MedTech Industry Trends to Look Out For in 2024

Industry Trends | 9 min read |
medtech-industry-trends

In 2022, more than USD 42 Billion was invested in patient-centred MedTech innovation and R&D. In the last thirty years the MedTech sector has surpassed the performance of the S&P index, demonstrating the growing interest of various stakeholders in this industry. However, MedTech industry trends in 2024 appear to be shifting the other way. Data from the last five years seems to suggest that growth expectations are plateauing, with McKinsey citing reasons ranging from “the burden of scale” to “the lure of near-term earnings.”

At the same time, as we move towards a future that increasingly leans on technology, there is no doubt that the medical device sector is undergoing a dramatic transformation. On the one hand, major deals in the medical device industry were scarce in 2023, funding was difficult to secure, and valuations were down. Moreover, the industry had to contend with changing regulations related to Artificial Intelligence (AI), reimbursement challenges, and device sterilization rules. But on the other hand, these challenges also presented opportunities for growth and innovation. For instance, the lobbying power of AI and software-enabled devices is a game-changer in the industry. In the face of regulatory and market forces, medical device companies can seize the opportunity to innovate and adapt.

What does all this mean for the MedTech industry in 2024? From M&As to sustainability, MedTech industry trends in 2024 are set to bring some regular suspects and some surprising new wild card entries to the news.

Trend 1: CRISPR is Poised to Have More Personalized Treatments

How can we even talk about MedTech without talking about CRISPR? Ending 2023 on a high note, CRISPR, the groundbreaking gene-editing tool, secured its first clinical approval in the UK for treating sickle cell anemia and beta-thalassemia. Following FDA approval for sickle cell treatment in the US, and a pending decision on beta-thalassemia, the therapy is poised for European availability. CRISPR's transformative impact is evident, revolutionizing biotechnology within a decade of its first application in human cells. In a collaborative effort with AI, CRISPR optimized gene editing tools, using machine learning to predict off-target effects and algorithms like AlphaFold to enhance precision. Data mining uncovered rare CRISPR variants in bacteria and identified CRISPR-like mechanisms, called Fanzors, in eukaryotes.

The approval of a CRISPR-based therapy paves the way for newer generations, such as base and prime editing. Base editing, collaborating with CAR-T therapy, showed promise in reducing artery-clogging fat in a one-time shot for high cholesterol. Prime editing gears up for clinical trials, focusing on chronic granulomatous disease.

2024 promises to be another milestone for gene therapy, emphasizing its dynamic potential in reshaping MedTech.

Trend 2: AI-Powered Workflow Automation and Optimization

AI isn’t just helping gene therapy. Workforce shortages and mounting workloads pose significant challenges to healthcare providers worldwide. To mitigate these challenges, there is going to be an increasing shift towards AI-powered workflow automation and optimization.

For instance, in diagnostic imaging, AI integration can already automate the time-consuming steps for radiographers, allowing them to focus more on the patient. AI-based reconstruction then delivers high-quality images required for precise diagnosis. Similarly, in cardiac ultrasound, AI can support the early detection of health risks based on vital signs and other patient data, enabling timely intervention. Get ready to see more such use cases in 2024.

Trend 3: Virtual Collaboration in Healthcare

Another recent trend in the MedTech industry is the use of virtual collaboration to address staff and expertise shortages. The advent of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring tools has raised possibilities for virtual collaboration, allowing healthcare professionals to provide remote treatments while continuously tracking patient health.

For example, radiology operations command centres enable virtual over-the-shoulder support from expert imaging technologists to their less experienced colleagues at remote sites. Likewise, virtual collaboration in ultrasound can expand the scope of specialized care, enabling physicians to engage in remote communication with both their team and patients.

2024 will see much more innovation in this space, with solutions using AR/VR where healthcare providers can remotely examine patients in a more immersive and detailed manner, enhancing diagnostic capabilities.

Trend 4: Increased Presence in Low and Middle-Income Countries

Traditionally, medical devices have been tailored to meet the needs and regulatory standards of high-income nations, given the absence of well-established commercialization pathways in Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). Researchers will increasingly collaborate for the shared challenges encountered in their work across Asia, Africa, and South America, with a focus on the intricacies of designing, testing, and manufacturing their groundbreaking innovations. Organizations, institutions, and individual researchers will engage students, foster global collaborations, and explore avenues for bringing these devices to market, with a view to aligning with many of the UN SDGs.

Trend 5: Integrated Diagnostics for Improved Healthcare Delivery

There is a rise in digital therapeutics and at-home diagnostics. The global market for wearable technology is growing so much that it is expected to reach $161 billion by 2033. Add to this the growing discourse about the importance of diversity and representation in data used in the design and testing of medical devices. With this surge in diagnostic data collected through various sources, integrating this data will become crucial for physicians to deliver an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. This integration enables different healthcare specialists to exchange patient data more easily, fostering effective and efficient multidisciplinary collaboration. Consider it as creating a shared 'cockpit' that brings together relevant data from different domains in a vendor-agnostic digital environment, supporting a timely and accurate diagnosis for the patient.

