Moving from products to solutions: A key transformation in medical technology

The medical technology industry is undergoing a major transformation. Once dominated by hardware-based category leadership, the sector is evolving toward a focus on digital products.

Emblematic of this shift, artificial intelligence (AI) in the healthcare market is expected to expand at a CAGR of over 30% by 2030.

driving force of change

There are three main drivers driving this change: margin pressures, competition, and evolving patient demands.

The challenge of meeting shareholder expectations as profit margins stagnate or decline increases the need for innovation. Although the industry has seen impressive advances in hardware, the untapped potential of software, especially his AI algorithms, is still vast. With software boasting average profit margins of over 60%, moving to digital solutions offers unprecedented profit potential.

Meanwhile, competition in the medical technology field is intensifying. HealthXL’s 2022 research shows that tech giants like Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple are making significant investments. Amazon’s $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical last year exemplifies this trend, marking a deep dive into patient-centric healthcare that integrates in-person and virtual care to meet growing patient demand. ing.

Comprehensive support for patients with data and digital

The evolution from simply providing the best equipment to improving the experience for both patients and clinicians requires integrated solutions that go beyond just hardware to address patient needs holistically. For example, virtual assistant Eric, a joint pilot project between Gemelli Hospital and Olympus, supports patients before and after a colonoscopy.

For Mike Ryan, global head of digital engineering for Olympus’ digital health business, hardware connectivity is key.

“Connectivity and flexibility are paramount in the digital space, unlike the siled solutions often found in the world of medical technology hardware. Powerful connectivity with well-defined APIs and top-notch software development kits must take advantage of emerging technologies such as AI,” Ryan said.

Connected digital solutions simplify clinical staff routines and free up capabilities to improve patient care, with real-time assistance such as Olympus’ Endoeye-3D, which provides automated polyp detection and navigation support in laparoscopic surgery. to clinicians.

Smart data usage has the potential to revolutionize entire healthcare systems, including accurately identifying high-risk colorectal cancer patients so they can be prioritized for endoscopy. Combined with efficient scheduling, it optimizes resource allocation to the resources that need it most.

The future: rapid innovation

Improving healthcare delivery requires rapid development, deployment, and integration cycles.

Benjamin Wilhelm, global head of partnerships at Olympus Digital Health, believes there is an opportunity to accelerate the implementation of digital health.

“Companies across industries are collaborating to connect the dots along the entire care pathway. Partnerships between medical technology companies and digital disruptors are defining the next competitive frontier and providing digital access to patients. It will be a speedboat delivering solutions,” commented Wilhelm.

Connecting with users and healthcare organizations throughout the development process is key to meeting rapidly changing needs.

Jacob Garrow, Global Head of Products at Olympus Digital Health, emphasized the importance of connecting with customers.

“Successful development of digital solutions requires rapid iteration by results-driven teams and maintaining regular contact with customers to receive and implement feedback,” explains Garrow. Did.

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