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Decentralized R&D Programs for Emerging Markets to Drive Volume Sales for MNCs

Wearable technologies and analytics create new growth opportunities and give a huge boost to the adoption of medtech in Asia-Pacific, finds Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Healthcare Innovations in Emerging Economies, finds that medtech markets are among the most competitive in the world and are dominated by large multinational companies (MNCs) offering a wide range of products and solutions for the most commonly occurring diseases. These market giants will soon have to turn their attention to emerging markets for sustainable business growth and performance, especially due to the huge patient turnover rates across most reputed healthcare facilities. Breaking into the healthcare sector of regional markets, which tend to be highly regulated, will be a huge challenge, as regional medtech manufacturing companies have a high degree of influence over local market suppliers and regulatory policymaking. They do not have to deal with the channel conflicts that global medtech companies are subjected to when operating within new markets, especially emerging economies.

The analysis also offers a snapshot of the current industry scenario, covering market growth, top players, major drivers, and challenges faced by companies operating in emerging markets, especially India, China, and Taiwan. It also discusses game-changing technologies and research initiatives that drive business performance. Additionally, it takes an in-depth look at the areas transforming customer experience along the chain of care.

“Medtech giants with footprints in emerging markets can address the market leadership issue by decentralizing R&D programs,” said Arjunvasan Ambigapathy, Research Analyst, TechVision.

“Setting up regional innovation centers is critical to understanding the needs and behaviors of local customers during various stages of the product development cycle and to ensure new product development (NPD) projects consider the product lifecycle rather than focus only on product commercialization.”

For further information on this analysis, please visit: http://frost.ly/2i7

Hospitals in emerging markets have made use of advanced cognitive computing techniques and solutions such as IBM Watson for the early detection and diagnosis of cancer and the added benefits of creating a customized treatment plan for patients. Meanwhile, the efforts to miniaturize sensors and electronics used to gather physiological data from patients have resulted in wearable digital health monitoring systems, which are becoming highly popular. Tools like wearable technologies that aid in the collection of personal health data, along with the implementation of Big Data analytics, cloud computing, and Internet of Things (IoT), will accelerate the shift toward more precise and personalized delivery models.

In addition to technology advancements, local medtech companies in emerging nations are taking strong initiatives to make the most of the tactical advantages they have over global majors. Some of these efforts and advantages include:

A sales force that is five to 10 times the size of the direct sales force of MNCs in emerging markets and leaner organizational structure. With production facilities in tier-2 and -3 cities, local players have a low-cost baseline and can price their products competitively.

Knowledge of consumer attitudes and requirements. This helps them develop products within a reasonable time frame and establish the right design controls in the early stages of the product development cycle.

Providing medical supplies on online retail platforms such as Flipkart and Amazon India.

Strong venture capital presence that has contributed to the mushrooming of analytics firms from India, China, Singapore, and Israel. These firms have developed solutions that employ large patient data sets to localize drug development processes or customize the design of medical implants to suit local market needs and expectations.

“While they enjoy a favorable investment and R&D climate, local players tend to source locally, and this often compromises the quality of their solutions,” noted Ambigapathy. “They can eliminate this challenge to a great extent by adhering to a single supplier and collaborating periodically to improve the quality of materials sourced.”

Healthcare Innovations in Emerging Economies is part of Frost & Sullivan’s global Medical Devices & Imaging Growth Partnership Service program.