Trend 6: Medical Devices that Will Rule The Roost

The top three medical device areas in 2024 are slated to be in vitro diagnostics, cardiology, and diagnostic imaging. This trend is substantiated by data indicating a projected significant growth in the global market for in vitro diagnostics, driven by increased demand for personalized medicine and early disease detection. Concurrently, developments in cardiology and diagnostic imaging are marked by a rise in the adoption of advanced imaging modalities and cardiovascular diagnostic tools.

Statistical insights reveal a considerable uptick in investments and research efforts directed towards these specific sectors. However, there will also be challenges accompanying this trend, including those involving regulatory intricacies related to innovative diagnostic technologies, data security concerns in an interconnected healthcare environment, and addressing the skills gap for proficient healthcare professionals handling advanced diagnostic tools.

Trend 7: Emphasis on Cybersecurity in Healthcare

As more people use telemedicine and remote patient monitoring tools, there are concerns about security and privacy due to cyberattacks. According to Check Point Research (CPR), healthcare organizations experienced a 60% increase in cyberattacks in 2022, with 1,426 attacks per week. Hence, cybersecurity has emerged as a top priority for healthcare organizations looking to purchase new software of any kind. In 2024, states David Chou, a senior digital healthcare executive, some CIOs will “eliminate their IT teams by choosing to outsource and utilizing managed services'' while others “may only look to outsource core functions like the help desk, network infrastructure, and IT security.” Either way, the need to protect sensitive patient data and maintain uninterrupted healthcare services will be a key organizational goal in 2024.

Trend 8: Predictive Analytics for Early Risk Detection

By deriving operational and clinical insights from real-time and historical data, predictive analytics can help healthcare providers improve efficiencies and act preemptively. Through ongoing monitoring of medical equipment and patient data, predictive analytics can support the early detection of patient health risks, enabling a shift from reactive to preventative care. The year 2024 will see a larger usage of predictive analytics to reduce patient readmissions, prevent public disease outbreaks, and lower patient deterioration in critical care units. Along with this, the rise of predictive analytics will also lead to other peripheral outcomes such as a streamlined submission of insurance claims, better equipment maintenance, and enhanced patient engagement.

Trend 9: Addressing Healthcare IT's Environmental Impact

Digitalization offers tremendous scope for more effective and efficient delivery of care. However, all this 'digital goodness' comes at a price. Healthcare IT's environmental impact is a growing concern, and the healthcare industry will also be compelled to focus on building sustainable digital infrastructure, using circular hardware, and developing sustainable software. The results of a Bain & Company study in the latter part of 2023 of over 120 companies in APAC clearly state that “nearly 70% of MedTech customers surveyed expect ESG will become a core purchasing criterion.”

Trend 10: MedTech M&As Will Have These Salient Features

From a business and management perspective, a 2022 McKinsey report suggests that while MedTech M&A has not matched the industry’s growth, the next few years will be different. Acquiring growth in MedTech will become more affordable. The affordability of acquiring growth in MedTech will increase, offering diversified MedTech acquirers a dual advantage – improved financial conditions and favourable opportunities for value creation.

Portfolio activity in 2024 will, thus, likely be characterized by programmatic M&A, portfolio rationalization and divestitures, selectively large deals, and alternative approaches to deals. Additionally, an increasing number of companies will shift their focus beyond fundamental MedTech devices and equipment. Think: Styker buying Vocera.

Summarizing the Future Outlook of the MedTech Industry

The future of the MedTech industry is expected to be transformative, propelled by precision medicine playing a pivotal role worldwide. The driving force behind this trend will stem from the merging of genomic datasets, and cutting-edge molecular and imaging technologies, all harnessed together with sophisticated data analytics algorithms.

Staying informed about industry trends in MedTech is crucial for healthcare providers, MedTech executives, and investors. As the MedTech sector continues to evolve, understanding these trends can help stakeholders make informed decisions and stay ahead of the curve.

The MedTech Industry Trends for 2024 paint a promising picture of advancements that could significantly transform the healthcare landscape. As the industry continues to evolve, healthcare providers, MedTech executives, and investors must stay informed of these trends to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the curve. It will be fascinating to see how these trends unfold in the coming years and the impact they will have on patient care and the healthcare industry as a whole.

FAQs

1. What is the future of the med tech industry?

The future of the MedTech industry looks promising due to new advancements and growth opportunities.

2. What are the top 3 challenges that underlie the medical device industry?

Cybersecurity, inflation concerns, and increasing competition are among the biggest challenges to the medical device industry.

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