Three Trends in a Growing & Evolving Medical Device Market
In our previous blog, we discussed embracing digital technology to succeed in medical device manufacturing. Our second blog of this series will cover three trends in a growing and evolving medical device market.
In 2020, skyrocketing demand for products like personal protective equipment (PPE) and many other sectors of the medical equipment market demonstrated that manufacturers need to be able to pivot and scale to meet rapidly changing demand and to mitigate uncertain supply. The recent past has also seen new competitors enter the market due to emergency legislation.
Shift to U.S. manufacturing
Many manufacturers have transitioned production onshore to the U.S. with customers looking to switch to domestic suppliers. This is in part due to wanting more control over supply after lead times lengthened during COVID due to disruption in the supply chain. A regulatory reason also exists for some of this change with product launches moving from the European Union (EU) to the U.S. The new EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR) going into effect soon has been interpreted by many manufacturers as more stringent than the FDA’s current regulatory standards, resulting in the U.S. being seen as a better market for initial product launches.
Manufacturing as a whole is growing, as well. In fact, "American manufacturers grew in February (2021) at the fastest pace since the onset of the pandemic and business leaders are increasingly optimistic about the economy."
Growing demand for remote and non-essential devices
Not only is the manufacturing side of the business changing, with a post-pandemic surge in elective procedures, nonessential device manufacturing will need to be prioritized to keep pace with device demand.
Another growing area of the market is remote medical devices, which can provide data remotely, no in-person patient visit required. Examples of these types of devices include smart medical alert systems, remote blood glucose monitors, and maternity care platforms. These innovations are enabling smart connections between technology, people and data that support patient-centered healthcare.
Design innovation and process automation
As medical devices have become more intricate, manufacturing has also increased in complexity. To stay competitive, companies are looking to streamline manufacturing, sometimes via robotics and automated solutions, and identify more cost-effective materials. All of this needs to happen while continuing to focus on quality and traceability.
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