The Irish medical technology (medtech) industry is constantly evolving, with new trends and innovations shaping the business environment. In this article, we will explore four trends that are expected to have a significant impact on the medtech industry in 2023. From prioritizing sustainability and strengthening supply chain relationships, to using artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze data and improve patient care, these trends highlight the ways in which the medtech industry is working to adapt and innovate in an increasingly complex landscape.
- Prioritizing Sustainability: Medtech companies will prioritize sustainability in their business strategies, investing in renewable energy and other initiatives to reduce their environmental impact.
- Relationships and Supply Chain Agility: Strong relationships with contract manufacturers and suppliers will be important for supply chain agility and responsiveness to changes in demand.
- Implement AI and Improving Interoperability: The medtech sector will work to improve interoperability and use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze data and improve patient care.
- Virtual Care and TeleHealth: Virtual care and telemedicine will continue to grow in popularity, with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the adoption of remote patient monitoring and virtual consultations.
Medtech companies will lead with sustainability first, prioritizing environmental, social, and governance goals in their business strategies. Industry leaders such as Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific are setting the standard for socially and environmentally responsible companies, investing in sustainability initiatives and renewable energy. For example, Boston Scientific announced plans to invest $100 million in its Galway, Ireland plant to power 40,000 square feet of new cleanroom space with renewable energy sources in April. The Janssen Sciences biologics plant in Cork, Ireland, operated by Johnson & Johnson, has also been recognized by the World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse Network as a leading manufacturing site for increasing operational performance and environmental sustainability. The plant, which is powered by wind energy and manufactures medicine for immunology and oncology patients, has pledged to use 100% renewable energy for its Irish operations. Other medtech companies are also making significant investments in renewable energy and energy-efficient resources as they move away from fossil fuels.
Relationships and Supply Chain Agility
In response to global supply chain challenges and the push for more sustainable supply chains, medtech companies are leaning on their contract manufacturing partnerships and strengthening those relationships. These partnerships allow for greater agility and responsiveness to changes in demand. Contract manufacturers are also focusing on innovation and agility to better meet their OEM clients’ needs.
The success of local medtech ecosystems in Ireland relies on having a strong base of global manufacturers and suppliers and an indigenous talent pool with the necessary capabilities. This creates a network offering a comprehensive range of components, products, materials, and services. Companies such as West Pharmaceutical Services, VistaMed, Harmac, and Creganna Medical in Ireland are investing in innovation and capacity to support the medtech sector in areas such as advanced catheters, next-generation vaccines, and minimally invasive medical devices. Building resilience in these networks and trusting in their flexibility is crucial for driving additional capacity.
Implement AI and Improving Interoperability
In 2023, the medtech sector will use the data it is gathering by improving interoperability between systems and using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to analyze the data. Currently, the medtech industry has invested in technology to drive production and operational excellence, but this has also resulted in multiple high-tech systems that do not communicate effectively with each other. This makes it difficult to make real-time, informed decisions based on data. By improving interoperability and using AI and machine learning to analyze data, medtech companies can improve patient care and make more informed business decisions.
AI and machine learning can be used to analyze large amounts of data quickly and accurately, identifying patterns and trends that may not be apparent to humans. This can help medtech companies improve the accuracy of diagnoses, predict and prevent equipment failures, and optimize clinical pathways. It can also help with the development of new products and the improvement of existing ones. By using the data they are gathering, medtech companies can improve patient outcomes and drive operational efficiencies.
Virtual Care and TeleHealth
Virtual care and telemedicine will continue to expand in 2023 as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of these technologies. Remote patient monitoring and virtual consultations allow for greater access to healthcare for patients, particularly those who live in rural or underserved areas. It also allows for increased efficiency in the healthcare system by reducing the need for in-person visits and freeing up resources for more critical cases.
Telemedicine can be used for various purposes, including consultations with healthcare providers, monitoring of chronic conditions, and rehabilitation services. Virtual care technology can also be used for remote monitoring, allowing healthcare providers to track vital signs and other health data in real-time and intervene if necessary. This can help to prevent hospitalizations and improve patient outcomes.
The adoption of virtual care and telemedicine is expected to grow in the coming years, with the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating. These technologies offer the potential to improve access to healthcare, reduce costs, and increase efficiency in the healthcare system.
The medtech industry is facing a number of challenges and opportunities in the coming years, with sustainability, supply chain agility, data analysis, and virtual care all playing key roles in shaping the business environment. By adapting and innovating in response to these trends, Irish companies can position themselves for success in the years ahead. Whether through investing in renewable energy and sustainability initiatives, strengthening relationships with contract manufacturers and suppliers, or using data and technology to improve patient care, these trends highlight the ways in which the medtech industry is working to adapt and thrive in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world.
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