What's keeping medical device companies up at night? What are their biggest challenges? And what are their medical device predictions for 2018 and beyond? During Propel's recent sponsorship of DeviceTalks Boston, we conducted a survey of dozens of medical device professionals at the conference. We wanted to find out which technologies were real priorities in 2018 and which ones were just hype. Since Propel's founding, we've talked to many life sciences companies, and we've always heard about compliance and product quality as big concerns. But what was surprising was that new types of partners was one of the top hurdles - and biggest opportunities - for 2018. Here's an infographic summarizing our medical device predictions from the DeviceTalks conference:
- Survey respondents told Propel that time to market and regulatory compliance are critical for the medical device industry, but new types of partners was rated as the top challenge for 2018. Traditional life sciences companies now are partnering with leading tech companies like Apple, Google and IBM, that are just a few of the "new" types of companies spending billions on digital health initiatives. For medical companies to succeed in 2018, they need to easily and securely collaborate with new types of partners and seamlessly incorporate them into their product development, market launch and ongoing customer service processes.
- Innovation and new technologies are clearly the top initiatives for the medical device industry. But what was surprising is the focus on the customer experience. This is a trend that's consistent with other industries - focusing on the overall customer lifecycle and not just launching products. How is the buying experience? What's it like using the product? What about customer service? Thinking about how a customer uses the product throughout its lifetime is critical in 2018.
- Robotics, IoT devices and 3D printing all were ranked as the top investment area for 2018, even surpassing the hot wearables market. Propel has conducted other surveys where drones were ranked as one of the top technology investments for many other industries, but it was ranked the lowest area for medical device firms. Whatever the technology that companies are investing in, they need to ensure they consider the entire product "footprint" - hardware, software, services, packaging, certification and more.
- There was no clear consensus on enterprise software for managing product quality and designs. So with no clear market leader, how should companies figure out what software app to use? Propel recommends that companies look for software that is collaborative for new types of partners, flexible enough to manage new types of technologies, and supportive of the overall customer experience.
We'll be back at DeviceTalks Southern California, and it'll be interesting to see how our medical device predictions look like for the West Coast. To learn more about how Propel helps medical device companies, check out our life sciences demo or see what other medical device companies are doing.
BTW thanks to Piktochart for the online infographic tool - I really enjoyed using it!