eHealth and the game with data

How Connected Care is changing the medtech industry

The Internet and digital technology have become integral to our everyday lives. The health care sector is also engaged in intensive discussions on the opportunities and risks involved in eHealth and telemedicine. The top dogs in medical technology, in particular, have reached a crossroads in this process.

Developments in the medtech sector over the last few decades have been significantly characterised by incremental improvements in products and decreases in costs of treatment. While innovative data-driven solutions are finding their way into many end customer segments, eHealth solutions are not yet reaching the broad mass of patients. The market was, in the past, more isolated than many other industrial sectors due to high entry barriers and the associated strict regulations. Demographic change and the increasing burden on the health care system that this engenders, together with progressive digitalisation, are, however, changing the rules of play in the health care sector.

For traditional medtech companies, this raises the question of how they can generate long-term value in this changing environment. Using the scenario design process offered by the Center for the Long View, and the experiences we have gained from a wide variety of customer projects, we have developed four future scenarios to answer this question.

1. Ahead of Diseases

In a future in which both traditional medtech businesses and technology companies will determine the health care ecosystem, and in which secure data exchange is guaranteed, predictive diagnostics will reign. Data use by a wide range of medical devices will enable advanced analysis and personalised treatments.

2. Trust vs. Convenience

In this scenario, medtech businesses and technology companies will find themselves in fierce competition. While the former focus on solutions that demand a high standard of quality, technology companies focus on user friendliness and connectivity between their devices.

3. Everyone Doing Everything

This future scenario describes a world in which technology companies have given up forcing themselves into the still strictly regulated health care market. Within this market, the exchange of data between medtech businesses has been reduced to a minimum, so that efficient use can only be guaranteed when the respective providers offer a wide product portfolio.

4. All about the Patient

In this scenario, an eHealth platform on which comprehensive health data can be stored and evaluated has been established. This has, however, only been made feasible because the regulatory standards for data usage and quality are subject to the highest standards. These standards make it nearly impossible for suppliers from outside the sector to enter the market.

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