Article

Medtech and the Internet of Medical Things

How connected medical devices are transforming health care

With the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) market estimated to be worth $158.1 billion in 2022, how can medtech companies get IoMT right from a business perspective and how can they use the opportunity to deliver more value to health care?

Major advances in technology are driving innovation in medtech, leading to the development of an increasing number of connected medical devices that are able to generate, collect, analyse and transmit data. The data, along with the devices themselves, are creating the IoMT – a connected infrastructure of medical devices, software applications and health systems and services.

New research from Deloitte UK Centre for Health Solutions examines how the IoMT is transforming medtech’s role in health care. It outlines how medtech companies can get digital transformation right – whether through adapting their existing business models, inventing new ones or both. The industry's future will depend on its ability to demonstrate to providers and payers how connected medical devices contribute to the new value-based paradigm.

Medtech and the Internet of Medical Things

Significant IoMT market growth predicted

What is the Internet of Medical Things?

From pregnancy testing kits to surgical instruments, artificial joints and MRI scanners, the medical technology (medtech) industry designs and manufactures a wide range of products. Technology is allowing these devices to generate, collect, analyse and transmit data, creating the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) – a connected infrastructure of health systems and services.

The IoMT and its relationship to medtech is instrumental in helping health care organisations achieve better patient outcomes, lower climbing health care costs, improve efficiency and activate new ways of engaging and empowering patients. The pace and scale of health care transformation will be exponential if Medtech can harness the IoMT.

Is Medtech ready for the IoMT?

According to our survey of medical device companies with connected medical devices, manufacturers are anticipating an increase in the percentage of devices that are produced, as well as an increase in R&D investments.

Factors effecting Medtech’s digital transformation

Challenges impacting IoMT adoption

  • Funding, business and operating models – different types of innovation will require different business models, and progress will depend on both the innovators themselves working in new ways to take on risks and rewards.
  • Interoperability – for interoperability to work effectively, the direction of travel should be towards open platforms, based on open data standards. This will enable payers, providers and technology vendors to come together to make data more available to each another.
  • Cyber security – the increasing numbers and capability of connected medical devices present additional risks for data security. The scale and cost of breaches is often significant and far reaching.
  • Regulatory change – managing the raft of regulatory change occurring is imperative for both developing connected medical devices and the success of the IoMT.
  • Digital talent and building digital capability – there is increasing concern among key stakeholders that a growing skills gap will delay the deployment of IoMT solutions and constrain market growth.
  • Maintaining trust in a digital age – as medtech companies develop strategies and services based on the generation and transmission of patient data, they need to ensure they demonstrate clearly to patients, the public and health care professionals how their data is being used to reduce the risk of undermining the benefits that access to data can bring.
  • Scale – a key challenge for medtech is ensuring that health care organisations, clinicians and patients understand the added-value of connected medical devices and use them at scale to drive better economics and patient outcomes.

Key enablers driving IoMT success

  • Collaboration between health care providers and medtech – integrating connected medical devices into established care pathways is challenging and requires significant cooperation across the IoMT ecosystem. These collaborations allow all stakeholders to improve their understanding of patient needs and deliver more proactive cost-effective care.
  • Connected medical devices benefit patients, providers and payers – adding connectivity to a device allows data to be generated on a patient’s condition as well as the effectiveness of the health care providers operations. Being able to quantify, contextualise and communicate data generated on a patient’s condition and the effectiveness of the health care providers operations allows the medtech industry to provide solutions that deliver value to both the patient and provider.
  • Joining the dots between connected medical devices and health care IT systems – a number of large medtech companies have developed connected ecosystems that act as a common platform to share, aggregate, and view data to drive both clinical and operational value. Linking disparate sets of data that sit within health care organisations is central to achieving connectivity at scale.
  • Applying advanced analytics to provide critical insights and empower better decision-making – mining, managing and analysing a vast array of data is a key part of deriving value from the IoMT. The insights generated can play a key role in aiding health systems to reduce costs and improve quality, identify populations at risk, connect with consumers and better understand performance.
  • Medtech services that demonstrate improvements in patient outcomes and reduce health care costs – medtech companies are utilising the increasing sophistication of connected medical devices, improved interoperability across health care organisations and advances in analytics to develop service orientated solutions that provide the tenants of value based care. These services are improving patient outcomes and reducing the costs of health care, transforming medtech companies from a manufacturer to a health care provider.

How will medtech companies evolve as connected devices transform health care?

While the IoMT has the potential to help alleviate some of the cost, access and care coordination challenges facing health care, the generation of data points through millions of connected medical devices will have little impact unless turned into actionable insight.

Medtech companies will need to develop new strategies to harness the data provided by their digitally-enabled products and make their business and operating models relevant and competitive. For some medtech companies, this will include shifting from a product-based model to a value-based system.

Did you find this useful?