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Thoughts About AdvaMed 2016

AdvaMed 2016 is the leading MedTech Conference in North America, bringing more than 1,000 companies together for business development, capital formation, innovative technology showcasing, world-class educational opportunities and networking. With a diverse attendee list that includes influential policy-makers, business executives and media, AdvaMed 2016 seeks to advance industry discussion from key perspectives through detailed panel sessions, executive forums and more. Walking away from Minneapolis, some of the themes that resonated included:

Data is the New Healthcare Currency
Our Radius studios are actively involved with medical device work and the importance of data collection is not a new concept. AdvaMed 2016 brought the full healthcare ecosystem to life and illustrated how data collection is fundamental to doing business.

As reimbursement shifts to outcome-based models, measuring the effectiveness of treatment becomes a critical element of getting paid. Every company, large and small, is racing to integrate information technology into treatment protocol.

On the individual patient level, electronic health records are becoming more robust; enabling improved quality of care and validation for payers. On the macro level, big data is being leveraged to identify correlations across disparate variables, offering opportunity to identify disease triggers like never before.

The Ecosystem is a Complicated Beast
The range of companies engaging in MedTech is mind blowing. Over the course of the conference, the Radius team met with everyone from physicians and lawyers to statisticians, programmers, and engineers.

What struck us most was that none of these people had the luxury of working in silos. Everyone there was interconnected and could speak in detail about the same overarching challenge: delivering quality healthcare with optimal efficiency.

In addition to diverse skillsets working on the problem, we were amazed by the assortment of different revenue models. A necessary opening question at AdvaMed 2016 was: “What’s your business model?” As reimbursement models transform, companies are exploring how to add value to the system and make money while doing it. Your business model is a fundamental part of the innovation equation.

Speed Dating for Innovation
Complex challenges have led established MedTech companies to reach the same conclusion: the next breakthrough innovation is more likely to come from the world of startups than inside a Fortune 500 laboratory. Big pharma and device companies are actively involved in the startup landscape and have created incubation models to support high potential technologies. AdvaMed 2016 was organized to be a veritable dating service to help companies make these connections by even offering a polished application to book 15 minute meetings.

The entrepreneurial component gives a cutting edge feel to the conference. Innovations ranged from a biomedical polymer that reduces thrombosis in blood to an interactive teddy bear that supports kids with Type 1 diabetes. The opportunity for someone with a good idea to make a real impact is inspiring.

Customer Experience: The Forgotten Value Driver
The focus on proving successful outcomes seemed to be all encompassing at the conference. Indeed, quantitative evidence is increasingly critical to create value in the new world of healthcare. However,Phil Hague and Mike Susi in our opinion, delivering compelling experience (beyond access to data) was missing from the conversation. The current disruption in the industry is driving investment to the quantitative side of the customer equation.

With so many brilliant people working on these challenges, we can be confident that eventually information technology will catch up to the demand for validation in healthcare. Comprehensive data will no longer be a holy grail, but a basic expectation in every new product. When that day comes, expect renewed focus on finding competitive advantage in the everyday needs of providers and patients.

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