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Trends set by medical technology companies what to expect in 2023

Mar 31, 2023

10 minutes read

The upcoming MedTech trends: what to expect in 2023?

Medical technology companies set the trends for the future development of the healthcare industry. Below we will discuss what trends will define the quality and efficiency of healthcare in 2023.

Discovering the 2023 MedTech trends for improved healthcare

Medical technology companies have seen a drastic change in how healthcare is delivered to patients thanks to the advancements in healthcare software engineering. It is especially evident in medical devices, where the emergence of the IoT and mobile-connected devices have become significant game-changers. The 2022 tech crash has also corrected the market, sharpening the need for cost optimization. Studies estimate that the US health expenditure could increase by 7.1% in the next five years, which is 2.4% more than the expected growth of the US economy in the same timeframe. Having to deal with a larger aging population may appear to be a daunting prospect. Nonetheless, a new era of healthcare is emerging where physicians adopt technology and innovation to find solutions for complex challenges.

Forecasting the future is a thankless endeavor, especially in such turbulent times. However, specific trends in the healthcare industry will have profound implications for the domain of MedTech services in the upcoming years. Below we will discuss some of the foreseeable and surprising MedTech industry trends and risks that will affect healthcare practices in 2023 and beyond.

Turbulence ahead: risk factors for medical technology companies in 2023

Healthcare is becoming more and more expensive by the year, and with the alarming inflation rates and worsening public health conditions, it is clear that the cost of care will continue to grow. The high cost of care and the difficulty of employers, consumers, and the government to fund it will lead to a significant transformation in the industry. It is estimated that by 2027, US healthcare costs could surpass the pre-pandemic projections of $5.8 trillion by an additional $590 billion, with $370 billion of this difference attributed to inflation. 

This inflation gets even worse, mainly due to the shortage of clinical staff. Based on McKinsey’s findings, there will be a need for 200,000 registered nurses and over 50,000 physicians in the next three years. This shortage is expected to continue to drive up healthcare costs but also create access issues, particularly for those already facing health inequities. It has several implications for the healthcare industry as a whole and medical device technology companies in particular:

  • Transformation in the delivery of healthcare services. The way healthcare is delivered in developed countries is changing rapidly. It is becoming more patient-focused and accessible virtually, in an ambulatory setting, and even at home. Additionally, it is transitioning to a value-based, risk-bearing model powered by data and analytics and driven by the trends in MedTech. This shift can save $420 to $550 billion each year. The value-based and risk-bearing model allows for more efficient care that delivers the needed results faster and generates better patient outcomes.
  • Clinical efficiency. There has been a recent decrease in labor productivity in the US healthcare industry. From 2001 to 2016, while healthcare contributed 9% of US economic growth, it also accounted for 29% of job growth. The fact that the healthcare sector generates jobs is good, but the increase in the efficiency of clinics leaves more to be desired. Focusing on MedTech services and technology-powered care may decrease the discrepancy between job growth and efficiency. Clinics can improve their performance by making employees more efficient by adopting new tech.
  • Technological transformation. The application of new technologies in healthcare has been slower to take off than in other industries due to consumer hesitancy, reluctance from highly trained clinicians, existing stakeholder interests, complex regulations, and the fragmented nature of the market. However, progress may be made much faster when conditions are in place. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telehealth applications increased significantly. Patients started to prefer home care over office visits. Times of crisis push people to adopt new technology and implement alternative strategies for delivering care. This trend for the adoption of new tech may continue beyond the pandemic.
  • Administrative simplification. Approximately 25 percent of US national health expenditure is spent on administrative costs. Again, that can change through the use of advanced technologies. Automated staffing and scheduling may help eliminate manual work for nursing managers. Processing bills and payments can also be simplified and automated using fintech solutions in healthcare. Automation can save billions of dollars for the healthcare industry and generate more value for the clinical staff and the patients.

All the implications discussed above will require adaptability and flexibility from medical technology companies and clinics across the globe. As the healthcare industry recovers from the pandemic, the rules will change. The new MedTech trends will continue to disrupt the healthcare industry in the upcoming years.

Finding balance for telemedicine practice

The pandemic outbreak caused telemedicine applications to become more prominent, with consultations mostly done through virtual platforms. It was beneficial for healthcare professionals in terms of safety. However, it hindered healthcare delivery as not all conditions can be identified via video or phone calls. As time progresses, physicians have realized that many patients need help sticking to their appointments or become annoyed with remote diagnostics. Consequently, 2023 will bring about a shift in this trend toward a hybrid model. The primary concern will be finding a balance between convenience and the need for face-to-face appointments. It is hard to predict precisely how exactly the balance will shift, but it is already happening.

