The MedTech Conference Takeaways: Part 2

Outpatient and Outside the U.S.: Trends

by Scott Whitaker, President and CEO, AdvaMed

The MedTech Conference has grown into the industry’s premier annual event worldwide. Every year, attendees come away with unmatched insights, connections, and enthusiasm for their work in this incredible industry. At this year’s event held in October in California, keynote speakers covered everything on the minds of our industry’s most forward-thinking players: the digital transformation of health care, AI, top trends, global policy developments, workforce diversity opportunities, and lessons for aspiring leaders. Here are some highlights I took away from this year’s tremendous event … 

Outpatient surgery.  

Outpatient care, including at ambulatory surgical centers, continues to become a more critical and helpful opportunity for patients to get the care they need without lengthy and pricey hospital stays.  

About 5 percent of Stryker’s hip and knee replacements were outpatient before COVID-19, said Kevin Lobo, chair and CEO. Now the portion is 12 to 13 percent. “It’s an undeniable trend. Procedures are going to move from inpatient operating rooms to the hospital outpatient [rooms] to the ambulatory surgery center to the physician office to the home.” 

Localization in the global market. 

China remains a major importer of medical devices but localization policies and pricing strategies add volatility to the market. Similarly, the India market is fluid, with “made in India” policies shaping company decisions. 

Geoff Martha, chairman and CEO of Medtronic, said the push for localization in China reflects the realities of its health care system: a large market and less training for the sheer number of doctors, requiring products to behave differently. Robotics could play a bigger role there.  

Lobo said Stryker is considering whether to establish manufacturing in India. “We’re probably going to have to make things at some point in India if these policies continue. But to be a global company, you really have to. You can’t have all manufacturing in one country.” 

For more of these valuable insights, join The MedTech Conference 2024, October 15 to October 17, in Toronto, Canada.