Where else can you be in the same room with Ashley McEvoy, executive vice president and worldwide chairman of medtech at Johnson & Johnson; Geoff Martha, chairman and CEO of Medtronic; the FDA; Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America; along with a number of government agencies and their representatives? Welcome to The MedTech Conference powered by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed).
After a long absence, the who’s who of medtech met in Boston, Massachusetts in late October to discuss some of the main trends, concerns, and issues in the industry. For three straight days they discussed what matters.
Although this conference is a U.S.-driven event where the medtech, diagnostics, and digital technology industries along with business and government meet to discuss the state of affairs, international visitors from 45 countries attended this year, proving again what happens in the United States truly has a global impact.
Here are a few takeaways from the meeting:
Regulatory: The FDA announced that in 2022, devices receiving FDA clearance declined and the trend is expected to continue in 2023. The reasons? During the pandemic on-site visits were put on hold and a backlog for facility inspections began. Additionally, new regulations must be drafted for products that became more prominent during COVID-19 such as clinical decision support (CDS) software, artificial Intelligence (AI), and more.
Innovation: Despite the rumor that innovation isn’t being supported by investors due to the current economic situation, we saw a solid pool of amazing entrepreneurs with innovations that’ll make a difference in the coming years. From diagnostics, disease management, and environmental issues the range of these innovations was large and encouraging.
Funding/spending: This connects back to our previous paragraph about innovation and stage companies. Despite what some reports are saying, there’s still a lot of money to be spent. Investors are willing to take risks, but in a much more controlled fashion. It allows the companies with true differentiators to be more visible. It’s also good news for the industry, as investors tend to flock to the space when the bar for risk is higher. Investments and transactions: If we compare numbers to 2021 on both investments and transaction figures, we’re seeing a lower number. But don’t be deceived as 2021 was an outlier. Even with this being the case, 2022 so far is still ahead of previous good years and that was very visible at the conference. We saw a lot of talks taking place. Private equity firms were looking for opportunities to buy the right company more than ever. And as for the strategics, J&J announced their plans to acquire Abiomed during the conference and at every reverse pitch (15-minute speeches from the C-Level at industry giants about their go-forward strategy), CEOs all had long lists of inorganic growth as part of their core strategy.
Trends: Robotics continues to be front and center, and value-based healthcare as well as the carbon footprint of the medtech industry were the hot topics of the week.
Patient stories front and center: Business, strategies, and technologies are the business side of medtech, but we heard very clearly the goal driving every company in attendance is truly the patient and those surrounding them. A lot of the stories shared during the conference were deeply personal and reminded all of us how much our industry impacts the medical outcomes of every one of us.
Next year, the MedTech Conference will be held in Anaheim, California.
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