The medical technology industry is an eminent part of the healthcare sector. It includes most of all medical devices, which simplify the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and illnesses. The most well-known medical technology products are, among others, pacemakers, imaging instruments, dialysis machines and implants. The global medical technology industry’s market size was worth around 550 billion € in 2021. Established centers of this industry include the United States and Western Europe. But industry trends show that Asia and in particular China, are about to play a more prominent role in the years to come.
Leading segments in medical technology
The strongest segments within the industry are in vitro diagnostics (IVD), cardiology, diagnostic imaging, and orthopedics. IVD accounted for an 18 percent share of the total medical technology industry. Diagnostics is one of the most important parts of healthcare and IVDs can detect a range of conditions, diseases, and infections. The devices which make up the IVD industry can also range from small, simple tests, which can be used in the home to complex laboratory appliances.
What´s new and trending?
Who would have thought that telemedicine, once upon a time considered almost impossible to achieve, could now become a reality? But it has! And the only way is up; in 2023, we are projected to witness further breakthroughs and technological trends in healthcare.
The future of healthcare is definitely looking high-tech. In the 2021 Future of Healthcare Report, an overwhelming majority (over 50%) of surveyed patients indicated that they would be comfortable with a healthcare system based exclusively on telehealth visits as long as their care needs are properly addressed.
Healthcare technology trends
Among the several industries where Artificial Intelligence (AI) development dominates, the healthcare sector is one of the most prominent adopters. In 2023, it’s no surprise that AI will impact future changes in healthcare. Using AI in healthcare can help medical professionals in several ways, such as by leveraging AI-assisted CT imaging in 2021, researchers were able to quickly detect pneumonia and treat the effects of COVID-19 in patients.
Automation of Hospital Workflows Through Robotics
Adopting robotic helpers will reduce the costs of recruiting competent medical specialists and hospital staff. These helpers will augment traditional practices when it comes to hygiene, surgery, remote diagnostics, etc. As a result, this will allow medical practitioners to focus their attention on more demanding tasks.
Chatbot Symptom Checkers
AI-driven chatbots are one of the most exciting digital health trends. With smart and sophisticated algorithms, these bots can diagnose health issues quickly and conveniently—allowing patients to seek medical advice without leaving their homes! For those with mobile devices or internet access, chatbots are available to offer 24/7 assistance. Having this kind of help on hand can be immensely beneficial for anyone struggling with medical issues or anyone who just wants to access personal healthcare. Not only do they provide emotional companionship, but also the next steps that patients need to address their health concerns and conditions.
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
The Internet of Medical Things is one of the top healthcare technology trends in 2023 that everyone in the industry should be aware of as it is one of the most promising developments in digital healthcare. Let’s briefly define this term: IoMT, also referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT) development in healthcare, is a network of connected medical devices, wearable devices, sensors, and other healthcare-related technology, that are integrated with cloud computing systems. Many organizations are seeking IoMT solutions this year as it’s expected to rise in healthcare and wellness mobile applications!
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)
Hands-free communication is one of the emerging healthcare technology trends that will continue to expand in the near future. In the current conditions of the pandemic, remote monitoring is playing an important role in providing care to patients who cannot physically attend medical appointments. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is an innovative technology that allows healthcare professionals to monitor a patient’s condition from a distance. This technology is particularly useful for elderly individuals or those with chronic illnesses, who require regular monitoring and care but may not be able to attend in-person appointments.
When it comes to medical device technology trends, nanomedicine will be the star of the show. Nanomedicine, the application of nanotechnology in medicine, is a rapidly developing field with significant potential to improve healthcare services in the coming years. By 2023, we’ll likely see major advancements in its use for diagnoses, drug delivery, and even regenerating damaged tissues and organs. In diagnostic imaging, nanotechnology is being used to create highly sensitive and specific diagnostic tools, such as nanosensors, that can block diseases and conditions at an early stage. For example, super tiny nanorobots were developed and injected into a human’s blood vessels to hunt cancer cells or viruses.
Clinical Automation for Healthcare Providers
Healthcare costs are no joke, and this is why automation in healthcare is essential. Automation helps reduce costs, streamline processes, and improve the patient experience. In 2023, automation is expected to be a key part of the healthcare industry. Automation technology, such as robotic process automation (RPA), is predicted to make up more than half of all healthcare IT investments by the end of the year.
A deeper look into the most active medical technology patent-filing companies illustrates, that global medical powerhouses Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson lead the pack in terms of volume of patents registered, both with more than 26,000 patents filed in the last 10 years.
Case Study Tasks and Questions – Group 1
The Smart Tooth business model refers to the individual treatment of diabetes. In the past, traditional pharma companies have gained extensive experience and expertise in the treatment of diabetes. In this respect, this digital business model could also fit into the range of services of traditional pharmaceutical companies (regardless of whether they also produce and offer the artificial pancreas).
