Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the spread of the virus has inevitably led to unforeseen growth in costs. People are spending more on healthcare although many have been laid off or are on technical leave. The lockdown is compelling MedTech leaders to respond and come up with solutions to mitigate critical business concerns related to the health crisis.
The booming demand for medical supplies, medicine, and urgent care equipment is outpacing production capacity. Healthcare providers can no longer cope with the demand, meaning that an action plan is greatly needed to help companies support both customers and employees.
A global shift in providing healthcare
Healthcare providers across all sectors are working towards expanding their capacity to provide care. To do that successfully, many will have to change their protocols and procedures, and shift toward being able to care for both COVID and non-COVID patients. Given the nature of the pandemic, administrators have been compelled to cease certain types of surgeries; thus lowering the acute demand for products like aesthetics, orthopedics, and general surgery equipment.
The pandemic has put the MedTech industry into the spotlight with unprecedented demand for protective equipment, diagnostic tests, ventilators, masks, gloves, and additional medical supplies. Leaving aside the extraordinary measures that have been taken to speed manufacturing capabilities and capacities, MedTech leaders are taking into account creating new solutions to supplement capacity, like partnering with organizations and companies out of their sector.
Resilience and crisis response
Covid-19 has had a major impact on MedTech crisis teams who are responsible for keeping workers safe, guaranteeing business continuity, and coping with rapid changes across the entire ecosystem. At this point, we’re looking at a shift in the business needs of the healthcare community. Remote care and telemedicine have made more progress in the past 2 months than they made in years.
An immediate crisis response from MedTech companies is fundamental because it will ensure that measures are being taken to stop the spread of the virus. To cope with such unprecedented scenarios, health organizations should consider stress-testing operational models under different situations to identify both risk and opportunity. This way, major initiatives in MedTech will have better chances of seeing the light of day. Although every tech company is testing its technology and developing use cases, action may be required in five major areas: customer service, supply chain management, go-t0 market models, clinical trial design, and cash flow.
Priorities Medtech officials should consider
Historically, Medtech companies have been rather slow in advancing internal resources across regions and different business segments. Because of Covid-19, they are compelled to act and set processes that can effectively anticipate market demand. In terms of priorities, increased investment in cross-training employees should be at the top of the line.
Companies that won’t adapt resource allocation following the pandemic may miss out on their opportunity to grow. Significant changes in valuation premiums and market structure are to be anticipated, as well. Other priorities include:
- A deep analysis and assessment of commission structures and salesforce targets
- Preparations for supply chain disruption
- Temporary price reductions or additional contracting structures to deepen the relationship with both providers and customers
- In-depth planning for developing a more stable supply chain
- Considerations for developing massive inventory buildups to prepare for the post-pandemic demand spike.
- Careful collaboration with sales teams to adjust targets for 2021
- Active investment in digitalization and digital platforms capable of managing customer engagement (e.g. virtual reps, telesales)
- Active investment in connected technologies, telemedicine, and smart devices such as data monitoring, mobile diagnostics, and virtual consultations in real-time.
The Covid-19 pandemic has become an overwhelming humanitarian crisis across the globe. At the same time, it presents a unique opportunity for the materialization of a complete reform in healthcare and healthcare delivery. As MedTech operations reach a more stable point, each of the industry’s participants will most likely be challenged to reframe and restructure their operations and business models in order to adapt to the needs of the future.