The medical device industry is seeing new regulations and a push for pricing transparency, just to name a couple of the major trends and challenges. So, what can we expect looking forward? What changes will impact your healthcare marketing strategies?
Here are a few trends related to medical devices that will certainly make the news this year.
The regulatory industry will continue to modernize biocompatibility and biological risk evaluation of materials in medical devices. The current shortcomings of testing costs, the amount of time needed to test, and the risks to humans make this a top priority. The goal is to manufacture medical devices that are safer and lower in cost.
Tip: By working closely with R&D to comply, you will be able to identify your competitive advantages, which you can then use in your marketing messages.
Cybersecurity concerns Concerns about the security of medical devices increased last year when Johnson & Johnson revealed the potential vulnerability of its Animas OneTouch insulin pump to hacking. As medical devices become more and more connected to the internet, smartphones, electronic health data, and facility networks, they become more vulnerable. The risk of cyberattacks has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to create new standards for medical device manufacturers to receive approval to enter the market; this is listed as a top priority in the FDA'sRegulatory Science Priorities report. Expect companies to create more robust security standards to meet these regulatory requirements.
Tip: Communicating the security of your products should be at the forefront of your list of core competencies when selling to consumers.
A push for pricing transparency The medical device industry faces a variety of pricing issues: Governments and insurers want to control costs; healthcare facilities are receiving lower reimbursements; and hospitals have tight budgets. These issues affect how medical devices are valued, priced, and purchased. Purchasing decisions have shifted from physicians to regulators, hospital administrators in purchasing departments, and non-healthcare professionals.
The significant price increases for some medical devices has made pricing a hot topic. If businesses adopt more transparent pricing policies, the relationship between manufacturers of medical devices and HCPs will change—especially when it comes to medical devices funded by physicians. Transparency may also help in bargaining with hospitals.
Tip: If price transparency is adopted across the board, it will be important to understand where you rank when it comes to price and the value your products bring to consumers, as this will determine your marketability.
Keeping up to date on these trends will help you make better strategic marketing decisions regarding pricing, brand position, communications, and how you support other areas in your company. Constant internal communication and reacting in a timely manner to external changes in the industry is essential to achieve your goals. If you follow these trends, you will be a better prepared healthcare marketer.
How do you plan to adapt to these trends?
Need help marketing your medical devices in the face of tougher regulations and pricing transparency? Contact us to learn about our solutions.