product portfolios are:
Innovation in Business Model
Adaptability to new business models is pivotal in the healthcare sector, which is driven by innovation. Modifying patient dynamics and demographics (increased internet penetration and growing awareness of ailments) are forcing healthcare providers to reconsider new business strategies to retain track of their patients' profiles across the care path. Medical spending is extremely high in most parts of the world, raising important concerns about the long-term viability of healthcare systems. The solution is to develop innovative and practical business plans. Healthcare managers, health insurers, providers, patients, and governments are all keen on how to provide the most cost-effective healthcare services. In such a case, Financial Affordability Solutions can serve as a critical competitive differentiator.
Innovation in Service Design
This is the fundamental goal of MedTech companies to provide patients with efficient and cost-effective healthcare, and service strategy innovation can help in this respect. In diabetes, the cost of a standard syringe needle with vials and pen needles must be reduced to make them cost-effective for the rural populace. Diabetes care in India has a sizable market for self-diagnosis, self-monitoring of blood glucose, low-cost insulin pumps, and patch pump alternatives. For effective insulin surveillance, patients would require a consistent supply of needles and cartridges. A smart service design that ensures the availability of supplies at a low cost and remotely manages patient biometrics would be a better way to enter the market. Vaccine delivery systems in India require improved cooling technology to reduce non-sterile vaccine waste, as well as improved data management in outreach programs. The design of vaccine vials should warn healthcare workers against using a non-sterile vaccine, and smart data management systems should allow them to track vaccines delivered to the masses in various locations.
Innovation in Product Design
Because MedTech companies are still primarily importing products to India, these products may not always meet the needs of the domestic consumer. The patient profiles in India are very different, necessitating product design innovation. In India, minimally invasive thoracic surgery is still in its initial stages. Presently, cardiovascular surgeons in India receive certified training in thoracic surgeries from the West to treat thoracic cancer with minimally invasive techniques. Nevertheless, a large percentage of surgeons in India believe that invasive techniques and open surgeries are more effective and take less time than video-assisted techniques. Minimally invasive techniques cause more mental fatigue and require more time to ligate vessels. It is also a difficult learning curve because one must adapt to new methodologies using specialized tools. This provides a solid foundation for product innovation and hybrid procedures in the preferred line of treatment in the Indian context.
Product and service innovation has had a significant impact on our lives. However, in healthcare, innovation is critical to survival. This sector's innovation has a direct impact on the well-being of future generations. The challenges and constraints we face today should serve as a foundation for future progress.