As we’ve previously mentioned, the med-tech industry is experiencing a remarkable level of momentum. By 2023, it’s estimated that the industry will grow to $409.5 billion globally, with a compound annual growth rate of 4.5%. This momentum is not achieved by pure happenstance, but rather by industry leaders, owners, operators, producers and marketers proactively focusing on past, present and future trends to engineer the most effective possible strategies. Read on to examine 5 ways that the medical device marketing industry (and the marketing thereof) will change in 2019.

Decreased reimbursement.

Some of the challenges that will likely be faced in 2019 are those resulting from decreased reimbursement rates. Several components of the Affordable Care Act will likely decrease the amount that insurance companies will reimburse healthcare providers for the cost of purchases made from device manufacturers. This may affect how gung-ho healthcare providers will be about making medical device related expenditures, so marketing efforts should be adjusted accordingly.

 

Reduced operating room access for sales reps.

In 2018, NPR published a piece examining how hospitals are beginning to question the practice of med-device sales reps being present in the operating room during surgery. As a result of the aforementioned decreases in reimbursement, hospitals are beginning to take a closer look at the cost of medical devices, and in turn the reps who sell them. Be prepared for increased pushback in this area and plan accordingly.

 

Preparation for Medical Device Regulation.

While the actual deadline for Medical Device Regulation (MDR) does not occur until 2020, medical device manufacturers, distributors and marketers must begin preparing in 2019. This measure replaces the current legislation – the Medical Devices Directive (MDD) – and will affect all business-based or conducting operations in Europe. Some changes to expect include an increased spotlight on clinical evaluations, as well as a more involved and ongoing process of achieving compliance.

 

Increased blockchain utilization.

Blockchain, a chronological and public listing of cryptocurrency transactions, is expected to make an impact in the healthcare industry in 2019, specifically as a method to improve the quality and accuracy of data while helping to reduce administrative costs and streamline efficiency. It will be important for med-tech operators, manufacturers, distributors and marketers to familiarize themselves with blockchain to remain current on the operations of the healthcare companies with which they do business.

 

Increased FDA inspections.

Over the course of the 2017 fiscal year, the Food and Drug Administration conducted more than 900 inspections as part of their Bioresearch Monitoring, or BIMO, program. To help hone in on which sites to inspect, they have constructed a mechanism known as the Clinical Investigator Site Selection Tool, or CISST, which uses a three-part calculation based on a wide range of data, to determine which sites should take top priority for inspection.

Stay tuned to the Viv blog to keep track of more trends and insights as we head into 2019.