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The future of innovation: Key takeaways

Key takeaways

The pace of innovation will continue to accelerate as new innovations and players revolutionize product development,manufacturing processes, and business models. Failure to embrace a collaborative approach to innovation will likelythreaten medical device manufacturers’ competitiveness.


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1. Medical device manufacturers are making bigger bets on R&D initiatives, but sustained success depends on creating broader, more inclusive innovation models and collaborating with a broader range of partners to capitalize on opportunities. It also means companies need to scrutinize their own approach to value-based pricing models and product maturity models, which will have an impact on long-term development costs.

2. Medical device companies that focus solely on engineering- and/or sales-led strategies may be forgoing opportunities within their supply chains. Supply chain agility is critical to the future success of all life sciences companies; new markets and the rapidly evolving technology landscape are expected to drive more product variety, shorter product life cycles, and smaller volumes.

3. Sustained success requires a more expansive, forward-thinking development approach. Product development is no longer purely within the realm of science – technology and marketing considerations, consumer preferences and data innovation are also driving advances. With most medical device companies having 3 – 5 year development life cycles, new products have to be forward-thinking and designed to fit technologies that will be in place 5 years from now.

4. Given the challenges of achieving growth in mature markets, medical device companies can increase sales by entering new, developing markets. Along with opportunities to reach new customers and increase sales, developing markets can be advantageous locations for conducting R&D, with fewer barriers to entry, lower input costs and fewer regulatory hurdles.

5. With better access to technology and new markets, smaller, low-cost manufacturers have begun to dominate medical device innovation. By collaborating with smaller players, large medical device companies can tap their innovative power while helping smaller companies expand their market reach, deal with regulatory challenges and access a broader network of suppliers, customers and development partners.

© 2021 KPMG Central Services, a Belgian Economic Interest Grouping ("ESV/GIE") and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved. 

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