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Top Ten Medical Device Trends of 2017

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 24 Jan 2017
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Image: Wearable devices are among the medical industry trends expected in 2017 (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock).
Image: Wearable devices are among the medical industry trends expected in 2017 (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock).
Medical device manufacturers will be concerned with several trends in 2017 ranging from mergers, to wearable devices, to the recent election. These are the latest findings of Kalorama Information, an independent medical market research firm, which has identified the top ten medical device trends for 2017.

MDUFA fees: The medical devices industry is aiming for a further reduction or limited/no increase in the Medical Device User Fee (MDUFA) agreement fee and expects a sympathetic hearing from the Trump administration on the matter, as medical device issues enjoy comparatively more bipartisan support.

ACA and FDA: The medical device industry is also likely to advocate for improving the FDA regulatory process and an outright repeal versus suspension of the medical device tax. The industry is expected to seek ACA repeal through its lobby group AvaMed and has indicated that it would not like to see coverage of newly insured being disrupted and ensure that the coverage process allows patient access to the latest innovations.

Slow and steady revenue growth: The medical devices market, which is currently worth USD 390 billion is estimated to record an average growth of 2.8% in 2017 and the following five years. Cost-cutting mechanisms are likely to continue impacting price increases in the near-term even as the user base for medical devices is growing.

Continued M&As: Medical device leaders are expected to continue focusing on acquisitions to boost growth, gain share and capitalize on available buying opportunities in 2017 as well.

Hospital consolidation: Continued hospital consolidation in the US would mean less buyers for medical device products and more gatekeepers in a majority of the cases. However, consolidated hospitals could be better spenders for top companies selling innovative products as they reduce the total customer base. Nevertheless, the FTC’s recent aggressive stance could curb the trend of hospital consolidation in the US.

Pricing: Boards and buying committees in hospitals that seek to streamline device purchasing, group purchasing organizations, value analysis committees, reimbursement reductions to hospital buyers of devices, competitive bidding schemes, and other programs have together resulted in prices of medical devices growing at a slower pace than inflation.

Research and development: The medical device industry continues to fund research with companies spending an average of 7% of their revenue on R&D.

Focus on US, but Asia rising: The US will remain the world’s largest medical devices market in 2017 and will continue to be in focus due to the reimbursement challenges in Europe and slightly lower-than-expected growth. However, China is expected to record a far higher growth than the overall market in 2017, along with the rest of Southeast Asia.

Cybersecurity: With medical devices becoming more complicated and featuring components that use the cloud or online reporting, there is growing concern over the ability of hackers and criminals to undermine security systems.

Wearables: Healthcare is among the fastest growing segments for wearables due to the increasing need for monitoring diseases and aging populations. Medical devices with a wearable component are expected to record an average revenue growth double the overall device market, which was worth just over USD 13.2 billion for 2016.


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