The success of biopharma and medtech are not mutually exclusive. In some ways, medtech is actually drafting off of the recent surge in interest and investment in biopharma. Awareness of infectious diseases such as Covid-19 is fueling advancements in diagnostics, medical devices and digital medicine.
But there’s more at play in the growth of medtech.
In addition to advancements in diagnostics, there’s a recent and growing interest in medtech from pharmaceutical companies who are looking to diversify their offerings and extend patent life, which includes investing in everything from neurostimulation devices to control seizures and improve digestion, heart rate, etc., to virtual reality for chronic and acute pain relief.
Experts predict medtech’s momentum will continue to build. According to a report from BCC Research, the medtech industry will boast a compound annual growth rate of 5.6% from 2020 to 2025, reaching revenue of nearly $800 billion by 2025.
Before Covid-19, product differentiation, pricing pressures, and aging products challenged the medtech industry. The pandemic created opportunities for improvements in all these areas, forever changing how patients receive healthcare and the business models that initiate those efforts. As evidence of backing for these industry advances, in the first quarter of 2021, digital health companies in the United States raised a milestone $6.7 billion.
Multiple factors currently drive investors’ interest in medtech. More breakthroughs in technology and innovation continue to open and expand opportunities. Additionally, an increase in the global elderly population, a rise of chronic lifestyle illnesses such as diabetes, and an emergence of healthcare access in new markets create a larger demand for growth.
Advances in technology such as 3D printing have improved efficiencies. Manhattan’s Stanley Children’s Hospital used 3D technology to print a replica of a child’s heart to rehearse an advanced procedure before the actual surgery. Researchers at KU Leuven in Belgium applied 3D printing to create quicker, cheaper, and easier-to-use lateral flow tests that can be used in pregnancy and Covid-19 self-testing.
With the World Bank reporting that roughly 9% of the world’s population is over 65 years old and continues to trend upward, medtech companies have responded to the need this creates. Forum Virium Helsinki, innovation company for Helsinki, Finland, co-created the Health and Wellbeing Project, a program focused on developing medtech that provides patient-centric healthcare services. One result of this project is a multi-sensory room pilot using AI and smart technologies to treat senior citizens struggling with memory loss.