It won’t perk up a party quite like a Beaujolais nouveau, but it has considerably more body and, at least within one rarefied segment of society, is just as eagerly anticipated. Now in its third edition, Ernst & Young’s Pulse of the Industry is typically published a couple of weeks before the Beaujolais nouveau starts to flood markets and restaurants. The timing is a mere coincidence, of course. The weighty tome is made public at two major autumn events on the medtech calendar: Eucomed’s MedTech Forum, which was held in Brussels on 13 and 14 October, followed a week later by the AdvaMed 2010 Conference in Washington, DC.
If there is one unmistakable takeaway—and there are, in fact, several—from the 100-page report, it is that the business model that has served industry and society so well for so many years is eroding. This point was made numerous times at the Eucomed conference, and it is stated forcefully in the first paragraph of the report’s introduction. “The convergence of several trends and sweeping reforms is placing tremendous strain on medtech’s long-standing business model and will ultimately force the industry to innovate the way it conducts business.” Innovating innovation is the new buzz word.
Industry must prepare for the “emergence of a health-outcomes ecosystem,” the report continues. Put simply, companies can no longer expect to be rewarded based on the quantity of product they are moving into the marketplace. The metrics that will matter—which are already entrenched in some quarters—measure the ability of companies to deliver positive health outcomes by improving patient health and access whilst decreasing cost to the system. Think comparative effectiveness research conjugated with hospitals that are intent on squeezing costs out of the system.
Any way you look at it, you might want to fasten your seat belt, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. And maybe pour yourself a ballon of Beaujoulais nouveau as you digest the 100-page report. Santé!
For medtechinsider coverage of the Eucomed MedTech Forum, follow these links:Norbert Sparrow