USA – After the Product-Centric Medical Industry – What’s Next?

The medical device industry can’t help but work to take a leadership role in the effort to move forward with value-based care. We don’t have a choice.

For decades, the medical device industry has reaped rewards by providing new technologies and solutions that improve healthcare delivery. Now, more than 8000 new medical devices enter the U.S. market each year1 as the industry faces sweeping changes that will not only impact the life cycle of many existing products, but also future innovations. New payment models, patients replacing physicians as stewards of their care, a changing regulatory framework, and data as a central solution to implement these strategies are all converging trends requiring medical device makers to prepare their organizations to adapt to the future.

A patient-centric model of care, which has been identified by the Institute of Medicine as one of the key actions for improving our nation’s health,2 is being adopted across healthcare. The IOM defines patient-centric care as “providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs and values, ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.” This idea of personalized medicine is already seen in daily practice with concierge medicine services. Surveys show that patients expect the same responsiveness and convenience from health care providers as they do from top consumer brands and institutions.3

As patients shoulder more of their own healthcare costs, they are also demanding payers and providers provide both outcome and pricing information so they can make better-informed decisions about treatments. Recognizing the overall patient experience is a growing business imperative within healthcare organizations, with provider payments also tied to performance on measures of patient satisfaction and engagement.4 These measures also implicate a broader role for medical-device makers in the patient’s continuum of care, beyond delivering a technological solution to a more comprehensive healthcare experience.