Comment: Change is happening, are you ready?

Dan Jones of the Association of British Healthcare Industries reports on Medtech Europe's Annual Med Tech Forum

In this article, DAN JONES, director of communications at the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) reports on Medtech Europe’s annual medical technology forum

Medtech Europe's Annual Med Tech Forum has just closed with the announcement that Rob ten Hoedt of Medtronic will replace Guy Lebeau of Johnson & Johnson, as chairman of the European medical technology and diagnostics association.

At the forefront of all discussions at the event was the looming reform of the Medical Device Directives (MDD), particularly pertinent following the ENVI vote in the European Parliament last week. It was clear from all speakers that industry faces some key challenges, many describing regulatory change in Europe as the biggest issue facing industry outside of the medical device tax established by President Obama in the USA.

Beyond the immediate challenge of the MDD, much of the discussion focused on the long-term challenges facing industry and how they can be addressed. This was the main issue discussed during the chief executive officers’ panel, where business leaders from Zimmer, J&J, Medtronic and Cepheid discussed the need to shift business models and focus on selling health, rather than simply promoting devices.

It was clear from all speakers that industry faces some key challenges, many describing regulatory change in Europe as the biggest issue facing industry outside of the medical device tax established by President Obama in the USA

It was clear from this discussion, and the presentation from The Boston Consulting Group that proceeded it, that industry is going through a change, both in the way products are brought to market and the way devices are sold. Clear from all speakers was the need for industry to adapt and respond to a changing market.

The Boston Consulting Group used the conference to launch its report on the future of industry. During the presentation Nicholas Karchener outlined the need for companies to provide more flexibility across markets and design business models that are suitable for individual markets and not take a 'one-size-fits-all' approach.

This all poses some interesting challenges for industry – both short and long term; challenges that will require some big shifts. Future success for industry will depend on the ability of companies to address these challenges, to understand and respond to demands of healthcare providers and more informed patients.

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