Tightening standards and regulations

Since February 2020, the FDA has granted over 250 emergency use authorizations, and the EU has decided to postpone the implementation of its Medical Device Regulation due to COVID-19. HIPAA has also loosened its requirements for clinics across the US, but it is now returning in full force. As a result, we see the regulatory environment in the MedTech sector, as regulators have allowed a more relaxed approach to the compliances they typically enforce to help get new devices to market to aid in the battle against the virus fast. As the pandemic subsides, the rate of emergency authorizations will reduce. Still, the precedent has been set for greater future collaboration and partnership between medical technology companies and regulators.

Broader adoption of IoT

The network of connected internet-supported devices (Internet of Things) that collect and transfer vast amounts of data via a wireless network can be applied in a clinical environment. The adoption of IoT is one of the MedTech trends aimed at enhancing patient outcomes, reducing costs, and improving the efficiency of care. Most significantly, IoT-enabled gadgets are currently at the forefront of preventive care. Wearable devices constantly collect vital patient data and transfer it to physicians. These devices can respond to red flags such as rising blood pressure or alarming heart rate and report that to the physicians for preventive care. 

For medical device technology companies, this expansion of connected networks also provides a chance to supply a value-based service. The patients can receive better care as their vitals are constantly monitored. So, if any alarming tendencies in the patient’s condition occur, the doctors can respond accordingly, issue an appointment, or deliver emergency care.

Hospital-to-home care

The use of remote monitoring devices and MedTech services will grow, allowing patients to care for their health without having to come in for regular check-ups. Clinical-grade monitoring equipment can make care more efficient, providing treatment to those in need only when necessary. Remote care will be more widely used, allowing hospital staff to support patients’ health needs in their homes, not requiring a hospital visit. It will help those awaiting surgery stay comfortable while waiting for their treatments. Alternatively, this will allow patients to recover from surgeries in the comfort of their homes, freeing hospital beds and receiving care remotely.

The growth of self-care

As the demand for the healthcare system becomes more pressing, it is reasonable to anticipate a heightened utilization of MedTech services that empower people to take a more proactive stance on their care. The IoT-powered devices for remote patient monitoring offer much more accessible options for self-care, such as portable equipment or wearable devices that allow patients to monitor and act upon their conditions remotely. This kind of monitoring reduces the need for regular appointments, allowing medical services to assess patients from a distance and offer assistance only when the technology indicates the necessity of intervention. It takes us back to the problem of clinical efficiency, which can be solved by reducing the load on the nurses. 

Acceleration of innovation

The pandemic has necessitated a quick and smooth transition to MedTech, backed by healthcare professionals who understand that only technology can bridge the gap between increased medical demand and limited funds. The hesitance of healthcare practitioners to implement new procedures and standards of care is understandable, as changes must show to bring about better clinical outcomes before they can be put into practice. The verification of efficiency can be difficult and time-consuming. For instance, pharmaceutical treatment risks long-term and unpredictable side effects, which is why new drugs undergo lengthy and costly testing. Many healthcare practitioners prefer to stick to the old and tried methods if they feel that adopting the new ones is not worth the risk. However, as the MedTech technology companies evolve ever-increasingly, treatments that offer tangible benefits to patients can be developed faster. 

Strengthening the supply chains

A robust supply chain in healthcare is vital for ensuring high-quality patient care, maximizing operational efficiency, and reducing costs. It enables healthcare providers to optimize their inventory management, cut costs associated with product delivery, and provide timely access to products and services. Additionally, a robust supply chain helps ensure patient safety by giving the proper handling of medications and medical devices, as well as preventing counterfeiting. Finally, a robust supply chain enables healthcare providers to manage costs better and ensure the availability of quality products while mitigating the risk of supply chain disruptions.

Final thoughts: new opportunities on the horizon

As MedTech advances into 2023 and beyond, there will be threats and opportunities for medical device technology companies and clinics. High-quality healthcare solutions can demonstrate their capacity to improve care while reducing costs. Their implementation, in turn, will open up more chances to deliver value to patients and break away from the current standard of care for both remote and clinical treatment. Meanwhile, the industry must keep in mind the rising challenges. The MedTech trends of the past years show that the emphasis on cost optimization and increasing care efficiency is the industry’s most daunting task. However, if the clinics adopt the new technologies and treatment practices, the sector can unfold its potential for improved efficiency and quality of care.

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