How experts in MedTech are navigating digital transformation

Published: December 17, 2021

Transformation is here, and it’s not a choice! 
The experience has to be great! 
And, don’t forget it still involves people! 

The recent medical technology webinar, Innovating with digital the right way, had industry leaders from Medtronic, Children’s Minnesota, Medical Alley, Smith & Nephew, and Virtusa. The panelists shared their perspectives on how organizations across the healthcare landscape can drive tangible value through technology-led innovation and better align product development strategies through data-driven insight.

Here are some highlights and takeaways from the webinar.

Innovation in medical technology – is it an offensive or defensive digital strategy?

Reacting to a live audience poll during the webinar on whether digital transformation should be an offensive or defensive strategy, the panelists offered a range of perspectives. 

Lynn Tanner, scientific director, physical medicine and rehabilitation at Children’s Minnesota, considers an offensive digital strategy critical to transforming care and support for children and families. She said, “We're looking at outcomes, but we have to do it efficiently, both for the patient and family and also from the provider perspective, because we are trying to improve access to complex care.”

James Fullarton, senior director, digital health and advanced technology at Smith & Nephew, favors a more incremental, defensive approach. He notes that a defensive strategy is easier to justify. He said, “There are more established criteria and justification for innovation.” The one area of care more likely to benefit from an offensive strategy, according to James, is around services, “which extends beyond just selling devices to focus more on enabling services, supporting healthcare professionals and providers to be more efficient in what they do,” he added. 

Steve Laux, senior director, go to market at Medtronic, sees it as a balance between the two strategies. In his view, a defensive strategy is about reducing the time and costs associated with current “task-saturated processes.” At the same time, it’s also an opportunity to go on the offensive with a view toward the future, with a more robust suite of tools, communications, and follow-up training. 

Data - fueling innovation in healthcare

Sunsetting products when a new product is launched is one thing, but what about gauging the performance and life expectancy of products currently in use? Data collection across multiple product lines and systems can fuel innovation and improve lifecycle management. 

Ultimately, more offensive digital strategies in medical technology require capturing data from disparate systems across the healthcare ecosystem. From the digital supply chain to myriad healthcare systems and devices, it’s only through the surfacing, aggregating, and analysis of this data that medical device manufacturers can gain the insight they need to respond dynamically to patient needs and market forces. Different data types play a crucial role in determining the type, method, and cost of services for different outcomes on the clinical front.

It's essential to create a data ecosystem within and outside of an organization for sharing information securely. To do that, it's important to bring the different pieces of information together and consolidate them at the speed at which it is being produced.

Change management aspect of digital transformation

Whether the digital transformation is about optimizing current processes or completely disrupting them, creating a change-minded culture must occur at the enterprise level. Everyone must embrace innovation within the same ecosystem and be governed by the same organizational principles. 

Aligning with the right technology partners, whether you remain on defense, go on offense, or settle somewhere in between, can help accelerate your digital transformation.  

Outcomes and benefits of digital innovation 

The key outcomes to digital transformation discussed during the webinar include:

  • Seamless experience between payers and providers
  • Reducing the cost of care 
  • Providing ancillary services along with medical devices 
  • Constant process optimization
  • Digitizing supply-chain management
  • Seamless communication between patients and providers 
  • Customer experience spanning both clinical and non-clinical areas
  • Revenue enablement
  • Speed of adoption 

Digital transformation in the medical technology industry is here. Now explore the playbook for success with these industry leaders. 

Watch this timely on-demand webinar, Innovating with digital the right way. 


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