Please indicate in which way the framework of this business model differs from the framework conditions in the traditional pharmaceutical industry. Derive which adjustments a traditional pharmaceutical company needs to make regarding the organization of its IP management in order to meet the changed requirements if such a business model was adopted.
- Task 1:
Please outline the business model behind the Smart Tooth. For this purpose, please distinguish the resource perspective and the market perspective of the business model.
- Task 2:
Please describe the differences in the framework of typical business models of traditional pharma companies and digital business models.
- Task 3:
Please derive the typical generic IP strategy for traditional business models of the pharma industry as well as for digital business models from the framework described above.
- Task 4:
Please assign the two business models / generic IP-strategies to the organizational structure that is best suited for their implementation. Give reasons for your assessment.
- Task 5:
The implementation of a differentiation center is also reflected in the design of processes. Please indicate for three processes in which core aspects they differ in a differentiation center and a protection center.
Here is the solution of group 1:
Nina Petkovska, Ewan Van Minnebruggen, Gregory Robin, Elisa Buoso, Hoa Binh Nguyen
Case Study Tasks and Questions – Group 2
The Smart Tooth business model described above refers to the individual treatment of diabetes. In the past, traditional pharma companies have gained extensive experience and expertise in the treatment of diabetes. In this respect, this digital business model could also fit into the range of services of traditional pharmaceutical companies (regardless of whether they also produce and offer the artificial pancreas). However, the development of such a digital business model could necessitate a reorganization of IP management.
- Task 1:
The traditional business models of the pharma industry (development and sale of drugs) primarily use the organizational form protection center – in digital business models, on the other hand, the organizational form differentiation center is applied. This is not least due to the great difference between the products and services offered.
Please describe the technical structure of the typical products and services in both business models (for this purpose please show the system components of the Smart Tooth business model). In particular refer to the system boundaries in both cases.
- Task 2:
Patent types describe a class of established problem-solution combinations in the patent literature that relate to an aspect of a business model or business model realization which is worth IP-protection.
In the annex to the case study description, you will find different patent types (in a condensed form) that are relevant for the traditional pharma business model or for the digital Smart Tooth business model described in the case study. Please assign these patent types to the system descriptions presented above.
- Task 3:
Based on these patent types, please estimate the search-related conditions for the associated system components.
In your opinion which effect does this have on the search procedure?
- Task 4:
Please describe a possible FtO-process for a traditional pharma business model in a protection center.
- Task 5:
Please describe a possible FtO-process for a digital pharma business model in a differentiation center. Identify the differences to the FtO-process in the protection center and justify them.
- Task 6:
Typically, the development processes for business models and products differ in the traditional pharmaceutical industry and new digital pharma approaches, especially with regard to development periods. This also has an impact on the performance of the FtO.
Please illustrate these differences in the timeline of the development processes and derive the implications for the performance of the FtO analysis.
Here is the solution of group 2:
Ana Marques, Jacob Watfa, Faten Sadaka, Marlo Sedlmair, Hans-Jörg Schaller, Wee Kiat Chai
Case Study Tasks and Questions – Group 3
In the article “Organizational implementation of a patent strategy” typical system interfaces and system gaps are described that are useful or required when implementing a differentiation center. Please explain the interrelation between these instruments and the differentiation approach. Then analyze the instruments from an institutional economics point of view.
- Task 1:
Please explain the principle of a taxonomy and why this tool should be used within a differentiation center. Then analyze the application of a taxonomy from an institutional economics perspective. Please consider in particular the property rights theory.
- Task 2:
Please explain the competitive environment may be monitored within a differentiation center. Please analyze the benefits of such a monitoring system from an institutional economics perspective. Particularly consider the agency theory and the property rights theory in your analysis.
- Task 3:
Please explain how the portfolio management should be designed in a differentiation center. Analyze the benefits of a comprehensive portfolio management from an institutional economics perspective. Please consider in particular the agency theory.
- Task 4:
Please explain the principle of synthetic inventing and why it is useful in a differentiation center. Then analyze the application of synthetic inventing from an institutional economics perspective. Please consider in particular the property rights theory and the transaction costs.
- Task 5:
Please explain how IP management should be linked to the technology roadmap process within a differentiation center. Then analyze from an institutional economics perspective why such a procedure is making sense. Please consider in particular the property rights theory.
- Task 6:
Please explain why synthetic inventing should be accompanied by employee invention remuneration in a differentiation center. Then analyze the typical situation from an institutional economics perspective. Please consider in particular the agency theory and the transaction costs.
Here is the solution of group 3:
Melis Engin, Luca Pusterla, Thanh Thuy Nguyen, Vincent Boittiaux, Lionel Parisot, Thorsten Dierkes
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