Inside Telecom takes a look into some of the possible effects of the Covid-19 crisis mainly on the MedTech industry, and the implications of it impact for years to come. Make no mistake, that the Covid-19 pandemic is definitely a game changer for businesses across sectors.
Elective procedures have taken a severe toll due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The effects are hard hitting and deeply threaten innovation. Conformis – custom orthopedics implant maker – had to let go nearly one third of its employees due to the volume of elective procedures dwindling down to half. Conformis was lucky however as they were able to secure a $4.7 million Paycheck Protection Program loan to bring back most of the employees who were laid off.
Moving forward, there will be new steps and protocols in place to protect elective procedures to make sure they aren’t harmed in the process. These types of surgeries are still in demand – even if the demand isn’t as high or if the priority has shifted.
For companies that have robust diagnostic components such as Abbott Laboratories, the picture is a bit brighter. Abbott possesses immense diagnostic capabilities due to their acquisition of Alere a couple of years back. Abbott Laboratories have also developed four Covid-19 diagnostics. However, the picture isn’t as bright for Dublin-based Medtronic, who have reported that US weekly revenue has declined about 60% year over year on average.
When word came out that there is a shortage of ventilators, the automotive industry leaped into overdrive to help produce the technologies. President Trump even ensured that these ventilators would be put in the national stockpile via the Defense Production Act. However, will this be the last we see of the collaboration between the MedTech industry and the automotive one? It is very probable that a door has been opened for future collaboration between the two industries once we reach the other side of the pandemic.
How do you conduct social-distancing in the healthcare industry during the time of the pandemic? Well the answer is quite simple: Telemedicine. Most elements of social distancing are here to stay, we already know the handshake is long gone. So, you’re going to have to have something that can help in cutting down on the time taken for a patient’s routine checkup.
MD+DI News Editor Amanda Pedersen earlier reported that Jason Mills, a MedTech industry analyst at Canaccord Genuity shared his conclusions from three recent physician surveys across the structural heart, stroke/venous thromboembolism and robotic surgery fields. One of the key takeaways is that an overwhelming majority of doctors have swiftly embraced telemedicine during the crisis.
Testing has become crucial and will only become more important moving forward. There is still a shortage of tests for Covid-19, even while the FDA is granting and approving emergency use authorization for many firms. The pandemic is changing all of that, and we will soon witness several more diagnostic companies increase production and build testing capabilities. So, intense discussion surrounding these testing capabilities is to be expected. There will be more home tests as social distancing continues to gain popularity.