A view from the Center

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Technology, value-based care are changing the journey for cardiac patients and device manufacturers

For those who suffer from cardiovascular disease (CVD), less-invasive treatments, advanced analytics, and wearable medical devices are helping to improve the patient journey. For medical technology (medtech) companies that manufacture CVD devices, the landscape is also shifting as they collaborate with non-traditional companies, acquire innovative solutions, and consolidate.

In our new report, Getting to the heart of the cardiovascular market, we examine five key trends that are reshaping the fast-moving CVD marketplace:

  1. Increasing demand for value
  2. Rising uptake of innovative treatment technologies
  3. Growing digital solutions adoption
  4. Changing medtech competitive landscape
  5. Evolving provider and care delivery shifts

CVD – an umbrella term that includes all conditions that affect the heart – is the leading cause of death in the US, affecting about 600,000 people each year.1 More than 85 million Americans are living with some form of CVD or stroke, according to the American Hospital Association.2 Annual costs associated with CVD are expected to reach nearly $650 billion by 2025 – more than double the $320 billion that was spent in 2011. In addition to the growing prevalence of CVD, comorbidities – such as diabetes, chronic pain, arrhythmias, and depression – are also on the rise, and are more prevalent among elderly Medicare beneficiaries.3

While increasing rates of CVD will translate to a larger market for devices, medtech companies need to keep pace with the changing demands of patients and providers, as well as a wave of new competitors. Some incumbent players are consolidating their portfolios to gain scale, and are increasing their technological capabilities through the acquisition of new entrants.

Technology and the patient journey

Providers are interested in more than just the performance of CVD products. Products and solutions must also demonstrate improved outcomes and lead to better economics, and support new financial arrangements. The transition to value-based care is changing financial incentives for providers and placing manufactures under commoditization threat unless they deliver differentiated, high-impact solutions.

Cutting-edge technologies – such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and 3D printing – are creating new CVD treatment options and are expanding the medtech market.

TAVR enables less-invasive treatment options, which could help reduce hospital stays, positively impact patients, and improve efficiencies in the health care system. Similarly, 3D printing is gaining traction in CVD treatment. For example, 3D-printed heart valves – made from living tissue – eliminates the need for prosthetic valves for aortic valve disease.

As increasingly sophisticated solutions help physicians simplify, enhance, or accelerate how they provide care, technology also is empowering patients to take a more active role in their own care. The integration of wireless devices has reduced door-to-intervention times by an average of 66 minutes.4 And technologies that educate patients are also helping to drive healthy behaviors by boosting consumer engagement.5

Consider this: Someone with a history of heart disease might rely on a wearable smart device to track health metrics, such as heart rate and blood pressure. The detection of an irregular heartbeat, for example, could prompt that person to seek preemptive care before an emergency occurs. After treatment, a physician could use another type of wearable digital device to transmit data in real-time so that the patient can be monitored remotely.

New tech on the block

The proliferation of digital solutions in CVD has led to benefits for both patients and providers. Digital devices, for example, offer physicians the ability to gather data remotely, and digital decision-support tools compile patient data and treatment recommendations to help providers make decisions.5 Moreover, there could be opportunities for significant in-hospital cost savings when providers leverage digital technologies.

Case in point: A 2015 study conducted by Mayo Clinic found that digital health intervention among populations with early stage CVD led to a 40 percent relative risk reduction, and a 7.5 percent absolute risk reduction in CVD events, hospitalizations, and deaths.

By 2020, the market opportunity in cardiology is expected to grow to $54.2 billion.6 With so much potential revenue at stake, cardiology is an attractive target for non-traditional medtech players. In 2015, for example, the American Heart Association partnered with Verily (a Google life sciences company) on a five-year research project to understand, prevent, and reverse coronary heart disease. Since 2011, Qualcomm Inc. and Northern Arizona Healthcare have been collaborating on the development of advanced wireless care technologies for discharged CVD patients. Other non-traditional medtech organizations, such as Fitbit and Whoop are also moving into the space by providing heart-monitoring solutions for consumers.

Six key questions for medtech companies
To help ensure a competitive advantage in the industry, leadership teams from medtech companies should consider the following questions:

  1. Given your existing solutions portfolio, should your organization adopt a mindset of incremental or transformational change?
  2. Where are the new business opportunities, and what role do you want to play in transforming care delivery models in cardiovascular? What will be your basis of competition in this new reality?
  3. To what extent do you need to rethink your go-to-market model and customer engagement mechanisms as the cardiovascular market shifts?
  4. How will your product-development approach be impacted by this new reality? Are there alternative models or external collaborations to consider?
  5. What is the end-to-end readiness view of your organization – so you don’t just survive, but thrive, in this new reality? What capabilities should you strengthen, and how should you invest?
  6. How should you align and adapt your corporate culture to better prepare for a CVD future that may look very different from today’s market.

Developing and implementing strategies to address each of these focus areas can help medtech companies get to the heart of changes taking place in the CVD ecosystem; engage with patients, providers, payers, emerging competitors, and other stakeholders; and position themselves for competitive advantage.

1 Deaths: Leading Causes for 2014, NVSS, 2016, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ nvsr/nvsr65/nvsr65_05.pdf
2 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, AHA, 2015, http://circ.ahajournals.org/ content/131/4/e29.full.pdf+html
3 Forecasting the Future of Cardiovascular Disease in the United States, A Policy Statement From the American
4 Digital technology in cardiac care, Nature reviews, 2010, http://www.nature.com/nrcardio/journal/v7/n4/full/nrcardio.2010.26.html
5 Leading Provider of Digital Education Solutions Named as Corporate Partner, MedAxiom, 2016. www.medaxiom.com/news/2016/08/10/news/leading-provider-of-digital-education-solutions-named-as-corporate-partner/6 EvaluateMedTech® World Preview 2015, Outlook to 2020, EvaluateMedTech, 2015, http://info.evaluategroup.com/rs/607-YGS-364/images/mtwp15.pdf

Author bio

Glenn Snyder leads Deloitte LLP’s Medical Technology practice with 25+ years of experience in medical technology, biotech, and specialty pharmaceuticals. He helps clients grow through organic and inorganic means by entering new geographic markets, and expanding into new product/service areas. Glenn also helps clients improve brand/commercial effectiveness by articulating product economic value, applying innovative pricing, updating the commercial model, and rationalizing distribution networks.