Digital health and the digitization of the Medical Devices industry

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We caught up with Susan Rafizadeh, Director Global Marketing Life Sciences at SAP and got her thoughts on digital health and the digitization of industry. She will be at Medtec Europe this year as chair of the 'Digital Health: Adhering to Regulations and Meeting User needs' sessions in Hall 5 on Thursday 14th April 2016     

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Q: What will you be talking about at Medtec Europe this year?

A: I'll be talking about digital health and digitization of the medical devices industry.  

Q: Why is this important to discuss?

A: Digital health and digitizing the medical devices industry will bring huge opportunities to re-imagine business models, business processes and the way we work. Connected health, precision medicine, outcome-based reimbursement models, predictive models in production and maintenance, real-time interactions with various customer segments, new analytics capabilities, and more robust answers on data security, privacy and compliance in general are just a few examples where technology can have a positive impact on the industry. The opportunities are there. Now, the question for each single company is -and the answers will be different for each individual case - what are the next steps and what is the best long term strategy to benefit most from these opportunities?  

Q: What is the single biggest challenge facing the medical devices industry?

: Complexity!  

Q: In the next 5 years, what do you predict will happen in the medical technology industry?

A: I predict the industry will dramatically shift to a radical patient-centric and outcome-based model. Depending on the market and the unique strengths of companies, characteristics may vary. One example could be to grow in Asia, with affordable products and services for a huge market. A different approach could be that medical device companies offer holistic solutions for patients with chronic diseases, including services to improve connected care and precision medicine. Overall, i believe the market is changing, the industry will grow massively! These are exciting times!  

Q: What is the ideal skill-set for an R&D professional in medical devices?

A: This will change in the next 5-10 years. The industry is changing and taking advantage of increased digitization and the use of Big Data Solutions, real-time analytics, and Cloud to improve collaboration with hospitals and care providers. As well as to innovate in the areas of connected care,  monitoring  of patients with chronic diseases and precision medicine. This implies R&D professionals will not only need to consider scientific , regulatory and customer-centric factors, but also focus on aspects such as new delivery models, value-added services and potential revenue streams. R&D professionals will need to have a much more entrepreneurial mind-set than today.  

Q: What is the most innovative work you have seen recently?

A: I've seen the medical device industry include collaborations with technology providers and life sciences companies such as SMART medical devices like Google/Alphabet and Novartis, who are working on a smart contact lens.   

Q: Why is visiting Medtec Europe important for you?

A:  It's a great opportunity to share and discuss ideas on market trends, learn about the latest innovations in medical devices, and get new inspirations on how we can support the industry today and in the future.  

Come and see the Digital Health Theatre in Hall 5 on Thursday 14th April where Susan Rafizadeh will be chairing! Register now!