2021 Ecosystem Predictions — Advancements in the Medtech and Telehealth Industry
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen medtech and telehealth innovations accelerate at a never-before-seen rate. Awareness of available and developing technologies have been brought to the forefront of consumers’ minds and a desire for accurate, rapid, and affordable testing has become not only a goal but an expectation. This is especially relevant in how regulatory bodies engage in the diagnostic process, how channel partners are collaborating across the health and wellness industry, and how institutions are valuing and investing in innovation. Regulators around the world quickly changed processes and requirements at the forefront of the pandemic.
Products that would normally have taken years to get to commercial markets were, at times, accelerated tenfold. The general populations’ need for effective diagnostic testing, vaccine offerings, and physician interactions required accelerated timelines. In response, regulators globally increased staffing, while, at the same time, streamlined processes, oftentimes relying on outside parties to help validate and advance viable technology. Although the number of people allocated to these activities may return to pre-covid levels, we anticipate that certain facets of the approval process will remain, facilitating innovation in this space and its ability to get to market.
In addition to regulatory processes, we saw companies across the medtech and telehealth industries partner in unique and innovative ways providing improved functionality and access, as well as speed to market. This was seen in consumer retailers engaging in telemedicine to provide seamless procurement of medical goods and services, in technology companies utilizing data to deploy medical services weeks before public awareness, and in diagnostic companies working with government agencies in the development of products. These partnerships ultimately drove new products and technologies to market via previously underutilized channels. We fully expect these relationships to not only continue but to grow, moving innovation in the healthcare industry forward.
“If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.” — Charles Ketterin
With the development of new technologies in healthcare, along with a newfound public awareness, capital has become increasingly available, driving access to new technologies around the world. Technology in medtech and telehealth, much of which existed prior to Covid-19, attracted new investors into this space. Investments to accelerate manufacturing, distribute product and create awareness in this space has benefited the broader healthcare industry, and, based on what we are seeing, doesn’t look to be slowing as more products come to market. We expect current innovation to drive capital market awareness which will in turn influence change across the broader healthcare industry. We also expect that the number of new companies in this space will accelerate, driven by awareness of new technology and the increased access to capital.
NOWDiagnostics is particularly well positioned to capitalize on these trends going into 2021 and beyond. Our ability to provide rapid, accurate and affordable testing to the end consumer, including in their homes, has accelerated during the fight against Covid-19. This progress will continue given our ability to navigate the evolving regulatory processes, newly established and currently expanding global partnerships and access to capital that will help the business accelerate in new ways. NOWDiagnostics is, and will continue to be, a lab at the tip of your finger, and we look forward to seeing how the healthcare industry will evolve from
About Clay Welch
Clay Welch spent nearly a decade with Walmart across Strategy and Finance functions at the Corporate, eCommerce, and International level (including two years as Director of Finance for Walmart China) where he developed skills including corporate development and business performance, and portfolio management. He also spent time with HelloFresh, where he led Business Development for its US business, as well as Boart Longyear (a Bain Capital portfolio company) where he supported Global Sourcing. Clay’s diverse background in Strategy and Finance makes him an integral part of the NOWDx team. Clay holds an MBA from INSEAD and a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Strategy from Brigham Young University.