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October 04, 2012

Three Growth Opportunities for Medical Equipment Manufacturers

By TMCnet Special Guest
Armin Meissner, senior executive with Accenture�s Electronics & High-Tech Group

The medical equipment industry experienced remarkable growth during the past decade only slowed by pervasive industry changes. A return to widespread growth will be difficult as demands for innovation, personalized care, and budget restrictions intensify. Given these conditions, industry manufacturers need to look beyond traditional business models to capitalize on new burgeoning markets opportunities.

In a new report titled New Opportunities for Growth in the Medical Equipment Technology Market of the Future, Accenture has identified three business models that offer particular promise: the development and market delivery of smart medical devices in home furnishings; the outsourcing of research and development via the Internet; and, creating a shared manufacturing model.

Smart Medical Device in Furniture:

Although stand-alone medical devices for monitoring home-bound patients exist, future developments may make these devices less obtrusive as they are integrated into everyday home furniture such as tables, chairs and desks. Devices capable of monitoring a wide variety of health indicators for analysis and evaluation would come pre-equipped into house furniture.  The growing number of those in need of care will be able to take advantage of more convenient at-home care, such as smart medical furniture, and avoid expensive hospital visits and stays. The market possibilities are wide open. Medical equipment manufacturers should act fast to move ahead of potential competitors, such as furniture makers, who are also pursuing this market. Early market entrants will shape and drive this business.

Outsourcing R&D via the Internet:

The amount of clinical data available on the Internet has made traditional research sources antiquated and limited.  Finding medical research and measurements online has become as easy as booking an airplane flight. To adapt and productize this source of innovation, medical equipment manufacturers can become service providers that deliver accurate, detailed medical data to hospitals. By outsourcing this research and development function to manufacturers, medical professionals would achieve lower-cost and more efficient benefits than performing the function in-house.

A Shared Manufacturing Model

Medical equipment manufacturers have an opportunity to grow their addressable market by sharing manufacturing operations, a model that has achieved great success among consumer goods manufacturers. Applying this model, development of medical equipment would be shared by all the major medical equipment manufacturers at common production sites led by contract manufacturers.  Sharing a common assembly line would lower per-unit costs, thereby decreasing prices of products.

Armin Meissner is a senior executive with Accenture’s Electronics & High-Tech Group. He leads the group’s medical equipment technology practice and can be reached at [email protected].

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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