EMDT_European Medical Device Technology

European Medical Device Technology, Summer 2015

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4 | Summer 2015 European Medical Device Technology emdt.co.uk A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR See us at ACHEMA - Hall 4.2 Stand A63 Barbed Fittings Luers Check Valves Inline Filters Stopcocks Tubing Custom Components Our motto Expect Excellence is more than just a corporate slogan, it's a customer guarantee. Ark-Plas specializes in the manufacture of over 4000 stock plastic components and custom part engineering. Let us help solve your unique problems with over thirty years of injection molding and extrusion experience. Call today 870.453.2343 | www.ark-plas.com Thomas Klein thomas.klein@ubm.com twitter.com/medtechinsider Partners at the Gate? LATELY, there has been much talk of con- sumer electronics and information technol- ogy companies invading the realm of medical technology. In 2014, hardly a month went by without rumours or news on technology giants muscling into healthcare. The prospect of resource-heavy tech companies with a long track-record of disruption entering the medical space causes some anxiety throughout the medtech industry. However, the phenom- enon might be overhyped. So far, the technology sector has pro- duced merely healthcare gadgets and not medical devices. Many of the projects they announced are mere moonshots, years away from realisation (see page 16). Furthermore, they have hardly any expe- rience with the tough regulatory and reimbursement landscapes of the industry. Therefore, it becomes increasingly evident that the most likely way those companies will enter the healthcare market is through partnerships with established players. Google announced that it would cooperate with Swiss Novartis to bring its smart contact lenses to market. IBM recently said that it would partner up with Medtronic and Johnson and Johnson to develop solutions to improve data management and personalisation of care (see page 9). These collaborations will help the tech companies to understand the industry. At the same time, the traditional medtech firms should not see the new entrants as a mere threat. With their pace of developing new ideas, ability to challenge existing structures and consumer orientation, the IT companies could help the medtech industry to tackle some of the huge challenges that lie ahead, such as the need to treat ever more patients with ever less budget available. "New tech companies will help us bridge the gap with patients. They will take things one step further," said Cristiano Franzi, president of Covidien Europe at last year's Eucomed Forum in Brussels. "If these companies come in with their innovation and agility, it could be an opportunity. I'm confident: the new technologies will improve the ways we can deliver healthcare."

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