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Leveraging Technology Innovation to Enhance Patient Outcomes (MPO)

How digital transformation can improve patient outcomes, speed to market, and more.

This article was originally written for and published in Medical Product Outsourcing.

Embracing advancements in medical technology is crucial for delivering the best patient outcomes possible. We live in a world where technology is accelerating at a rapid pace and patients expect, and deserve, the safest and most effective devices to meet their needs. Companies that can evolve with digital innovation, and pivot to deliver supreme products, will be the ones that provide premier service and gain patient loyalty.

According to a survey from Deloitte, a striking 88% of senior medtech executives rated technology advancements as a top challenge for businesses. This shifting landscape may pose adaptation challenges for some companies; however, relegating this to the background is not a viable option. Companies that transition from legacy systems to digitized platforms are best poised to serve their patients effectively.

To improve patient outcomes, companies must first look inward at their internal tech stack. Those that use operational systems that streamline the collection and implementation of data will be the ones that can pivot faster based on patient preferences and feedback. They will be the ones who can bring better products to market faster, deliver customizable patient experiences, and develop optimized next generation solutions.

Better Products Brought to Market Faster

A digitized data system allows medtech companies to stay on top of information they need in order to make changes to current products, or bring new products to market faster. With quicker access to medical records, regulation requirements and device implementation protocols, medtech companies can make swift decisions regarding product manufacturing.

While some medtech companies may hesitate to switch to a digital solution from their legacy system, the benefits are significant.

A digitized quality management system efficiently identifies issues, hastens remediation, and ultimately enhances patient care. Imagine a scenario where customer feedback highlights an improvement requirement in a medical device. By having clear communication across all facets of production—access to necessary regulatory requirements, product design and supply chain—executives will have the tools needed to make decisions on improving products in a swift manner, circumventing production disruption.

For example, a medical device company that launched a new patient monitoring device received positive initial feedback from healthcare providers. However, after a few weeks of usage, some healthcare professionals reported a recurring malfunction with the device's interface that affects the user experience. In the past, addressing such issues would have involved a lengthy process of gathering information from various departments, such as regulatory compliance, design, and supply chain, leading to delays in resolving the problem and potentially impacting patient care.

With a newly implemented digitized quality management system, that medical device company can swiftly address the issue. Here's how:

  • Customer Feedback Collection: The automated collection of feedback from healthcare providers regarding the interface issue allows data to be immediately available on an accessible platform to all relevant teams.
  • Cross-Departmental Collaboration: The system fosters inter-departmental communication, enabling swift assessment by regulatory, design, and supply chain teams.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Executives have access to real-time data that empowers them to pinpoint the issue’s root cause - commonly a specific component supplied by a vendor.
  • Prompt Resolution: Executives can make informed decisions to modify the component design and share it instantly with the supply chain team to improve the production of the component.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Throughout the process, the digitized system tracks the progress and ensures that each step was completed without delays or miscommunication.

As a result of this streamlined and closed-loop process, the company can address the interface issue swiftly, avoiding any disruptions in production. This rapid response demonstrates their commitment to delivering high-quality medical devices to healthcare providers, ultimately benefiting the patients who rely on their products.

Customizable Patient Experiences

With more and more patients seeking customization of med devices, companies must pay greater attention to their needs. In fact, the Deloitte study found that 63% of executives cited changing consumer attitude, behaviors and spending as a critical business concern.

Companies that invest in digital technology to track and evaluate how their medical device is serving the patient will be the ones who can best deliver on the patient’s needs. In other words, you need to have a precise and accurate record of what is, or is not, working for your patient in order to make changes to customize their care plan. A digitized, interconnected system facilitates this process.

Commercialize Next Generation Solutions

Technology advancements play a significant role in a company’s ability to develop innovative medical products, ultimately benefiting patient care and outcomes. Automation plays a vital role in commercializing these goals.

If your company is not using automation, now is the time to start. A 2020 McKinsey study found that roughly two-thirds of respondents are already piloting automation programs in one or two of their business units. From a medical standpoint, automation can speed up cycle times, or how long it takes to turn around results for a patient, which can increase the number of tests a business can produce. Automation allows for streamlined manufacturing processes. This benefits the patient because the faster and better you develop and sell products, the faster you can put money back into research and development for new products.

The extra time and money saved from automation will benefit the patient long term because it will make back-end processes faster. Take the example of the product issue we discussed earlier. With automated processes, quality issues are identified faster, notifications to the sales team are quicker, and product changes are swiftly pushed out to the market. Automation encourages this powerful and beneficial cycle.

Embrace Advancements

We live in a connected world where technology is accelerating at a rapid pace. It should not be thought of as an afterthought, but rather a key pillar driving patient outcomes and business success. Patient-centricity and technology innovation must harmonize for the ultimate goal of superior patient care.

Companies that embrace change to enhance patient outcomes stand to lead the market, benefiting lives and surpassing competition for greater market share.

Learn more how Propel Software's connected PLM, QMS, and PIM solution has helped medtech companies innovate and get to market faster.

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Post by
Chuck Serrin
VP of MedTech & Life Sciences Industry Marketing, Propel

Chuck is the VP of MedTech and Life Sciences Industry Marketing at Propel. Formerly, as a Solution Architect and Program Manager at Stryker Corporation, he implemented and supported global PLM, QMS, and digitalization projects. Chuck has deep domain expertise on the development, compliance, and commercialization of medical device products, along with providing high-quality support in launching new products. Over 20 years of experience across senior positions in enterprise software solutions with companies such as Agile Software, Oracle, and PTC.

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Chuck Serrin