Medical device “hybrid” upside

Rumors of the demise of the medical device industry are wholly unfounded.

Now that that is out of the way, let me point out that investment in medical devices is not synonymous with investment in medtech (I’ve whined about this before). Let me also point out that, while there is robust popular support (multiple polls) for the ideas and tenets of the Affordable Care Act, the simultaneously popular opposition to ObamaCare is, needless to say, telling.

Recent evidence suggests that the medical device industry is not indeed teetering on the precipice of doom, irrespective of federal policy.

That is why I found it intriguing that a recent post on the optimism centered around the potential for “convergence” in the medical device industry — that is, the potential for medical devices to be combined with infotech (my term for it), resulting in greater market potential for those medical devices — and that this offered hope for medical devices not tumbling off that aforementioned precipice.

The key is to think BIGGER. By that, I mean let’s consider what the clinical utility is, the potential impact on patient outcomes, cost or both is by combining medical devices with any or all technologies that can increase device performance. But before we go ahead and get a Bluetooth-enabled coronary stent, let’s consider that this kind of “convergence” has already been part of medical device development for years, but from a more fundamental medical technology standpoint. Think “drug-eluting stents”. Think “bioresobable implants”. Think “extracellular matrices” for bone (or other) tissue regeneration.

That’s a much more pragmatic view of “convergence”, in my opinion.


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