Emerging markets are a missed opportunity for medical device OEMs

Have Medical Device Makers Failed Emerging Markets? Most would agree that emerging markets present a huge growth opportunity for medtech, but an op-ed by an industry thought leader suggests medical device makers could trade long-term success for quick wins in emerging economies.

“That’s because, rather than developing and adapting products to meet the individual needs of each local market, medical equipment manufacturers have instead focused on importing developed technologies for existing markets,” writes Daryl Leach. , director of global market management at Zeus in a blog post on the company’s website.

Leach offers the following advice on how medical device manufacturers can take full advantage of business opportunities in emerging markets.

First, it’s important to consider regional dynamics such as local regulatory requirements, physician training and municipal infrastructure, Leach notes.

“From my experience working with medical device manufacturers, it’s clear that emerging markets respond best to small, incremental technological advances,” he writes. “For example, any technology will be more applicable if the associated medical training does not involve a steep learning curve compared to existing practice.”

Likewise, he cautions that introducing forward-thinking products generally only works in communities that have the infrastructure, technologies, and resources in place to adopt such a product. A better path, according to Leach, is to customize product development by focusing entirely on the needs of the emerging market.

“After all, it reflects the path of innovation followed by OEMs in developed markets – a need is identified and products are developed in accordance with the regulatory, reimbursement and pricing environment,” Leach points out. “Why should our approach to emerging markets be different? »

His final recommendation might go without saying, given the headwinds manufacturers are currently facing in the supply chain, but working with regional component suppliers is important. Manufacturers will struggle to fully explore emerging market opportunities if they are not prepared to invest time and effort in the supply chain, he says.

A recent example of a new technology being successfully adopted to meet the needs of a specific region is the Obstetric Safe Surgery (OSS) project which aims to reduce maternal deaths in Kenya. Seventy-one percent of maternal deaths in facilities in Kenya are associated with caesarean sections, and nine out of 10 maternal deaths are linked to a lack of quality standardized care, according to Proximie, a company that has developed plug-and-play software designed to allow surgeons to participate remotely in an operating room. Proximie’s technology, which uses augmented reality and artificial intelligence, is designed to be layered on any device and can be used by many people at the same time with no noticeable latency. The software is hardware independent and requires little bandwidth.

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